The politically-fanned hatred and distrust for police has seemingly caused the profession to lose its bearings entirely. We have the Ferguson Effect in major cities, where police avoid proactive law enforcement for fear of getting in any confrontations with African Americans, and now the desperate efforts of police to be loved is starting to spawn the Police As Cuddly Do-Gooders movement.
This will not end well.
Last week on a hot Friday in Virginia, Halifax police pulled drivers over to—SURPRISE!— hand out ice cream instead of tickets, and captured some of the reactions on camera. Officer Brian Warner said his officers “just wanted to spread some summer sweetness in the community.” They had patrol cars equipped with coolers of ice cream, and they stopped about 20 motorists, handing out cones instead of tickets after the drivers were convinced they were being stopped for infractions.
Warner, I’m afraid, is an idiot. Stopping a car to do anything unrelated to police work is an abuse of power and authority, and unethical. It doesn’t matter if it’s a well-intentioned abuse of power, or a nice abuse of power. It’s wrong, and I would make the case that it’s also illegal, no matter how nice it is.
I’m glad I wasn’t caught on camera, because my message would have been this:
“How dare you make me think I’m getting a ticket so you can feel good about your job? I have things to do, and you have no right to stop me, or waste my time. If I want an ice-cream cone, or a cup-cake, or massage, or a song, I’ll get one from someone whose job it is to supply those products and services, not law enforcement personnel, whose job is law enforcement. Get out of my face, officer, and look up the word “professional.” Don’t inconvenience innocent citizens because you need a hug.”
Officer Warner said they do things like this quite a bit in Halifax, but this is the first time they recorded it, and they sure are happy they did. Golly gosh, isn’t that just the berries! I am glad to be warned to stay away from Halifax.
Officer Warner needs to be disciplined, re-trained or fired.