More Unethical—But NICE!— Police Tricks

This nice officer appears to be lobotomized, which at least gives him an excuse for his conduct...

This nice Halifax, VA. officer appears to be lobotomized, which at least gives him an excuse for his conduct…

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.


Pointer: Fred

12 thoughts on “More Unethical—But NICE!— Police Tricks

  1. Hell, if the cops want to set up a food truck and pass out free ice cream, I’ll gladly take a cone. However, cops stopping me for anything kind of freaks me out. I might just lose it and say “I don’t want your damn free ice cream!”. Very bad judgement on Officer Warner’s part.

  2. And you might have gotten away with saying that if stopped. You are a straight white dude after all, you might even have been dressed professionally. But if you’d been black and had baggy pants you could end up with the Sandra bland treatment. Until and unless there’s a major crackdown, accompanied by firing and other police departments being forbidden form hiring any officer fired elsewhere for cause, police are going to be rightfully mistrusted.

    You’ve just proven that law enforcement culture is such that they believe they can stop anyone for any reason. That must stop before anything else can change.

    • “That must stop before anything else can change.”


      Your first bit “that must stop” is accurate. But it isn’t accurate to say that nothing else can change before or during “that must stop”.

      How silly.

        • Such an inquiry coming from someone who hasn’t posited any ideas of their own to solve the problem, I’ll take your request as a mere diversion.

          There’s no need to elucidate your or my ideas on this to still acknowledge that your assertion of “That must stop before anything else can change” is a flat out non-sequitur.

  3. Ice cream was a good idea. Passing it out to citizens pulled over for no reason was a bad idea. If the police want to engage with the community and use ice cream to smooth the way, there are these things called “ice cream socials.”

  4. The possible scenarios for this are legion: (1) Driver accepts the cone (would he consider refusing?) heads up the ramp, finds it is messy, melting, dripping in his crotch, driving with one hand, drops cone, creates 10-car pile-up. (2) Mom accepts cone, cop didn’t notice kids napping in back (this is old-fashioned scenario; no seat-belt-upright position, just laid out on the back seat), cone starts to melt, she licks faster and finally crunches into the cone bringing children fully awake and demanding ice cream, she reaches back to give kids the cone, and whomp, up on the curb into someone’s new laid rare rose garden; (3) Driver takes cone in left hand, reluctantly — he’s diabetic — holds it til nice policeman is back to his car and driving away, tries to move the cone across the steering wheel to the trash bag on the right, hits the brake release, car starts rolling down the hill, ice cream melts on steering wheel, sticky slippery hands, swerve; (4) Semi driver pulls his rig to the curb, waits for officer to approach, shoots him in the cone with his sawed off assault weapon to defend cargo of illegal immigrants and caged wild eagles, reverses into police car destroying car and cooler. Roars off. All is quiet. Such is life.

  5. Today I was treated to a Facebook video of my city’s police department pulling over drivers on the pretext of traffic violations to hand out pies (from a local bakery they made sure to mention each time). I made a comment complaining that they shouldn’t be pulling over people to do this, but the police department’s response is that these were actual traffic violations and the drivers were being let off with a warning and a pie. I don’t think this changes the ethical calculus, really, but curious what you might think, Jack. My blood is boiling about it right now and I’m of almost a mind to complain to the city council, although I figure they’ll think I’m being a grinch.

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