Thursday, August 30, 2007

A shift in the kaleidoscope - Larry Craig

I have not been paying a great deal of attention to the scandal unfolding around Senator Larry Craig, the senator who pleaded guilty to "lewd behavior" in a bathroom... in a Minnesota airport, I believe, and yet says he did nothing wrong. [And from one standpoint...he didn't. Touched shoes, gave a 'signal' that could be interpreted that he wanted sex - but didn't have sex or even show any of his organs to the cop!)

Nevertheless, just a typical hypocritical politician, I thought.

But then today I was listening to the Tom Hannity show, and Hannity played the tape of the police officer interrogating Craig...and the officer is asking leading questions, assuring Craig (and I paraphrase) "I don't go to the media, you pay a fine, that's it, but if you plead innocent your name will be dragged through the mud."

It's a very enlightening tape... but not strictly about the Craig case.

Craig is an old guy, an experienced guy. He should have known better than to let himself be buffaloed into pleading guilty to something he didn't do. (Although perhaps that line, "It won't get into the media," had him fooled.)

But what about young men and women - in any instance of contact with police, not just acting stupidly in a bathroom - is this how the police treat them? Coercing them to confess to things they didn't do because then it'll be just a lot easier on them, than if they do try to prove their innocence?

The officer on the tape had his patter down pat, he'd obviously been carefully trained on how to handle suspects/the public, and he knew how to manipulate the conversation so that it would go the way he wanted it to go. He also sounded like an arrogant, condescending creep whom I'd have loved to slap!

Life as a police officer is hard, of course. You have to deal with all kinds of criminals these days who would just as soon shoot you as look at you, and many people can look you in the face and say it's Sunday when it's Monday and look innocent doing so - I don't deny it.

But I just wonder how many innocent young teens, trusting in the police, have been turned into fearful, distrusting "ex-cons" because they were promised a quick and easy solution to their problem if they pled guilty, only to find out that the cop was less than straightforward when the chips played out.

The only solution of course is for teens not to use fake IDS (I used to work with a woman - white, middle class, whose daughter had been arrested because she had a fake ID, although she had not attempted to give that ID to the officer. I won't go into details on it, but that's how I know these things happen.)

Kids also should keep their feet to themselves in bathrooms, and if they drop a piece of toilet paper on the floor, leave it there. For hygenic reasons if nothing else!

And if you must have sex with someone whom you met like 5 seconds ago in a bathroom stall, at least have the good sense to use a condom! Better still, have some respect for yourself and just say're a human being, not an animal.

End of rant.

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