September 22, 2009

"Certainly This Was A Case Of Bad Judgment"

...So says the chief of police.  Which is kind of an understatement.

Dateline:  Lakeland, Florida.  Cops execute a search warrant, and bust in to a (suspected) drug-dealer's house to seize evidence.  While some of them search through the house, tag and bag evidence, help haul the heavy stuff out to the evidence van, and otherwise engage in what you'd normally think of as "police work," other officers are otherwise engaged.

Playing the suspect's Wii:

As investigators searched the home for drugs, some drug task force members found other ways to occupy their time. Within 20 minutes of entering Difalco's house, some of the investigators found a Wii video bowling game and began bowling frame after frame.

While some detectives hauled out evidence such as flat screen televisions and shotguns, others threw strikes, gutter balls and worked on picking up spares.

A Polk County sheriff's detective cataloging evidence repeatedly put down her work and picked up a Wii remote to bowl. When she hit two strikes in a row, she raised her arms above her head, jumping and kicking.

While a female detective lifted a nearby couch looking for evidence, another sheriff's detective focused on pin action.

Can you say, "dumbasses"?

Now, the fact that the police engaged in what is blandly described as "inappropriate conduct" is bad enough.  But they were also dumb enough to get caught on the suspect's video security system doing it.  Which created the admittedly dogpiling negative publicity, an example of which is quoted above.

Now, I don't think this invalidates any of the results of the search.  But it certainly does reduce the Lakeland Police and Polk County Sheriff's Departments to laughingstocks.  If there is an equivalent to "conduct unbecoming" for a police officer, that would be about right for the cops who chose to play a suspect's video games during an evidence raid.

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