Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Not a good idea
(Kristopher Rendon and Rob van der Hoek, emerging from Manhattan Criminal Court after getting into a fight with some police officers)
There was an article in the NY Post this morning about a group of young men who work at the Dutch embassy who refused to pay their bar tab in Greenwich Village and subsequently got into a fight with some police officers.
What are people who start a fistfight with police officers thinking? Do they think that afterwards the cop is just going to get up, dust himself off, extend his hand, and say, "Hey, good fight there fella. I have to admit, you got the best of me."
That's not quite the way it works. Even if you were to get a lucky punch in, the officer has a nightstick. And a gun. And, usually, a partner. And if they are in any sort of trouble, they call for backup.
Most cops are decent guys. But every major city is going to have at least a few sociopaths on the payroll; what happens if you happen to meet up with one of them?
My usual reaction when I see a cop car is to feel a slight start, and immediately look at my speedometer to make sure I'm not driving too fast. In fact, before I even check my dashboard, my foot has automatically moved to the brake.
When I actually do get stopped, I'm always respectful. Sometimes I'm a little angry, knowing that I might be about to get a ticket for some relatively innocuous traffic infraction. But that anger never expresses itself in any way other than a sour expression. I have never, and would never, mouth off.
Granted, these Dutch guys were drinking. But that's hardly an excuse. I've been so drunk I couldn't keep my balance. I've been so drunk that I could only remember what happened afterward when others reminded me. Once in high school I got so stoned on marijuana that I looked at someone else's hand and thought it was my own.
But as unhinged as I've gotten, not once has it ever occurred to me that it might be a good idea to attack a police officer.
Time to bring back Prohibition, at least for those too stupid to handle alcohol.