Deference to the Thin Blue Line

A senior corporal in the Dallas Police Department was involved in a road rage incident recently in Allen on her way home from work. The short story is that formal criminal charges against her for allegedly pulling a gun on another motorist will not be pursued, despite potential corroborating witness testimony. The officious reason for not filing charges is that the victim has decided (probably after being advised of any criminal charges they can drudge up against him from the same incident) to not pursue charges. So police extend some professional courtesy to one of their own. That is nothing new.

What is more revealing was the video recording with police that took place afterword. A third of the way through the 17-minute police dashboard video, an Allen officer said to the off-duty Dallas officer, “What I’d advise you now is to just stop, stop talking unless we got any questions for you, OK?”

That struck me as a strange thing to say for someone conducting an investigation. As far as I understood, police were trained to get suspects to open their lips and reveal contradictions in their story. There was also repeated reference to the fact that their conversation was being recorded. As it were, those are good things for the officer to note. I could certainly be wrong, yet I would think it is highly improbable that such advice would be forthcoming for someone not on the force.

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