Cop Love Sunday

Over the past few days, there have been a bunch of comments on an old post about Eric Bryant’s citizen complaint against Police Officer Chadd Stensgaard.  Finally, a reader was kind enough to let me in on the reason. 

It seems that Bryant’s charge was finally tried, and Chadd was convicted.  From Portland Mercury Blogtown :

Stensgaard was found guilty this afternoon of parking in a no parking spot while he went inside the restaurant to get take out food on the middle of his shift, and fined $35 by traffic court Judge Terry Hannon. The case against Stensgaard was brought by newly-qualified lawyer Eric Bryant, who happened to be eating in the restaurant when Officer Stensgaard came in to grab a bite to eat, earlier this year.

Bryant asked Stensgaard why he was parked illegally, but the cop told him he could do what he wanted, and went back to watching a basketball game on the restaurant’s TV, Bryant alleged. So he decided to take the cop to court using an Oregon statute that lets citizens file citations with the District Attorney. And it turns out, Bryant was in the right.

To his credit, Stensgaard took the verdict stoically, as shown in this photo of him at trial, where he carefully studied Bryant’s every feature just in case he ever sees him again in a fine dining restaurant.

stensgaard.jpgStensgaard’s PBA lawyers pulled out all the stop in his defense:

“Lawyers for Stensgaard argued he was justified in parking outside the restaurant because his patrol car contained guns and expensive equipment that could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands. But the judge ruled that while he felt the officer had acted reasonably, the parking laws apply to everyone. Including cops. “

“Bryant’s attorney asked Stensgaard why he couldn’t have gone to a McDonalds or a Starbucks nearby, somewhere where he could have parked legally.”

“I don’t eat fast food,” Stensgaard responded. “And I don’t drink coffee.”

This verdict has caused great consternation amongst law enforcement officers in the Portland area and elsewhere.  So it seems to me that the point has been made that cops are supposed to obey the laws, even though they have a bunch of excuses about how they have to break the law to save us from evil villians, not to mention consider it a perk of the job to ignore the law whenever convenient for them. 

But now, they are feeling a bit unappreciated, even though no self-respecting, he-man, sanctimonious cop will admit that he needs or wants our love and devotion but only that he does the “Job” because he wants to beat up perps for fun and profit.

And the simple fact is, we do need cops, and their inability to take constructive criticism because of their fragile self-esteem does not mean that we should kick them while they are down.  Therefore, I hereby proclaim today “Cop Love Sunday” and ask everyone to tell us their favorite story about a good thing a cop did for them.

Come on now, let’s show them that we really do appreciate what they do for us, even if they aren’t perfect.

15 thoughts on “Cop Love Sunday

  1. Gideon

    The best thing a cop’s done… hmmm… I guess it would be not beating me when he/she pulled me over.

    I kid, I kid… they did do that.

  2. Packratt

    Well, to be honest, when I was beaten and then arrested one of the cops that came into my cell to take pictures of my injuries a few hours later actually called the paramedics and my wife for me. It was really nice of him to do that and I appreciated it.

    …even though another cop stopped the paramedics from looking me over after they came.

  3. Joel Rosenberg

    Well, there was the time we had the burglar in the bedroom, and the MPD cops were in the house in just about six minutes.

    Then there was the National Park guy, just a few weeks ago, who started our car when the alternator died at Devils Tower (we both thought it was the battery that was the problem), then called the wrecker guy, and hung around to make sure everything was okay while we waited for him to show up. Nice guy; we talked guns and stuff and he carefully didn’t ask if I was carrying (I wasn’t).

    Or, for that matter, Lieutenant (now, I believe, Captain) Mary Schroeder of the Minnesota State Patrol who went out of her way to go out on the steps of the Capitol and told reporters that the email, purportedly from me, threatening the lives of every member of the MN House of Representatives was a hoax, and that my only involvement in the whole thing was as the purported victim. (Later that night, Donnie Chung — investigator with the MN BCA, called me up to ask how things were going.)

    I’m kind of fond of all of them, actually. Good folks, doing their job well.

  4. EJB

    SHG ~

    Tell me again that you have no dislike for cops when you write: ‘But now, they are feeling a bit unappreciated, even though no self-respecting, he-man, sanctimonious cop will admit that he needs or wants our love and devotion but only that he does the “Job” because he wants to beat up perps for fun and profit.’ Now why do you find it necessary to stereotype cops as being sanctimonious he-men and beating up perps for fun and profit? No doubt there are those stereoypes out there but the majority of the cops out there do not seserve to be stereotpyed that way. Just like, not all “lawyers are assholes.” Just because I know a few attorney who are, to include my wife, are “assholes.”

    Doubtful they want your “love and devotion”, but they probably expect you to treat them with some respect!

    There is more to your blogs than the moral victory of a cop getting a $35.00 parking fine. ‘fess up there, Mr. Defense Attorney!

  5. EJB

    Boy do I need to check my entries before I submit them!!!

    Submitted – Just like, not all “lawyers are assholes.” Just because I know a few attorney who are, to include my wife, are “assholes.” Should have read –
    Just because I know a few who are, most attorneys, to include my wife, are not assholes. Therefore I do not stereotype attorneys as “assholes”!

    You will probably have some fun with my quick submission!!!

  6. SHG

    Not at all.  This is a chance for people to say nice things about cops, in recognition of the many good things that they do for all of us.

    With that in mind, I would like to add a video in honor of our theme.

  7. Joel Rosenberg

    Joe Roman — the family name was something long and Polish, with about eight consonants in a row; it got changed at Ellis Island — was a pretty fierce looking guy, despite his height. I think it was the bristly mustache, but it was the rest of the face, too.

    Five-six, I think; I remember hearing a story (don’t know if it was true) that he had worn elevator shoes to get through his application process, but had become a Connecticut State Trooper, which is what he wanted to be.

    Built like a barrel, with big, thick fingers and preposterously wide feet.

    I heard about him from a cop friend a year or two before I met him. He was kind of a legend.

    He had pulled over a kid, probably sixteen, seventeen or so, somewhere on the Berlin Turnpike, if I remember it correctly, and as he was walking over to the car, the kid freaked out — he yanked out a .22 rifle from the back seat (I don’t know what it was doing there, either), and started working the bolt.

    Joe had his revolver out at that point, but made a decision in a short moment that no, he hadn’t killed a kid, and this just wasn’t the day that was going to happen, so he dove down to the ground — how the hell he hung onto his gun I don’t know — and slid on his ample belly toward the car, hoping —

    — and he won. The barrel poked out the window; he reached up and grabbed it, and yanked the gun out of the kid’s hands, and threw it on the ground, then got up and yanked the kid out the window, wrestled him to the ground, and got him in handcuffs, neither of them much the worse for wear.

    Use of force regulations, his supervisor decided, had required him to shoot as soon as the gun came out. Failing being man enough to do that, he was to have taken cover and called/waited for backup, and —

    Joe might have been able to apologize and talk his way out of it, but he wasn’t a brown noser, and had a deserved rep for not having much patience for fools; he spoke his mind, and he got a thirty-day suspension. That’s without pay.

    Ended up transferring to what was only technically the CT state cops; he worked at the state university, protecting a campus.

    I ended getting a ride across campus late one night — long story; I’d been drinking with a Paulist priest, which wasn’t why I fell off the curb. Honest.

    But we got to chatting — I’d had a short gig as a clerk at a different campus, working for a cop friend of his — and he ended up giving me a ride and we got to talking and smoking (cigarettes, honest; different time and place — a college kid and a college cop could sit in a car and talk and smoke cigarettes). Took me a while to notice the name tag, and I asked him if he was related to the Joe Roman, the cop who had taken a thirty-day rip for not shooting a kid, and he laughed.

    “Yeah. Sorta.” He smiled, and said something I promised I won’t repeat. “That’s me.”

  8. Gideon

    Btw, I would pay someone a lot of money to dub over her voice and say “defendants, criminal defense lawyers and public defenders” instead of cops, etc…

  9. Windypundit

    Well, there’s my neighbor, who’s a Chicago cop. I’m not sure he’d want me using his name, but a few years ago someone broke into our car around 5am. I didn’t hear the alarm, and anyone else who did ignored it, but he came running out of the house with his badge and gun to try to catch the thief. The guy got away, but it was a hell of a nice try.

  10. Joe

    Law enforcement officials make a vital sacrifice for the sake of others, but there should be a line in terms of what “privileges” they are allowed. Most people will acknowledge that they’ve seen officers run red lights just because they didn’t want to stop, park illegally, and behave in other ways that doesn’t seem justifiable. Officers have a great responsibility and should applauded for their sacrifice as well as held accountable.

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