Show and Tell

The mother of an eleven year old knew they would be coming for her child.  Why remains a mystery, which is likely for the best. It can’t be a good thing when an eleven year old gets arrested. But as a mother, as a person, as a Texan and as an American, she did the one thing she could.  She asked the police officers at her front door to show her the warrant.

Via  MyFoxLubbock by way of  Turley :

Slaton police came to this woman’s house, who wishes to remain anonymous, to arrest her son. But by asking one simple question, she found herself behind bars instead. 

“I told him, ‘I will release my son to you upon viewing those orders.’ Those were exactly my words,” The complainant said
The mother wishes to remain anonymous. The names of the Slaton, Texas, officers who did this simply aren’t offered, no doubt to protect their self-esteem.  It can be very painful for an officer to learn that their enormous power at the door of a Slaton woman’s home doesn’t extend to the world wide web.

The mother said that she was aware that there was a criminal complaint made against her 11-year-old son and simply told police “I will release my son to you upon viewing those orders.’ She says that the officer responded:

“He said, ‘This is how you want to play?’ He took two steps back, turned around to the officer and said, ‘Take her.’ They turned me around, handcuffed me, and took me in.
There is likely some confusion about the legal significance of the officer’s reaction to the outrageous query to see the arrest warrant for her 11-year-old son.  When the officer responded, “this is how you want to play,” it was a slap across his face, even if only metaphorical. You see, the officer said so. The officer told her that he was there to take her child. What place does a mother have in Slaton, Texas, questioning the inherent credibility of a police officer.  He said so, dammit.

She spent the night in jail and police left the boy at the house. He was never arrested. Her lawyer says that it turns out that there was no warrant since the encounter occurred on May 29 but the directive to apprehend was not signed until May 30.
Whether it compounds the issue to leave an eleven year old on his own overnight isn’t clear. Perhaps the boy to be arrested, who mysteriously was left behind, was mature and responsible. Perhaps that was the reason they were arresting him in the first place, for his having an excess of maturity beyond anything the law allows.  It seems unlikely, though.

Some might note that the officers, as it turns out, had no arrest warrant, a necessary prerequisite to take a child from his home. Did our anon mom embarrass them, asking the one question that would reveal they had come devoid of authority to take her son?  Did they fear she would then call them names like incompetent, foolish, maybe unmanly?  What police officer could tolerate such ridicule? The son was forgotten, and the mother was seized, as she surely deserved for the potential harm she could do to their self-esteem.

“He told me it was their duty to come pick up my son,” She said. “Yet, I had someone stay the night at my house. They never came back that evening, they never came to pick up my son, or do what they told me they were there to do in the beginning.”
Much as it reflects the mother’s concern that her son wasn’t left to his own devices overnight by himself, it comes as no surprise that the officers never returned to arrest the child.  After all, having struggled mightily, expending their vast reservoir of energy seizing the recalcitrant and questioning mother, because that’s how she wanted to play, they were spent.  To expect them to muster the energy to take down the eleven-year-old spawn of this evil woman was more than anyone could demand of Slaton cops.

Fortunately, more reasonable heads prevailed in Slaton, with the police department prepared to issue an apology for arresting the mother for asking a critically worthwhile question and holding her overnight so that she learns to never challenge the word of an officer again.  Even when the officer is a lying sack of excrement engaged in a flagrant abuse of his authority because of his fragile and unmanly ego combined with diminutive physical attributes of manhood.  This is why some cops are elevated to positions of authority over other cops, reflecting their calm intelligence and deep, abiding thoughtfulness.

[The mother’s lawyer, Dwight] McDonald said the Slaton Police Department will issue an apology as long as the mother agrees not to file a lawsuit.

[My Fox Lubbock] attempted to contact Slaton’s city attorney and city manager. Due to the possibility of litigation, both declined to comment.

Naturally, the most critical concern remains the protection of Slaton, whether from the inquisitive mother, the evil eleven year old or their lawyer demanding an unconditional apology.  This obviously explains the slogan that appears at the top of Slaton’s website:

But there remains yet another troubling aspect of this story, that not a single name of anyone responsible for the travesty on every conceivable level of incompetence, abuse, stupidity and arrogance, has emerged.  Surely there must be one person, one name, deserving of public recognition for what happened here?

And indeed, there is, the man in charge.

Chief Steven Wheeler assumed command of the department in August of 2011. Chief Wheeler believes in building strong communities through education, communication and cooperation.

And this, Chief Wheeler, is how I want to play, because I believe in the same things you do, “education, communication and cooperation.”  Except I believe in one additional thing that you clearly do not: responsibility.

13 thoughts on “Show and Tell

  1. Eric L. Mayer

    Lucky for her, it appears that she only must suffer the stigma of an arrest record until she files for expunction, waits for a month or two, and then attends her mandatory court appearance.

    But, of course, it is only an arrest record. Those are never held against anyone.

  2. SHG

    That’s why there is no need to cleanse rap sheets of arrests that never result in a conviction. It’s not like employers, banks, landlords, fathers of potential spouses, would ever think an arrest record reflects anything, you know, criminal.

  3. John Neff

    Hmmm the warrant was signed the following day.

    You mean we need to sign those things? Remember this is Texas.

    One of my friends was elected judge in a Texas county with 2,200 residents. I am pretty sure he would have signed the warrant but he is a very responsible person.

    As far as I can tell the county attorney is the only lawyer that lives in that county.

    Lubbock County has a population of 279,000 and they have no excuse for such a foul up.

  4. Paul B.

    I would imagine “disorderly conduct” or maybe “obstruction of a law enforcement officer.”

  5. SHG

    I’m betting we could all “imagine” the likely charge, but suspect he’s asking about the actual arrest charge. See the difference?

  6. Thomas R. Griffith

    Sir, I appreciate you picking up bullshit incidents (un-isolated I might add) like this one out of the great state of confusion aka: Texas. This surely can’t be the one & only time they (tried) to pull this crap & the Chief got their backs. When they embed / assign reporters, we get cover-ups. One thing is for certain, the 14 year old will never ever respect any form of athouriti.

    First and foremost, this went above and beyond the point of resolving via an apology the very moment they conspired to: enter her property, knock on the door, lie about a Non-Existent Warrant & replied to a question that blew their plans with handcuffs. It seems like she might have unwittingly hired a Fake CDL due to a recommendation / sticker on a jail pay phone, based on what seems to be a stupid response to multiple crimes committed by multiple officers (including the Booking Officers & their Supervisors)). If he was appointed, that would explain his strange Non-Defense strategy regarding a client that was falsely arrested and could end up subsequently wrongfully convicted of Obstruction & Harboring a fugitive. If she’s poor and / or on probation, Guilty or Not, she’ll be thrown on top of the 97% plea bargain pile, because that’s how this state rolls.

    Secondly, the courses teaching officers the art of lying while in uniform regarding utilizing Non-Existent Warrants is obviously worth some CLE credits based on my personal experience & observation of its continual use. Sadly, these un-named criminals will end up moving up the chain of command and one day become Divorce & Estate specialists and the dumb-ass voters suffering from the vote just to be voting syndrome will result in Judges’ that ran on tried & true slogans like a doozy you might recall –
    “Years of experience”. Thanks.

  7. Marc R

    So the police will offer an apology if the mother won’t sue. I think she should file suit and await 5 figures in damages. Screw the apology.

  8. ExCop-LawStudent

    In Texas, it would not be “Obstruction”, but “Interference with Public Duties.” Basically the same otherwise.

    And yes, I’m interested in the actual charge.

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