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Author Topic: Legal to insult police?
Major D. Saster
The First USA Noel


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Same here in Switzerland. Public insult in general is an offence, as well as physically opposing or verbally threatening the police. However, if insults *have been exchanged*, the judge usually dismisses the case.

In France they have the concept of "outrage ā agent" (offending a state servant), which can bring you into some trouble if you call a cop names.

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Desperate, but not serious.

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Hubert Cumberdale
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I had always thought that yelling, swearing at, or insulting the police would be a good way to guarantee they find a reason to arrest you but I saw something on Court TV this weekend that makes me think otherwise. It was one of those world's worst drivers videos only it was about people getting tickets and doing outrageous things. I saw some people get away with some crap I was sure would get them thrown in jail or worse.
One guy was yelling and insulting the poor cop so bad he had to call a backup unit. The guy kept swearing and calling them both assholes the whole time yet both officers didn't even raise their voices, they just took it. The guy did get a ticket, and most likely for the maximum fine the law allows, but that was it.
Of course, there was a camera in the police car so maybe if it wasn't there this guy would have gotten the beating he was practically begging for.

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HazyCosmicJive
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
In most states, the line is set at .08 percent, although you can be arrest with a much lower level if you show signs of intoxiction.

I've often wondered about this "officer's discretion" on an arrest for DUI even if you blow below .08. I mean, I'm loud and I have no sense of balance - does that mean that an officer can arrest me on suspicion of DUI even if I am perfectly sober? Or if I have one beer? Are these "officer's discretion" arrests usually prosecuted?

That hardly seems just.

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Suddenly she realizes that amongst a crazy drunken schoolmarm, a navy swim instructor with a food fetish, a southern hick farmer, a porn star turned used car dealer, and a horny ex-football player, she won't be this strange outsider.

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Ek00stik
Bone Appétit!


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I think I have heard of a charge called "Disrespecting a police officer". However, I cannot find it anywhere.
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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Ek00stik:
I think I have heard of a charge called "Disrespecting a police officer". However, I cannot find it anywhere.

Probably because it didn't pass constitutional muster. You know, that pesky first amendment? This is not to say such a law might not be passed (because people do tend to forget about that pesky amendment), simply that they generally get shot down. Even if it sometimes takes a while.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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geminilee
The First USA Noel


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Seems to me that it should be just as legal or illegal to insult the police as it is anyone else. This is not to say that it is advisable or to advocate doing it. I just don't see why it would be different.

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Wintermute
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
A person pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving can refuse a Breathalyzer. (Many people do. You can lose your license for six months, but it's harder to get a DUI conviction. And in Kentucky, we have something called aggravated DUI, which requires a BA above 0.18 percent. No BA test, no aggravated DUI.)

In Missouri you can refuse to do a breathalyzer test, but you automatically lose your license for 1 year.
In California you can refuse to do a breathalyzer, but you can not refuse a blood test. The police will get a blood draw even if it requires force against the person.

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Gale
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Well, if they have even a hint of suspicion that you could be breaking a law, mouthing off can get you hauled in until the situation gets resolved. You might not get arrested, but it is highly inconvenient. I saw a man cuffed and frogmarched out of the bar one night. He was unhappy because he parked in a residential parking lot and he got towed because he didn't have a resident's sticker. He blamed the bartender who had nothing to do with the lot or the tow truck. He demanded she call the police so he could press charges against her and the bar. He would have just got a nice talk and a "better take a cab on home, sir" if he hadn't opened his big mouth. "You wouldn't be such a tough bitch without that gun." is not a statement to convince a cop that you're not drunk and disorderly, PI, and possibly in possession of narcotics.

It was fun to watch him get got, though.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by geminilee:
Seems to me that it should be just as legal or illegal to insult the police as it is anyone else.

In the U.S., it is just as legal or illegal.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Gale:
He demanded she call the police so he could press charges against her and the bar.

Whereas what he really wanted to do was file a complaint; only the prosecutor can press charges.

I'd've loved to see it, provided I was far enough away not to attract his attention.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Some drunk in my hometown, after screaming at, insulting and fighting the officers who were arresting him on the street, went on to grope a female officer while he was in the police station being booked. Not a good idea.

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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When was Mel Gibson in Columbus, Ohio?

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
When was Mel Gibson in Columbus, Ohio?

[lol]

Actually, Columbus isn't my hometown. And Mel confined himself to nasty talk.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Hubert Cumberdale:
I had always thought that yelling, swearing at, or insulting the police would be a good way to guarantee they find a reason to arrest you but I saw something on Court TV this weekend that makes me think otherwise.

That reminds me of something I saw on one of those "videos" type shows, too. It was footage from the in-car camera of some Maine cop. He'd pulled over some guy for speeding and the guy was not happy about it. He was cussing up a storm and screaming about what an injustice the whole thing was, protesting he couldn't afford the ticket and just generally ranting and raving at the cop. The whole time the cop was just placidly standing there with a poker face letting the guy rant. Occasionally, he'd get a word in edgewise to progress the process of giving him a ticket. At one point, the guy crumpled up the ticket and threw it on the ground and the officer did tell him that he'd have to pick it up or he'd cite him for littering, which provoked another tirade -- but he picked up the ticket. Finally, they finish and the guy starts to pull away (still ranting) and the cop just says "Have a nice day, sir." and walks back to his car, still completely calm.

It was absolutely hilarious, though I suppose you really need to see it to get the right impact.

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BringTheNoise
Xboxing Day


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In Scots Law, you are allowed to insult an officer. You may even swear at him or her - although the latter point was only recently decided.

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"The United States Government: significantly less cruel and sadistic than the Taliban." - Dara

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ericsmom
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Eddylizard:
[qb]Then there's the "say the alphabet" test, sometimes backwards, and the "walk a straight line" test.

I heard that the whole "say the alphabet backwards" thing was a trick question. I guess most people who are drunk would reply "What? I can't even say the alphabet backwards when I'm sober." Or something to that effect.
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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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In Ontario, if you are at half the legal limit for blood-alcohol level you will receive a 12-hour license suspension, which means that if you are driving alone, you need to get someone to pick you up from the check point, and take you back the next day to the police station to pick up your license. If you still appear to be intoxicated, they will give you another test and refuse to return your license until you are sober.

Refusing a breathalyzer test is as good as an admission of guilt, however, a blood-alcohol sample obtained from an unconscious person is not admissible in court.

Both of the above I have learned from anecdotes from close friends. The latter was the case when a repeat offender for drunk driving injured himself so badly that he was, indeed, totally unconscious in the hospital until he was no longer legally drunk. Other charges were made, but none involving alcohol consumption.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Angel With Wax Wings
Deck the Malls


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I once asked two police officers if I were to call them pigs if they could arrest me. Their response was that they could issue me a ticket and fine me if I did so, but no I couldn't be arrested.

~Monica

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"Run for five minutes? Why don't you just shoot me now?"--Comic Book Guy (Simpsons)

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chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


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Fine you for what?

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Come on, come on - and the world's a little brighter


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BringTheNoise
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
In Ontario, if you are at half the legal limit for blood-alcohol level you will receive a 12-hour license suspension, which means that if you are driving alone, you need to get someone to pick you up from the check point, and take you back the next day to the police station to pick up your license.

Half? They can take your licence from you when you haven't failed the test?

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"The United States Government: significantly less cruel and sadistic than the Taliban." - Dara

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Angel With Wax Wings
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by chillas:
Fine you for what?

Fine me for instigating or antagonizing or disturbing the peace, some BS like that.

~Monica

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"Run for five minutes? Why don't you just shoot me now?"--Comic Book Guy (Simpsons)

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Itsy Bitsy Spider
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
What about veiled threats? Like... "Nice gun, it'd be a shame if someone shot you with it."
Would that get you a trip to jail or prison?
Not that I'd actually say that, just curious about the legality of something like that.

Here, being South Carolina, a quote like that would be considered "Threatening the life of a Law Enforcement Official". It's a felony.
On a related note, An exboyfriend once told me that it was completely legal to say anything you wanted to a cop if you say "I think" before it. [Smile] Like "I think you are a _________." I'm trying to remember his logic behind it.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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The trick is to help them in an insulting manner.

Ask them to show identification. You can always claim that he behaved oddly and you wanted to check that he was an officer. As it would have been a serious crime if he wasn't, you are actually helping him.

Ask "Are you drunk?!?!". Once again, if he was drunk on duty, somethings wrong and you are helping them.

If he gives you any reason, however weak, to claim that you suspected that he might have been drunk, pick up your phone and ask for the number to his superior. If you don't get it, just call the police and ask to be connected to someone in charge. Then inform the person in charge that you suspect that the officer is behaving oddly and might be drunk. Never state anything definately, just voice the suspicion, and do it all in a helpful tone, making a point of mentioning how important it is that ordinary citizens like you help the police.

Variants on this theme can be used in other situations as well with great effect, and if properly done, can not be held against you.

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/Troberg

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moonlight
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
If you are going to insult them, make it smart. Saying "I'm so happy I don't have to do your crappy job, earning half of what I do by sitting in my office chair." is just stating the facts, which could hardly be an insult.

Hey now, that crappy job puts food on my table.

I just read this whole thread and all I can think is why are we discussing the right way to insult an officer? Like they don't have enough to deal with as it is...

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I just read this whole thread and all I can think is why are we discussing the right way to insult an officer? Like they don't have enough to deal with as it is...
Most of the techniques discussed will work equally well on other professions. Besides, no profession is completely without a-holes, so it's always a good idea to be prepared if you happen to meet them.

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/Troberg

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Louise
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
If you are going to insult them, make it smart. Saying "I'm so happy I don't have to do your crappy job, earning half of what I do by sitting in my office chair." is just stating the facts, which could hardly be an insult.

But isn't there a difference between a street cop and a cop that does administrative stuff? I thought that street cops only patrol and do arrests and stuff, I didn't know they did adminstrative stuff.

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"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." -- Mark Twain

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
If he gives you any reason, however weak, to claim that you suspected that he might have been drunk, pick up your phone and ask for the number to his superior. If you don't get it, just call the police and ask to be connected to someone in charge. Then inform the person in charge that you suspect that the officer is behaving oddly and might be drunk. Never state anything definately, just voice the suspicion, and do it all in a helpful tone, making a point of mentioning how important it is that ordinary citizens like you help the police.

Variants on this theme can be used in other situations as well with great effect, and if properly done, can not be held against you.

There are no smilies in your post, so I'm going to assume you are being serious. If not, read no further.

Are you seriously suggesting that someone should knowingly make false accusations of drunkedness to an officer's superior? That is beyond the pale. Would you make suggestions that they are a child predator? Do you realize that doing that could make someone go through a whole lot of undeserved hell just to give you some sick sense of satisfaction?

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"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
There are no smilies in your post, so I'm going to assume you are being serious.
Let's just say that I've met a few really bad apples.

quote:
Are you seriously suggesting that someone should knowingly make false accusations of drunkedness to an officer's superior?
No, I was suggesting that one reports that they are behaving irrationally and POSSIBLY might be drunk or otherwise not at their full mental capacity.

quote:
Do you realize that doing that could make someone go through a whole lot of undeserved hell just to give you some sick sense of satisfaction?
As with any powerful technique, it should be reserved for those who really, really deserve it. I just assumed that people around here had the sound judgement to determine when that's the case.

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/Troberg

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moonlight
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I'm sorry you've come into contact with some bad apples, but I have to agree with Roadie. I've worked in law enforcment myself, and for every bad apple, there are hundreds of good apples just trying to do a job. Accusations of the officer possibly being drunk...I don't even know where to start with that. Perhaps I am so offended since my DH is in DUI enforcement and has to deal with enough...he shouldn't have to worry about someone lying to his superior because they don't like they they are being pulled over for breaking the law.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I'm sorry you've come into contact with some bad apples, but I have to agree with Roadie. I've worked in law enforcment myself, and for every bad apple, there are hundreds of good apples just trying to do a job.
I agree, there are many good officers out there.

My best (or rather, worst) example of a bad apple was when someone called about a noisy party in an apartment (at least, that's what I later found out) next door to where I was living at the time. I wasn't home when they called, so I don't know how noisy it was, I arrived home a short while after the police arrived. When I arrived, the police were throwing furniture out on the lawn. I'm not talking about a few items and I'm not talking about carrying it out, I'm talking flying chairs and tables from the second floor. Naturally, this made me somewhat curious, so I went up to one of the officers and asked "Excuse me, but what are you doing?" and got told, in no uncertain terms (including threatening displays of weaponry), that it would not be healthy for me to continue that line of inquiry. I decided that this was not the right moment to pick a fight, so I backed down and decided to instead offer the owner of the apartment to testify on his behalf the next day, should he decide to make an issue of it. He didn't, he was too scared. He didn't even dare to file a complaint for the damge they've caused. Note that this was not a dispossession, just a call to calm down a noisy party. I spoke to the woman who called the police in the first place the next day, and even she was shocked. She just wanted them to turn down the music a bit, and thought that the police would just give them a phone call.

When faced with such behaviour, I think I'm pretty darn justified in questioning their sobriety.

This is the kind of bad apples I'm talking about, and I don't feel bad at all if I manage to cause them some discomfort.

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/Troberg

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
When faced with such behaviour, I think I'm pretty darn justified in questioning their sobriety.

This is the kind of bad apples I'm talking about, and I don't feel bad at all if I manage to cause them some discomfort.

I don't see anything in your post that indicates that the officers displayed signs of drunkedness. Absolutely they were dickwads - file a complaint and file it loudly about what they did. Using hyperbole and outright lying to make an otherwise valid complaint null and void isn't going to get you what you are hoping for. That makes me question your judgement - you are willing to lie, in an "ends justifies the means" kind of way to get your own satisfaction.

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"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I don't see anything in your post that indicates that the officers displayed signs of drunkedness.
I should have said something like I did in an earlier post: "No, I was suggesting that one reports that they are behaving irrationally and POSSIBLY might be drunk or otherwise not at their full mental capacity.". It may also be some other form of intoxication or mental problem.

Besides, whatever the was wrong with them, I can only speculate. My speculations are just my guesses based on how I experienced the situation, and I make no claim about correctness. A formal investiagation must make the final call.

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/Troberg

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moonlight
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
quote:
I don't see anything in your post that indicates that the officers displayed signs of drunkedness.
I should have said something like I did in an earlier post: "No, I was suggesting that one reports that they are behaving irrationally and POSSIBLY might be drunk or otherwise not at their full mental capacity.". It may also be some other form of intoxication or mental problem.

Besides, whatever the was wrong with them, I can only speculate. My speculations are just my guesses based on how I experienced the situation, and I make no claim about correctness. A formal investiagation must make the final call.

I hate to break it to you, but a supervisor would just [Roll Eyes] at that complaint. If you simply said you were offended, you'd have a better chance of them taking you seriously.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I hate to break it to you, but a supervisor would just at that complaint. If you simply said you were offended, you'd have a better chance of them taking you seriously.
I doubt the supervisor has the option of ignoring it here. At the very least, a report has to be filed, which would surface if more such reports against them were to appear.

But, as I said, I didn't report it, but if I did, it would be a very detailed report, with my speculations about their mental state as a footnote. I would include it though, as I can't see any valid reason for their behaviour and some kind of intoxication seems like a likely explanation. I know how to write an effective report/letter, I've even won against the Swedish IRS and DMV!

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/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
Of course, the easiest way to avoid trouble is to just not insult him, but sometimes that's not an option.

I'm sure there are many and better ways to describe this attitude, but at such a late hour the only thing I can come up with is "pathetic."

-Tabby
the princess with claws

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If you don't appreciate the irony, the irony appreciates.

"Sappiness and medieval violence: it's a wonderful combination. Like chocolate and peanut butter for the mind." -me on my fantasy novel-in-progress

Posts: 2281 | From: Arizona | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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