Nomination For A Hero Badge

Somebody gave this dipshit a badge and a gun? Deputy observes a three year old boy peeing in a parking lot and gives his mother a ticket for indecent exposure. Where is the crime?

Quick lesson in criminal law. The Augusta, Georgia ordinance prohibits a person from urinating a public place where a restroom is available. The person peeing in a public place was a three-year-old. Mama was supervising but the violation is specific to the owner of the exposed genitals…the three year old. The three-year-old cannot be held responsible due to age.

I guess this idiot cop could have cited mama for conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct since she was acting in concert with the kid. Chances are it is impossible to file such a charge because the state/city didn’t contemplate a punishment lower than that available for disorderly conduct. Oftentimes conspiracy to…or attempt to… is one punishment category lower than the primary charge.

About forty years ago there was a Texas Game Warden and a night hunter that had a history. They didn’t like one another. The Game Warden stopped the guy one night. The stop quickly escalated into a pissing match. The local Justice of the Peace witnessed the confrontation.

The outraged hunter stated, “You motherf…” The judge agreed that given the opportunity to complete the thought the hunter intended to call the Game Warden a motherfucker. That term could be construed as “fighting words” and may constitute Disorderly Conduct as set out in Chapter 42 of the Texas Penal Code.

The problem is that the hunter never completed the thought because the game warden punched him in the throat. Nevertheless the game warden arrested him for Disorderly Conduct by Language.

I guess the JP should be given a little credit. When it came time to draft the complaint, the judge pointed out that the bad guy didn’t actually say motherfucker. All three, JP, game warden and crook agreed that was where the conversation was going. However, it never arrived.

The JP and the game warden put their heads together and came up with a solution. Did I mention that these two were a couple of crayons short of a full box, or that their combined IQ equaled that of the temperature in a deep freeze? Well you get the idea.

They charged the hunter with Criminal Attempt to commit Disorderly Conduct by language. The theory being that had he not been interrupted, the hunter would have called the Game Warden a motherfucker. The fact that he got motherf… out was an indication that he had gone past the point of mere preparation. How the JP missed out being seated on the Supreme Court is the country’s loss.

This brain trust missed one legal technicality. Texas law requires that in order to be considered an offense there has to be prohibited conduct and a specified punishment. A preparatory offense: criminal attempt, conspiracy is punished at one category lower than the object offense. Disorderly conduct is classified as a Class “C” misdemeanor. This is the lowest possible classification, there is no class “D”. This means that while it may be objectively possible to attempt or conspire to commit Disorderly Conduct by language, punishment for the act is not legally contemplated. No punishment, no crime.

I worked in a college town. Every weekend there were parties. There were plenty of bars downtown. If a cop couldn’t find three or four drunks pissing on dumpsters on any given night, they weren’t looking.

Cops had a choice. Arrest the drunk and be tied up for an hour booking the guy or put the dumpster pisser on notice. Spotlight, PA system, “Hey you wagging your wee-wee!” Fifteen seconds, mission accomplished.

In my day, police discretion was a good thing. Not so much anymore. Cops don’t have to think anymore, they’ve got body-cams!