Somehow or another I got hooked up with this thing called Quora. Idiots pose questions and other idiots offer answers. I keep meaning to unsubscribe, but never do. I think it is for the same reason that people slow down to look at car wrecks on the highway. This query caught my eye and triggered a memory.
What legal rights do I have? I’m 22, live at home and my parents have decided to sell our house and relocate far away while I am without means to move out. What rights do I have in this situation?
When I first started working as a cop there was a frequent flier that we dealt with, Porfirio Natal. This was in the days before computerized records. The records, of people who had been arrested were kept in a bank of file cabinets. Each time a person was arrested, the arresting officer would check and pull the file of the arrested person. All of the prior arrests were contained in a manila folder. The only exception was Porfirio. His prior arrests were in an accordion folder.
This two inch thick file documented all of his prior arrests. Best I can remember they were all misdemeanors. The arrests consisted mostly of drunk and disorderly conduct. Porfirio never had money to pay the fine or post bail. Nobody who knew him was interested in paying to get him out. So Porfirio would spend several days to a week in county jail paying his debt to society.
As an aside, one night I found Porfirio being his typical pain in the ass self. He had just purchased a quart of MD 20-20 and wasn’t drunk yet. I ran a wanted check on him. Dispatch said he was clear. Then the Chief Deputy of the Sheriff’s Office came on the radio and announced that he had a warrant for Porfirio’s arrest. The Chief Deputy agreed to meet me at the police station. Porfirio protested that he had already been arrested for that warrant. But the Chief Deputy said he had the warrant in hand. That was good enough for me. Porfirio went to jail and his wine went into the gutter.
Once at the station, I pulled Porfirio’s file. The Chief Deputy arrived with the warrant. There on the top of the pile, was Porfirio’s most recent arrest. It was for the warrant the Chief Deputy had in hand. (He actually had a copy.) The Chief Deputy looked at me and said what do we do?
“That’s easy,” I said. “I’m going to let him go and you are going to buy him a bottle of MD 20-20 and take him home. That’s what he did and Porfirio was happy.
Back to the the Quora inquiry. Porfirio lived with his mother, in public housing. He got himself arrested, once again and ended up laying out in County jail. When he was released several days later, he returned home. Except it wasn’t. Mama had moved out and left no forwarding address. The neighbors claimed they had no idea where she had gone.
We got a call. Porfirio was drunk, sitting on the curb in front of his former residence. I guess he was waiting for the police to take him to his second home, county jail.
I guess some idiots that read this may think, poor Porfirio. Not my job to demand Porfirio take a different path. The police have a duty to society at large. Cops duty to people like Porfirio is to keep them from getting run over, mugged or freezing to death. Jail fulfills that obligation. I was a cop for thirty years, not once did I ever see a so-called mental health professional or substance abuse counselor beat on the jailhouse door offering to stage an intervention.