and they tend to get angry. Abuse them long enough – without
repercussions – and the anger eventually explodes. It is an
old lesson, often forgotten.
And which must,
therefore, often be relearned.
were hated for their haughty, contemptuous treatment of colonial
civilians. This idea that the wearer of a red uniform was a special
– sacred – personage, entitled to deference and different
treatment. In particular, different treatment by the law. What a
colonist dare not do, a redcoat could do with impunity. Or at least,
without much fear of repercussions. It lead to Lexington and Concord.
And to 1776
We are at the
same juncture today.
Only our redcoats
wear black and blue.
one of these latter-day redcoats – a state trooper –
literally walked away from any responsibility for causing the death
of an innocent person (and severely hurting two others) who just
happened to be in the way of his grossly negligent and arguably
Here are the
On Feb. 10
of last year, Florida Trooper Detrick McClellan heard a report over
his cop radio that some kids were reportedly throwing rocks from
an overpass. Though not on-duty, McClellan chose to “respond.”
So far, so
But it quickly
became not so good. Because McClellan chose to respond by driving
his car at speeds (in excess of 100 MPH) that would have landed
any mere mundane in jail – and without his lights flashing
or his siren wailing – ostensibly for reasons of stealth.
Unfortunately, Michelle Campbell, her niece and a 12-year-old child
never knew what was coming as a result. McClellan lost control of
his car in a curve with a posted maximum speed of 35 MPH, plowing
into Campbell’s car – killing her and throwing the 12-year-old
through the windshield, leaving her (and the niece) badly hurt.
Now it gets
really interesting – and really despicable.
issued three traffic violations – careless driving,
speeding and failure to use his emergency equipment – but
he was not criminally charged. Because different rules apply
to cops. A non-cop who merely drove his car at 100
MPH without hurting anyone would almost certainly face
more serious consequences than McClellan faced for killing one person
– and maiming two more. Because cops are held less responsible
for what they do.
the rest of the article
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automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2013 Eric Peters
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