Peppermints? Obviously a threat…

I heard about this the first time round, but this marvelous quote escaped me:

The officer asked for identification. The professor asked for his, after which Officer Leonpacher told him he was under arrest and, the professor claims, kicked his legs from under him, pinned him to the ground and confiscated his box of peppermints.

Ah, the land of the free… how glad I am not to live there.

Via Geoff.

6 Replies to “Peppermints? Obviously a threat…”

  1. I don’t think anyone denies the over-reaction, but It’s not
    about the mints. It’s also not about the jaywalking.

    The officer was probably pissed off at the smartass attitude and lack of respect for authority. When you give the officer the ID we can be pretty confident that won’t prompt the leg-kicking and face-pinning maneuvers. But when you get all cute and ask the officer for *his* ID, well… you’re at the mercy of his mood. He does indeed have the authority, and stick and gun and cuffs. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it to discover he’s in a bad mood and willing to abuse his authority to kick your ass.

  2. @Bears: in which case how do you know who is a policeman and who is a crook with attitude?

    Requiring an ostensible officer of the law to produce hiw “Warrant Card” is *also* standard practice in the UK. Anyone can do so. Helps ensure you’re not being defrauded.

    What’s to stop someone with a gun and a fake badge going around and rolling the populace for money? The police?

    Oh, well then…

  3. Well he was *obviously* about to drop the peppermints into a bottle of lemonade, to make a well known binary chemical weapon! 😉

  4. Well, OK. However, I do recall this gem from my last stay in the land of my birth: “Thousands of people were stranded in the Midlands on Sunday as all trains had been stopped due to the fact that Sunday is not part of the worker’s required schedule, and not enough volunteers could not be found to man the trains . . .” Seems to me that many of those who are so concerned with the ‘life-work balance’ need to be reminded that 50% of that balance comes down on the work side.

  5. @jax: I rather thought the Menezes affair was a case of probably reasonably smart cops being ordered to do something stupid on the basis of hard policy, bad evidence, fear for themselves and those around them, and worst of all a chain of command in thrall to media risk.

    Not assholeness at the “point of use”, per se.

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