Friday, May 29, 2009

Should It Be a Crime to be Stupid?

The answer is easy: it should not be a crime to be stupid. Unfortunately, a man in Aloha, Oregon was not only arrested, but put in jail for just that. While it may not be the wisest idea to call 911 about a botched order at McDonald's, you might want to listen to these 911 calls at the Washington County News to see a current example of police abuse. While Ray Osman, 20, was booked on improper use of 911, the phone calls reveal that both Osman and the McDonald's employee were simply unaware that a non-emergency line should be used.

Since one of the basic duties of the police is to keep the peace, you might be as offended as I was. Of interest, is that the McDonald's employee, who also called, apparently was not charged. What is particularly offensive is that the 911 dispatcher asked a number of questions rather than referring the callers to a non-emergency line. The short audio reveals that both callers were very respectful. While the article recounts that Osman than blocked the drive-thru lane and knocked on the restaurant's windows, that sounds a lot more like disturbing the peace than wrongful use of 911.

Let's hope that the judge is on the side of justice, and dismisses this case.


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