Redcoats

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

by Eric Peters EricPetersAutos.com

Recently by Eric Peters: Unnatural Disaster Strike Again

Abuse people 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.

British redcoats 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.

In Florida, 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 criminal conduct.

Here are the facts:

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 good.

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.

McClellan was 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.

Read the rest of the article

Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

The Best of Eric Peters

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts