From the “Scalia’s New Professionalism” Files

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

Two police sergeants in Florida pursue a car the believe to be carrying 30 pounds of marijuana. They lose the car, then think they’ve picked it back up moments later. Problem is, they forgot to check the license plate. When the car pulled into an Enterprise Rent-a-Car office, the cops stormed the building with guns drawn, shoved the two men to the ground, and roughed them up. One guy suffered abrasions and cuts to the face and two chipped teeth. Surveillance video shows the officers high-fiving one another after arresting the men.

You’ve probably figured out by now that they got the wrong car.

The good news is that the officers were disciplined. The bad news is that it was only a 12-day suspension. I could almost buy that suspension were it only for failing to check the plates. But if you ask me, the excessive use of force (none of the officers at the scene, by the way, felt the force was particularly excessive, though witnesses certainly did) calls for quite a bit more than that. In fact, termination doesn’t seem entirely out of line.

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