The New Professionalism

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Florida cop responding to a report of a stolen motorcycle snoops around a cemetery at night, knocks on the door to an equipment shed without first identifying himself. Cemetery owner is in the equipment shed, hears the knock, fears he’s being robbed, and so opens the door holding a gun. Cop opens fire. The guy lived, and the cop has now been cleared of any wrongdoing. The motorcycle was on the property, but given that he wasn’t charged, it appears the cemetery owner had nothing to do with its theft.

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t announce yourself if you hear someone in the shed. Not just for the other guy’s safety, but for yours. This particular case may not seem as egregious as others you might see on this site, until you consider this particular cop’s history:

A 13-year FHP veteran, Cole has been the subject of 10 internal affairs investigations. In 2001, Cole shot a man in the hand during a traffic stop when the man made a sudden movement toward Cole after ignoring commands to show his hands. The man turned out to be a Christian minister who was unarmed and was driving erratically after getting lost. He said he was trying to show the trooper his wallet when he was shot.

Last year, Cole was investigated after he used a Taser to subdue a handcuffed woman, who fell and hit her head. She fell into a coma and suffered debilitating brain damage.

Cole was cleared in both cases.

Maybe it’s time the Florida Highway Patrol found Officer Cole a desk job. Or at least the sort of job where he’ll never need to use force.

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25 Responses to “The New Professionalism”

  1. #1 |  Burgers Allday | 

    My comment on this story apparently caused them to delete all my comments from the news site. I said that Officer Cole should have announced better, preferably with a bullhorn or a siren.

    A year of commenting down the memory hole.

    Weird how moderators & bloggers luv to do that to me!

    “Oh that Burgers!” ™

  2. #2 |  MH | 

    A desk job? How about a padded cell. This guy would find a way to injure someone with his desk.

  3. #3 |  Aresen | 

    He said he was trying to show the trooper his wallet when he was shot.

    Furtive movement! SHOOT!

    (Besides, the minister might have slashed Officer Cole with the edge of a credit card.)

  4. #4 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    “Maybe it’s time the Florida Highway Patrol found Officer Cole a desk job. Or at least the sort of job where he’ll never need to use force.”

    Yeah, then he’d have to limit his consequence-free assaults on citizens to his off-duty hours.

  5. #5 |  2trips | 

    “Cole then fired 15 shots from a rifle. One round pierced Work’s thigh.”

  6. #6 |  Jack Dempsey | 

    I feel so safe.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Cole then fired 15 shots from a rifle. One round pierced Work’s thigh.”

    Not only a psycho (10 prev IA investigations) but a bad shot.
    Damn they pick some winners!

  8. #8 |  Joseph Stromberg | 

    Back in 1970 at FAU (Find Another University), we had a guy in our dorm from New Jersey [!], whose ambition was to join the Florida Highway Patrol. We said, “why?” His answer was “I want to drive fast and harass people.”

    10 points for honesty. I don’t know if he ever got that job.

  9. #9 |  Rich | 

    And she fell (passively- no cause and effect discernible in Cole’s actions) and hit her head sustaining brain damage. The logic employed to justify this woman’s tasering, that is she deserved it and is responsible for her own predicament and injury, is completely abandoned to the benefit of Officer Cole each time Officer Cole is “investigated” for any incident he causes directly. How does the system so efficiently, reliably and repeatedly identify the bullies, thugs and sociopaths like Officer Cole worthy of a defense and, often, a subsequent promotion?

  10. #10 |  rmv | 

    From the article:

    “The bike belonged to Thomas Singleton, a former Pinellas sheriff’s deputy who was fired in 2006 after he had sex on duty with a waitress in a different St. Petersburg cemetery.”

  11. #11 |  2trips | 

    @#10 rmv
    i know, right!? how are you gonna fire a cop just for having sex in a cemetery while on duty? they have a hard job, just give him the benefit of the doubt.
    i’m sure he had a perfectly good reason for stealing that motorcycle, too.

  12. #12 |  2trips | 

    wait, he didn’t steal the motorcycle, it was his motorcycle. i’m stupid.

  13. #13 |  Speakertweaker | 

    Maybe it’s time the Florida Highway Patrol found Officer Cole a desk job.

    How about making license plates?

  14. #14 |  Ben | 

    Wow 15 shots and a grazed leg. That reminds me of the Ron White routine from his “You can’t fix stupid” album.

    “You ever see tape of the Kehoe brothers from Ohio, those two guys that get out of that white Suburban, it’s been on COPS a few times? Those guys, folks, have a shootout with the police, at point…blank…range—nobody gets hurt. I would love to have been at that office the next day when that guy’s being interviewed by the police. “And then what happened?” “Well, at that point, I unloaded my semi-automatic 9 millimeter weapon at point blank range.” “And then what happened?” “They…left.” Nice shooting, Elmer Fudd. There was a kid in Detroit a few years ago, shot 8 bullets, hit 9 people. These cops fired 22 shots, didn’t even hit the fuckin’ Suburban!”

  15. #15 |  Bergman | 

    Cop does it: Handcuffed woman needed to be subdued, woman happened to fall and hit head, brain damage was woman’s fault for twitching while being electrocuted, officer committed no wrongdoing, case closed.

    Same thing if non-cop did it: Perp discharged dangerous weapon at helpless victim, violently knocking her to the ground, and inflicting crippling injury. Book gets thrown at bad person, conviction follows, many decades in prison.

    The difference between them? The former is sworn to uphold the law and defend the constitution. The latter is not.

  16. #16 |  liberranter | 

    Maybe it’s time the Florida Highway Patrol found Officer Cole a desk job. Or at least the sort of job where he’ll never need to use force.

    C’mon now. Porky Cole is exactly the kind of sadistic monster that today’s law enforcement gangs are looking for. There’s no better species with which to terrorize the mundanes than a bloodthirsty, murderous sadist.

  17. #17 |  marco73 | 

    It’s getting really hard to find good goons these days…

  18. #18 |  derfel cadarn | 

    It would appear from the record shown that the FHP should find Officer Cole a prison cell.

  19. #19 |  Vic Kelley | 

    Don’t bother placing Trooper Cole anywhere. He needs to be dealt with by family of the victims or by vigilantes. Leave internal affairs and courts out of this. Law enforcement needs to fear us. Citizens shouldn’t tolerate this crap.

  20. #20 |  KPR | 


    NEVER EVER EVER (unless so egregious that it just can’t be helped) does a policing agency and its partner (DA’s Office) find a cop guilty of blowing one of us away.

    However, look at a cop wrong, you are gonna be slapped with an assault on a cop charge.

    It is open season on dogs and humans both. If the broad swath of idiots in this nation (ohhh, if you have nothing to hide who cares if a cop shoves a flashlight up your butt… if a cop shoots, he has a great reason… start shooting the mexicans as they cross the border – soon there won’t be any more illegals… drugs are illegal because they make people do bad things )
    would finally awake to the reality of the situation, we could actually push back against the moron patrol with badges. But until then, we’re screwed.

  21. #21 |  John Boanerges Redman | 

    A little realism here. It is an awful lot more difficult to shoot a person than anything else, moving or still. Even soldiers experience this (but many won’t talk about it). I can shoot deer, racoons, rats, snakes. I’ve yet to point at, much less fire at a person and I have no idea how I would react if the need arose. Neither do you.

  22. #22 |  Jess | 

    JBR, in what way does your injection of “a little realism” challenge the prevailing consensus that Cole is a danger to the public? Is is somehow psychologically challenging to call out “hey dude in the shed how are you man I mean no harm so please don’t feel threatened while I open the shed door”? That would have been a great way to avoid “the need” to shoot an innocent person, and we would expect such wisdom of any human being. I wish we could expect it of any cop.

  23. #23 |  Dr. James Chappell | 

    My grandfather was the Sheriff of Yuma, Arizona back in the day they hung horse thieves. My sister was a policewoman. Her husband was a deputy Sheriff.
    From 1991 to 1996, I worked for two police departments as their Youth Services Officer. Both departments had what were called “old bulls” still on the force. As policies changed the “bulls” wanted out. They didn’t like losing their freedom to NOT follow the rules. They hated video cameras.
    There are still plenty of “old bulls” out there. Age has nothing to do with it. One “bull” told me he loved being a cop because he had a gun, fast car, badge and power. He said the courts always favored cops over civilians. This is still part of the law enforcement growth industry mentality.
    Until, if and when We the People take our country back, we will still invite “old bulls” into the system we created that is now out of control.
    Thank God we have the 2nd Amendment giving all of us a right to “bear arms”; carrying a gun. Unfortunately, most of us think that right has been dismissed. It may be usurped, but it is “still on the books.”

  24. #24 |  Mannie | 

    Rule: If you open the door with a gun, and find a cop, shoot him before he shoots you. You can sort out the legalities, only if you live.

  25. #25 |  Militant Libertarian » The New Professionalism | 

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