Two Mount Vernon (NY) police officers, Leonard Cooper and Robert Burke, decided to have a little bit of fun last year. They held a drag race. On a public street. Burke drove an unregistered, uninsured car. He promptly crashed it, causing a back injury to his passenger, another cop.
The two officers raced each other, driving more than 65 mph — more than twice the limit — in a "speed contest" about 6 a.m. on North Macquesten Parkway in Mount Vernon, authorities said. They drove on the wrong side of the road, over the double yellow line. Burke, operating a 1990 Ford Mustang with one passenger, lost control and crashed, injuring his passenger — an off-duty state trooper who suffered a hairline fracture of a vertebra.
The car was not impounded after the accident. Neither were the officers asked to undergo a sobriety test.
Mount Vernon's police chief, Joseph Pizzutti, gamely took a stab at pretending to be mad at Cooper and Burke. He assigned the two men to desk duty for a while and may still punish them further (pending disciplinary hearings) — but it's clear that his heart's not in it. The chief told the local newspaper that
"The charges they pleaded guilty to [reckless driving and assault] are relatively minor, compared to many other things that people do wrong."
You have to wonder if that standard applies to anyone who doesn't happen to have a badge. "Yes officer, I did expose myself to a gaggle of nuns right before I stole that TV set, but that's minor compared to what Jack the Ripper did." Think that'll fly?
[via the Newspaper]