#2. They Lack Discretion When Shooting
Remember that story earlier about the cops who erroneously home invaded a former Marine and shot at him 70 times? Police love doing shit like that! In one of the most famous incidents from recent memory, two women were shot while delivering newspapers after they rolled up to the home of a law enforcement official who was under protective surveillance during the Christopher Dorner manhunt. They were driving the same kind of truck that police suspected Dorner was using at the time, you see. Sure, it was a completely different color and the license plate didn't match, but better safe than sorry, right?
They were looking for a Toyota truck like the one pictured above.
Meanwhile, in Florida, America's one-stop shop for insanity of all sorts, police were busy shooting a man 15 times (all in the legs!) when they mistook him for a car thief in his own driveway. When authorities were asked for comment, they gave the most dickish one imaginable:
"The tragedy of this is the noncompliance to the directions of law enforcement officers."
Nice! Anyway, chalk it up to luck that nobody was killed in either of these incidents, and that's even more true in the most recent display of police shooting without completely thinking things through. This time, the exchange was caught on video:
It's hard to tell immediately what's so horrible about what transpired there. After all, the woman in the driver's seat wasn't complying, and her teenage kid did jump out of the car and try to join the fight. Maybe shooting is overkill in that situation, but it's not completely impossible to understand. That is until you take into account that there were children ranging in age from 6 to 18 in the back of that minivan, of course. "The back" meaning "the exact same area where the cop circled below is blindly firing bullets":
It takes a village to kill a child.
Don't worry -- when the dust settled, it turned out the police had good reason to take such drastic action. There were indeed some laws being broken by that out-of-control driver -- a search of the minivan later turned up two marijuana pipes.
#1. They Sometimes (Maybe) Murder People
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Have you ever seen the flashing lights of a patrol car in your rearview mirror on a dark night and thought, "How in the hell do I know that's really a cop?" That's a perfectly valid question that I don't think anyone has a good answer for, but sometimes it doesn't even matter, because it's not the fake police you have to worry about, it's the real ones.
They look like this!
Take the case of Craig Peyer, for example. He was a California highway patrolman who, after a night spent pulling women over and attempting to use his authority as a police officer to woo them into dating him, finally snapped and killed 20-year-old Cara Knott when she spurned his advances and threatened to report him.
A few days after the incident, Peyer was filmed during a ride-along for a news segment about the importance of being careful who you stop for on the highway, as if the story wasn't unsettling enough already.
If you're looking for a truly creepy tale of possible police murder, though, look no further than the curious case of Florida Sheriff's Deputy Steve Calkins.
He was the last person seen with a man named Terrance Williams when, according to witnesses, he pulled the man over, put him in the back of his squad car, drove away from the scene, and then returned to move Williams' Cadillac to the street, where it could be towed.
Terrance Williams was never seen again. Despite several eyewitness accounts and recordings of Calkins calling to have the car towed, in a taped phone call a few days later he claimed he didn't remember any of it. When that was proven to be an obvious lie, he changed his story and said he drove Williams to a Circle K gas station and dropped him off.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
In all fairness, a trip to Circle K is capable of killing a man too.
If that sounds plausible, it probably won't when you realize that, just a few weeks earlier, another man named Felipe Santos had gone missing, also after last being seen getting put into the back of Calkins' cruiser. When he was questioned in connection with the man's disappearance, Steve Calkins claimed that last time he saw Felipe Santos was when he dropped him off at Circle K, the exact same story he would eventually tell about Terrance Williams.
And that's where things get really weird. In the Santos case, the incident Calkins responded to was a minor traffic accident. At the scene, it was revealed that Santos was driving without a license. The other driver in the accident remembers Calkins expressing serious anger over people who decide to drive even though the law says they can't.
Care to guess what Williams was guilty of at the time he was pulled over? That's right, driving without a license.
Everything pictured here could potentially save your life in Florida.
Did Sheriff's Deputy Steve Calkins go on a killing spree over people driving without a license? It sure as shit seems that way, so much so that he eventually lost his job over the matter. Notice how I didn't say he's in prison, though? Not only has Calkins never been charged with a crime in either case, but he's actually filed suit to try to get his job back. So, he's either innocent and unspeakably unlucky, or a total sociopath. My guess is the latter, but with 10 years having now passed in the case, it's looking like we'll probably never know for sure.