Cops tend to be so darn authoritative that the only chance we get to laugh at them is usually in The Naked Gun films (or if it's the weekend, during PCP fits from the back of a squad car). But you may be shocked to learn that not all police officers are the shining pillars of their communities either. Right now, there are entire departments that make the cast of Reno 911! look like the Justice League.
#4. St. Louis Police Stop Looking at Fingerprints, Start Arresting the Wrong People
Fingerprints are like anuses in that no two are the same and cops love checking them for clues. Fingerprinting suspects is as basic as police work gets -- unless you're the police in St. Louis, Missouri, who apparently prefer a more lax "let's just arrest whoever" approach. Take Shannon McNeal, who was arrested for having the same name as another woman who's 14 years younger than her ... and also dead. Even though her fingerprints didn't match, McNeal was thrown in jail and ended up paying $15,000 in fees.
"We're not ruling out reincarnation."
Pissed off yet? The good people of St. Louis are, because McNeal's arrest is just one of 100 found cases (so far) of wrongful arrests in the city that included multiple arrests of the same person, a 211-day wrongful incarceration, and 15 people locked up when the real suspects were already in jail -- all of which were completely preventable by a simple process called "looking at their fingerprints." The department's reaction? It's the arrestees' fault for being in the system in the first place. And having fingers, probably.
#3. Multiple Cops Are Caught Speeding ... to Get to Lunch
We've all seen a cop car jet past us with no sirens and assumed they had some reason for doing it, probably a serial-killer-related one. Or, you know, they were just hungry. Among the many, many cases of police officers recently caught speeding for no good reason are some like the North Carolina Highway Patrol officer clocked going at 80 mph ... only to pull up at a Dunkin' Donuts like some kind of ridiculous cartoon stereotype.
"They just got their eggnog-flavored stuff in. Let's roll!"
But that's nothing compared to Officer James Bell of the Sorrento Police Department in Louisiana, whose GPS revealed 737 instances of speeding ... since July. That's an average of 11 pedal-stomping fly-bys per day, or perhaps just one really fun week. Along with his insane record, Bell is being sued for an accident in which he went 100 mph into a civilian vehicle. And he's still on duty, due to the department being short on manpower. (Maybe the department's rationale is that if he goes really fast, they can pretend he's actually several officers.)
#2. Cops Keep Having Their Guns Stolen, or Losing Them
Most people have taken something from their place of work at some point, be it a stapler, or a hamburger they were supposed to throw out, or a semi-automatic rifle. Or several. Yep, in Washington, D.C., alone, the cops have managed to lose at least a few hundred weapons -- mostly from cops taking them home, even after retirement.
"What? They were just sitting around."
But hey, at least police guns aren't ending up in the hands of criminals, right? Sorry, that's also happening: In Cincinnati, the local news has uncovered reports showing multiple instances of police just flat out leaving their guns unlocked in their homes or, more often, their cars -- only to have that shit snatched like a badly flaunted iPad. One officer lost a shotgun that was just sitting in his personal non-cop car, while another misplaced a fucking AR-15 that was laying in his back seat because he "planned to put it in the trunk" but, shucks, just didn't get around to it. He was suspended for half a day and presumably given a bazooka.
#1. New Mexico Police Dog Is on a "Brutally Cavity Searching Innocent People" Kick
For one New Mexico citizen, the night started like any other, with a quiet trip to Walmart and a routine traffic stop. Two rectal exams, three forced-defecation searches, three enemas, one colonoscopy, and 14 hours later, things were starting to get a little weird. Apparently it was decided that there was something hiding in the gentleman's bum because he "appeared to be clenching his buttocks," a completely unheard of reaction when confronted by angry cops. No butt-drugs were found, but that didn't stop the cops from going full-blown Deliverance on him.
Yury Minaev/iStock/Getty Images
"I lost my ring on the first one and we've been looking for it since."
The man filed a lawsuit, but it turns out this is the second time this has happened, as another man was stopped, got extensively bum-searched, and left the cops empty handed. In both stops, the police were using a drug dog named Leo ... who is "wrong pretty often" and whose certification expired years ago. We take some solace in the fact that humans don't have a monopoly on the "irresponsible asshole cop" category.