5 Absurdly Petty Abuses Of Power By The Cops


Our personal relationship with the police at the moment is ... complicated. Well, that's how we put it. They say "Wanted," but that feels a little needy. Our collective cultural relationship with the police is also a little strained. It's clear that some officers view their badges as a license to do whatever they want to whoever they want. Like how ...

A Indianapolis Cop Declared War On McDonald's Over A Sandwich

Being a police officer is hard work, what with all the paperwork that needs to be completed, the arrests that need to be made, the warrants that need to be signed, the dogs that need to be shot, the "You're a loose cannon" speeches that need to be made, the rookies who need to be hazed, and of course, the people who need to be shot (in the process of shooting a dog).

5 Absurdly Petty Abuses Of Power By The Cops
We didn't make a donut joke. Progress!

So when "DJ," an officer with the Marion County Sheriff's Office in Indianapolis, sat down to enjoy a sandwich which he'd bought earlier that day at McDonald's, he was understandably put off to find that someone had already taken a bite out of it. As a seasoned detective, "DJ" immediately deduced that the perp was definitely a McDonald's employee -- probably a cop-hater affiliated with that "antifa" group he'd heard so much about. He marched back to the store and demanded that the person responsible be found and fired, and back at the station, his captain launched a full-scale investigation.

We're sure everyone in town whose stolen car didn't merit a second thought was pleased to know that the police would spare no expense for that 1/16th of a McChicken.

However, it turned out that DJ hadn't been the victim of the Hamburglar ... because he was the Hamburglar. He "took a bite the sandwich upon starting his shift, then placed it in the refrigerator," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "He returned nearly seven hours later, having forgotten that he had previously bitten the sandwich wrongly concluded that a restaurant employee had tampered with his food because he is a law enforcement officer." Ace detective work, DJ. At this rate, you'll make mall security guard in no time.

Related: 5 Ridiculous Police Scandals (That Keep Happening)

Colorado Cops Wrecked A House To Arrest A Petty Criminal

On June 3, 2015, Leo Lech watched in horror as police surrounded his home in Greenwood Village. Several hours prior, a local criminal (wanted for crimes) had barricaded himself inside the property, and although the home was empty at the time of this impromptu siege, it was reported that the perp had a gun. Meaning that soon enough, the house's exterior was crawling with heavily armed police and enough firepower to level the entire building. Which, by the end of the siege, they had.

After negotiations with the dangerous master criminal failed, the police resorted to assaulting the building, which involved firing tear gas grenades through the windows, blowing out the walls with explosives, driving an armored truck through the front door, and (probably) kicking over a vase while dragging the guy out. They got their guy, sure, but at what cost? $400,000, to be precise.

That's how much it cost Lech to rebuild his property after Waco II: Suburban Warfare. When he sued the city for damages, they (two years later) found that actually, the police were well within their rights to destroy his everything, because they'd done so in the process of enforcing the law. For being a good sport, though, they offered Lech $5,000 as a consolation prize for helping out. But still, that's one bad guy off the streets. Yep, one fewer shoplifter who'd never steal a few shirts and a belt ever again.

Related: 5 Insane Police Forces That Have Zero Right To Arrest You

A Florida Cop Used A Police Database To Score Dates

It's gotta be easy to get dates when you're a cop, right? There's the uniform, the whole "power" thing, and the fact that you share a career choice with iconic characters like Dirty Harry, Martin Riggs, and Robo. But the job can also mean long hours, night shifts, and stress. Maybe dating is kind of a wash after all. The exception being Leonel Marines of the Bradenton Police Department in Florida, who had an extremely active romantic life. The only problem? He got there by being a major creep.

Marines used his department's resources to hunt down information on women he fancied, and then turned up at their homes on "official" business, only to proposition them for dates and sex after he wrapped up his fake investigations. According to an internal audit by Bradenton PD, Marines made "several hundred questionable database queries of women" on the department's vehicle information database. The information he gleaned from these searches was then used in a variety of ways, including "social media , cold telephone calls, and visits to their homes under the guise of being there for police business."

5 Absurdly Petty Abuses Of Power By The Cops
But at least they could say no. We're sure the guy who used police power to trick women into dates was in no way difficult to turn down.

And this wasn't the first time Marines had been caught doing this kind of thing. In 2012, he was disciplined by the department for "misusing criminal justice information" after he used the same database to stalk a woman over the span of several days. When we say that he was "disciplined," we mean that he was suspended for three days without pay. Probably used the long weekend for some good quality stalking.

This time, though, Marines wasn't so lucky. He was put on administrative leave and resigned (the police version of seppuku), while the FBI announced that they were leading a "very active and open criminal investigation" into his activities. It is rarely good when the FBI announces an interest in your dating life.

Related: 7 Insane Police Tactics That'd Be Funny If They Weren't Real

Two Georgia Cops Used A Coin Toss App To Arrest Someone

On July 13, 2018, Sarah Webb was driving to work when she was pulled over for speeding and reckless driving by two police officers, Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson. But Webb had gotten lucky. The officers weren't carrying any tickets, and more importantly, their squad car wasn't equipped with any speed detection equipment, meaning they had zero evidence against her. She was practically free to go. That is, until Brown and Wilson pulled out a smartphone and flipped on it using a coin toss app. "It" being Webb's freedom.

The kicker? The coin landed on the side which meant Webb should've walked, but Brown and Wilson reneged and arrested her nonetheless. If you can't trust crooked cops to follow the rules of their own illicit wager, who can you trust?

Fortunately, the prosecutor disagreed with this "appalling" trial by app and dismissed all charges against Webb. Brown and Wilson were placed on administrative leave (with pay) pending an investigation, which hopefully won't take long, considering these clowns were recording themselves the entire time.

Related: 4 Reasons The Police Are Suddenly Terrifying

A British Cop Ordered Porn While Guarding A Dead Child

What's the worst place you've ever gotten horny? Whatever your answer, it's probably not going to be as bad as PC Avi Maharaj's. An officer for the Metropolitan Police in the UK, in February 2018, he was called to the scene of a tragedy: the death of a 14-year-old by suicide. As the boy's parents understandably didn't want to stick around, Maharaj was left to guard the house until the local undertaker could attend the scene. With little to do besides be a decent human being, Maharaj took it upon himself to access the family's cable package and download four porn movies, which he also let be charged to the grieving family.

When the family later discovered the purchases, they quickly figured that this wasn't the work of their son's horny ghost and complained to the police department. At first Maharaj denied being at the property at the time the purchases were made, and presented the scene's attendance logs as proof that he'd left hours beforehand. Upon closer inspection, it turned out he falsified said logs. In September 2019, Maharaj was given a 12-month prison sentence for fraud. Maybe watch some porn in honor of his fate.

Adam Wears is (allegedly) a comedy writer. Want to read other articles he's written for Cracked? Click here! Want to follow him on Twitter? Click here! Want to check out his website? Click here!

For more, check out Why The Cops Won't Help You When You're Getting Stabbed:

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