Friday, June 15, 2007

But it's all in a good cause

What do you do if you're a cop with a demanding arrest quota to meet and a burning desire to rid the roads of those elusive intoxicated drivers? Well, you could just randomly bust drivers who tick you off, claim that they're drunk even if they ace field sobriety tests, and shuffle them off to jail.

And you could do that in dozens of cases.

Daniel Brock won high praise for jailing impaired motorists. Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored him. So did his bosses.

But one of Hillsborough County's most aggressive DUI deputies may have wrongly sent dozens of people to jail, the Sheriff's Office acknowledged Thursday.

The agency fired Brock on May 24.

In one year, Brock arrested 58 people whose blood-alcohol content was below 0.08, the level at which state law presumes a driver is impaired, an internal affairs audit showed. ...

In 43 of those 58 cases, motorists demonstrated no visible impairment behind the wheel, according to an internal affairs report made public Thursday. In 41 arrests, Brock also failed to make a case with urine samples, the report states.

Brock apparently became a joke around the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office because of the shoddiness of his arrests and his late and incomplete arrest reports. But, somehow, this guy still stayed in uniform through years of abusing his power.

Of course, the former officer is unapologetic, saying he'd do it all again. That attitude is unlikely to change so long as he continues to win the support of prohibitionist cranks like the folks at Mothers Against Drunk Driving. About Brock, a MADD spokeswoman said, "We always felt he was a good officer."

Well, he was their kind of officer anyway--the kind who puts the crusade against demon rum above all other concerns.

You have to wonder about the culture of a police department that tolerates somebody like Brock for as long as the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office did. What are the other deputies like?

Hat tip to Radley Balko for pointing to this story.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see one of the members of MADD wrongly thrown in jail for a crime they never committed. We'd see how sympathetic they are then, wouldn't we?

Just another case of "it ain't me they're coming for, so I don't give a damn". Or perhaps "you've got to break a few eggs to make an omelette".

What a moronic, immature, absurd position to take.

June 18, 2007 9:10 AM  

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