In the bustling city of St. Paul, Minnesota, the crowds of people are rushing to and fro, starting the day early in the morning. Sidewalks fill with commuters coming into the city, destined for their places of employment, others are merely on one of many stops en route through the city via buses. On this ordinary day, during a typical morning, one young man had exited his first bus and was walking the one city block to catch his next bus to get to his final destination. But during the course of that short walk, he was approached by another young man who had asked him for a cigarette. Without breaking stride, he reached into his pocket and produced one and handed it over. Then, without deeper thought, continued on his way until…..
A police officer that witnessed the transaction summoned him back to the scene of the crime.
The officer and the other half of the criminal duo stood waiting. Unbeknownst to my son was the fact that this cigarette requester was a minor! He gave a minor a regulated substance. Provided this underage person with tobacco products! Now, under the circumstances, I could understand the law is the law and justice must be dealt swiftly. How else can the perpetrators learn their lesson, if not by showing them the error of their ways and stop their wayward path to becoming a boil on the buttocks of society? Issue that ticket, give a stern warning, and move on. Simple, but not.
We don’t know if this is part of a major crime ring. This could be the tip of the iceberg in something bigger. Sure, from the outside it appears that some passerby bummed a cigarette from an unsuspecting commuter in the big city, but let’s not draw any conclusions. This just may be the fringes of a large crime family operation! Maybe the beginnings of a drug cartel!
But who are we kidding. As I said before, it was a passerby asking for a smoke from one of thousands of commuters. Yes, a ticketing offense. The part that has me wondering is why this small act warranted an actual trip to the jail house for the two ‘actors’ in the event. Are you really going to pull an officer off the streets during the morning rush hour in down town just to haul in these two collaborators of crime? Two, who got nothing more than the ticket that could have been written right there on the street! I sure hope they did a full and proper investigation here. Maybe run the fingerprints through the system, have CSI analyze the clothing, recreate the crime with multi-dimensional computer imaging, and have the district attorney interview everyone on the streets.
Come on common sense! There isn’t more to this act that needs pointing out.
I think about how various government levels are under deep scrutiny to tighten the budget belts, cut spending, and operate with less. In fact, the police chief of St. Paul stated, not too long ago, that they are trimming 2.2 million dollars from their budget.
Okay. Good to know that they are eliminating waste. But common sense would show you that writing a ticket and getting back to fighting drugs, gangs, robbers, and prostitution is a much better use of the tax funds your department receives. Trim the waste, not the sense. Don’t get me wrong, now. I am a huge supporter of our peace officers and all involved in fighting crime. I actually wish they had more investigators, officers, and better equipment so they can do their jobs more efficiently and safely. I understand what they face out on the streets everyday and think that the criminal justice system needs to get tougher. But, let’s measure some reality in with our system here. The officer wasn’t dealing with punk gang members. In fact, my son was texting while riding in the back of the squad car on his way to jail! He had his phone and pocket contents still with him! Even in the holding cell, he still had his phone.
Now he wasn’t in for very long. Took his ticket and left the jail a free man. Even more fortunate for him was that he still got to work on time, he just had to find a ride. The overall event has a touch of comedy to it.
But, as I told my wayward son…keep up that perceived criminal mindset and activities, and before you know it, you are on America’s Most Wanted! Don’t worry, folks….I’ll keep my eye on him.