Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Police Incompetence & Indifference

I find it funny that the US likes to pat itself on the back as a "freedom loving" country, but they allow their police extraordinary powers without reasonable restraint. The following is a sad tale of how owners of a flight school get apprehended for a "stolen" plane when in fact the plane was legitimate. What the government does is recycle serial numbers on planes. So the serial number of an old 1968 Cessna that had been stolen was given to a new 2009 Cessna. But the government didn't bother to update its database. So this couple was arrested at gunpoint for a "crime" they didn't commit. The only "crime" was one of incompetence by the various police authorities in the US. And to top things off, this isn't the first time police "apprehended" this plane mistakenly. They arrested some other poor sucker a year and a half before and still hadn't bothered to update their databases to stop making this arrests of innocent people:

I find John King's advice to be inadequate. He says "If this happens to you just comply with the police officers because you are at risk of getting shot, and work it out later." Sure. But from what he says, the police authorities have shown no interest or willingness in "working it out later". In fact, he points out that this very same mistake had happened once before on this very same plane. So, his "advice" in practical terms to his fellow Americans is "just let the authorities threaten you and just put up with it". So much for "freedom loving" Americans. I find it funny that supposedly the Americans fought a revolutionary war with Britain because they were outraged over the forced quartering of the King's troops by heavy handed military/government officials. It is interesting to see that modern Americans just "put up with" police threatening innocent people and making that mistake over and over again.

More detail can be found in an article on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association web site.

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