December 08, 2006

I Saw Red

Warrant was one of those all too numerous big hair metal bands that didn't have anything in particular going for them (well aside from a bunch of teen age girls thinking they were too cute). But every now & then they'd do something interesting. The song I Saw Red was one of them. It's a cute power ballad about a man who's very much in love with a lady but then catches her in the act of cheating on him. The verses speak of his great love & admiration of her, the chorus of his shock when he discovers the betrayal. But it's done nicely & it is kinda catchy so it only makes you cringe slightly when the last lines of the chorus hit you. I've never walked in on anyone that was cheating on me but I have found out a time or two about infidelity going on (which has made me very careful about who I do commit to & probably whom I trust in general). Still I can imagine what the situation would be like & that makes the song a little bit better than it would have been. Here's the vid & here are the lyrics.

A cop in Florida was arrested for assaulting the man his wife was having an affair with.

It's more complex than that though:

"When Henry Lee returned home from work late Tuesday and spied his wife kissing another man, authorities said the Fernandina Beach police officer broke down the door, first pulling his baton and then a gun on the other man before jolting him twice with a Taser.
Wilson, a detention deputy with the Sheriff's Office since July 2003, told deputies he had been invited to Lee's house in Hilliard to meet a woman. Wilson went, but the other woman never showed up.
He said Lee's wife, Jackeline Lee, 24, began to flirt with him, first hitting him with a pillow then kissing him and straddling his lap, according to accounts given to Sheriff's Office investigators.
Lee had been watching from outside, looking through a window after returning home from a Fernandina Beach High School basketball game where he was on duty as the school's resource officer.
It was when a child in the house woke up and was taken to the bathroom by Jackeline Lee that authorities said her husband broke through the door, swinging the baton. Then he pulled his gun and the Taser.
Wilson said he begged not to be shot. Lee fired the Taser then pulled the Taser trigger twice to deliver 50,000-volt shocks to probes stuck in Wilson's arm. Lee told Wilson to leave.
During the altercation, Lee pulled his wife's hair when she tried to intervene, according to the report.
Seagraves said after Wilson reported the altercation, deputies went to Lee's home in Hilliard and made the arrest.
Lee, who has been with the police department more than 10 years, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and domestic battery.
Seagraves and Hurley said both officers could lose their jobs."

I really can understand why the cop in question did what he did, but understanding someone's motivation for an act does not excuse that act.

The closest I've come to such a situation was a long time ago, back in the days before I knew how to recognize the potential for that unfortunate malady known as "stripper drama". A very good friend of mine had been messing around with a girl I had been seeing on & off for a few years. This was one of those "on" stages so after conning a confession out of her (which I must admit was pretty slick on my part if I do type so myself*) I went over to my pal's house & had a very long chat with him about friendship & trust & such. I never laid a hand on him & in fact made it a point to go in unarmed so he wouldn't be too worried about his safety. He was basically a decent fellow that I'd known since I was a young teenager & the discussion we had made him feel much worse than any physical assault would have. We ended up not speaking for a few years & of course the relationship with the girl went downhill from there, but now the pal & I do talk every now & then. I never even contemplated using violence against either of them though.

In any case I understand the emotions the cop must have been feeling but that does not excuse his behavior. I could be more sympathetic if he had walked into his house & evicted the fellow with the minimum amount of force necessary to do so but the multiple Taser hits reflect retribution. Pulling his firearm & pulling his wife's hair were also big mistakes on his part. From what I understand he's lost his badge & police I.D. in addition to the charges filed against him. & the other officer involved has also lost his badge & police I.D. which under the circumstances seems a fair decision, at least until the details can be sorted out to determine if there are grounds for dismissal.

But it's nice to see the local police department taking this seriously & not sweeping everything under the rug.

* The confession came as a result of a phone call. I had called her to see how she was doing & something in her voice sounded odd so I played a hunch. I told her that the pal & I had talked & I knew what was going on & that I'd appreciate it if she'd stop BS'ing & just tell me her side of things. She was shocked & started babbling for a moment then told me her version of the chain of events from the night before. After I got all the details I thought I was going to get I told her I had to run, but before I hung up I mentioned that the pal & I had not talked for a few weeks. I think that got to her more than being on the verge of losing our relationship, which should have told me something about my romantic choices back then, but we all have to learn somehow.

Posted by Publicola at December 8, 2006 06:58 AM | TrackBack

I think the telling thing is this story is that when he chose to torture the guy, he went for his Taser, not his baton. Anyone who has any doubts that Tasers are used more by police for torture than subduing violent criminals should think long and hard about this one.

When this guy was out of control and just short of murdering this guy and wanted the best way to hurt him the most, he didn't beat him -- he tasered him.

Posted by: Phelps at December 8, 2006 11:33 AM
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