Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006

by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
Syracuse, Indiana

SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- Leave it to the British. With the exception of a = few soccer hooligans and punk rockers, the British are well-known for their=

politeness and civility. Politicians and royalty are naturally polite, and= the citizens are world-renowned for their courtesy. And as I reported seve= ral months ago, the trainees at the British Royal Navy's premier gunnery sc= hool are no longer firing live ammunition, they're shouting "bang" into a m= icrophone for their commanding officer to hear.

Even the British police officers are expected to be polite and cour= teous, even when kicking down someone's door and searching a home for drugs= .

At least that's what one unnamed British police officer may find ou= t. According to a Reuters story, the British police are conducting their ow= n internal (no pun intended) investigation after a family complained that a= police officer broke wind during a drug raid in their home and failed t= o apologize! (I also checked the LondonDaily Mail's Website (www.thisis= london.co.uk), hoping to find the story under the "Breaking News" section, = but the Fates did not smile on me today).

Scotland Yard confirmed that the Department of Professional Standar= ds was looking into a charge that a male officer farted in the family's hal= lway, but they did not confirm whether the family was foundto have drugs or= not.

"We can confirm that the department is investigation anincivil= ity charge during the search of a home under the Misuse of Drugsact," a Sco= tland Yard spokesperson told Reuters. I can just imagine howthat went:

Police Officer #1: Alright, everyone! Get on your feet and putyou= r hands behind your head. We're looking for drugs.

Family Member #1: Uh, we don't have any drugs here.

Family Member #2: Uh yeah, there's no drugs here.

Police Officer #2: Oh yeah? Then what are those pills on thetable= , and those bags of white powder by the sofa?

Family Member #2: Umm. . . those are vitamins, and that whitestuf= f is baby powder.

Unnamed Police Officer: (thtptpthptpthp)

Family Member #1: Oh jeez, that's awful! Who did that?! Alright,I= 'll admit that we've got drugs here and we should be in prison for along ti= me, but someone needs to apologize for that awful smell. Unnamed Police Officer: ... .

Family Member #1: I'm serious. I want everyone's badge number, be= cause I'm writing to your superior officer. It's one thing for us to break = all sorts of laws by selling dangerous narcotics to the British people. But= to have someone break wind in my house and then not apologize? Well, that'= s just going too far!

According to a letter from Scotland Yard, which was reprinted in th= e London Daily Mail this past Wednesday, "An allegation has been received f= rom a person in the house that one of the male officers broke wind and did = not apologize to the family for his action. . . the complainant felt it was= rude and unprofessional."

Now let me get this straight. The people in question won't complain= that their house was raided for alleged drug misuse. They won't fuss about= civil liberties and a right to privacy. They won't gripe that family membe= rs may have been carted away by the police. They won't even raise an eyebro= w that one or more family members could be in prison for several years.

But they'll fire off an angry letter to Scotland Yard because a male po= lice officer, while risking his life and safety to make London's streets sa= fe, squeaks one out and doesn't mumble an "excuse me"for it? Does anyone el= se think this is stupid?

Apparently the matter won't drop there, either. If the anonymous officer= is found, he could actually be disciplined for his indiscretion.

"Police did not confirm what discipline the officer might receive if fou= nd guilty of breaking wind," the Reuters article said.

Discipline? That's adult talk for "punishment." In other words, the guy = could get in trouble for not apologizing after farting. It's not like the g= uy beat up a suspect or planted evidence. His only offense is that he didn'= t offer a mea culpa after emitting a natural bodily function.

What are they going to do, fire him? Reduce his rank? Put him on traffi= c duty? Do you mean the guy could have a blot on his record that will follo= w him around for the rest of his professional career just because he cut on= e in someone's house and didn't say "Oops, beg your pardon"?

And how is someone "found guilty" of flatulence? Is there going to = be a criminal investigation with lawyers, barristers, and a judge wearing a= powdered wig? If a person could be found guilty of breaking wind, our enti= re country would be in jail, and anyone on who ever tried the Cabbage Soup = Diet for two weeks would be facing the death penalty.

While I'm all for politeness and civility from anyone, including po= lice officers, I think it's going a little too far to expect politeness at = this level when the authorities are searching my house because I've violate= d a number of state and federal laws.

What's next? Police officers asking permission of armed suspects to shoo= t them?

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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