They tell us that “the law is the law.” If a cop spots you texting while driving, and if that’s something that’s illegal in your state, you get pulled over and you’re given a ticket. They’ll tell you it’s irresponsible and could cause a car accident. It’s true. It is terribly irresponsible and unsafe.
But police do it all the time. They’ll justify it by saying they’re responding to “official police business.” So, these paragons of moral and legal uprightness; these models of vehicular safety can endanger everyone else on the road by their texting or responding to emails, because whatever they’re texting or emailing simply can’t wait. It’s worth killing someone over.
An L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy struck and killed a cyclist while the cop was busy answering an email and driving at the same time. The cyclist’s family pressed charges against the cop and the police department, but the District Attorney decided that the cop didn’t do anything wrong. The Los Angeles Daily News reported:
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against a sheriff’s deputy who was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer when he fatally struck cyclist Milton Olin Jr. in Calabasas in December, officials announced Wednesday.
Olin, a prominent entertainment attorney, was riding his bicycle in the 22400 block of Mulholland Highway when he was struck by L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Wood’s patrol car in the bicycle lane on the afternoon of Dec. 8. The former A&M Records and Napster executive reportedly landed on the windshield and shattered the glass before rolling off the patrol car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wood, a 16-year department veteran, was returning from a fire call at Calabasas High School at the time of the collision.
“Wood entered the bicycle lane as a result of inattention caused by typing into his (Mobile Digital Computer),” according to the declination letter prepared by the Justice System Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office and released Wednesday. “He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed. Since Wood was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response, under Vehicle Code section 23123.5, he acted lawfully.”
I’m not saying that this email of his wasn’t important, but it sounded like it could’ve waited at least until the cop came to a stop. This is why texting, responding to emails, surfing the net, etc. while driving is dangerous. People die. Like this cyclist. “The law is the law,” right? If it had been anyone else, that person would have been promptly charged with at least negligent homicide. These days, cops can get away with murder. Literally.