Yesterday, Glenn shared the story of an Iowa family whose home was raided by police after being suspected of credit card fraud. While the police did have a warrant to search the home for stolen goods, nothing was found and surveillance video shows the police used force entry to enter the home. The incident has led many to question if such extreme police action was necessary. On radio this morning, Glenn discussed another bizarre story, this time out of California, involving a firefighter being handcuffed after responding to a serious car accident.
“Number one story on The Blaze today, and it is causing quite honestly some tension here in the studio,” Glenn said. “The story is about this firefighter that parked his fire truck at the scene of a really nasty accident.”
While responding to a Tuesday night rollover accident in Chula Vista, Calif., a police officer and firefighter got into a dispute over where the fire engine should park. It ended with the uniformed firefighter in handcuffs.
The California Highway Patrol officer reportedly ordered the firefighter, identified as Jacob Gregoir, to move the fire engine off the center divide or he would be arrested. As he worked the scene and checked the overturned car for more victims, he reportedly told the unidentified officer that he would have to check with his captain.
That’s when the officer decided to detain the firefighter instead.
According to UT San Diego, Gregoir — a fire service veteran of more than 12 years — parked the truck behind an ambulance to provide protection to the emergency responders from oncoming traffic. This is apparently a standard safety procedure fire crews are taught.
The firefighter was reportedly put in the back of a CHP cruiser and detained for about half an hour before being released.
While Glenn feared this story was yet another example of growing police authority, Pat and Stu were less sure.
“I have a real problem with this,” Glenn said. “I think this is yet another sign our police are going dark.”
“It’s too general a statement,” Pat interjected. “It’s just way too general a statement.”
“You keep looking for these stories,” Stu added. “Well, in any group of 794,000, you are going to have some officers that are dark. Of course you are correct. We are looking at individual incidents. I think when you talk about the militarization, there’s a larger issue at play there I think you can talk about.”
Stu warned of the dangers of generalizing all police officers as bad or all police officers as good. Look no further than the antics of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson when it comes to police relations in the black community to see the problems that arise from oversimplifying a particular incident.
“I know well enough to know you aren’t saying cops are bad, but it’s the same type of case made a career out of by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson,” Stu said. “People get in this sort of generalization mode.”
Glenn was willing to concede that with the good comes the bad, but he was unwilling to relent on his belief the pattern is not trending in a positive direction.
“We’ve always had good cops and bad cops,” Glenn said. “I always said all cops aren’t good. Out of that pool, you are going to have bad people. So not everybody is good, but the general direction of our cops is good, and still is good, always has been good… but you are also seeing the militarization of our police force.”
“What changed in the American people’s psyche was at the Boston bombing when we saw, ‘Everyone stay in your house.’ And then the SWAT teams and the armored vehicles [rolled through],” he continued. “You have all of these small towns, big towns getting these military vehicles… Do you know you can buy a military helicopter for some of these towns for like $60,000… So you combine the cops overstepping the Constitution and their bounds… [with] the militarization of our police force and you have a very bad combination. How does that end?”