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March 14, 2012

Manning Up


police interregoation.jpg

Manning Up

by jim richmond

 They all do it: First 48, COPS, America's Most Wanted, Criminal Intent, Nothing Personal, Law and Order.

You name the cops show on cable, and they do it.

The hidden camera in the police interrogation room rolls, and we see the alleged, unindicted, seemingly unmirandized perp spill his guts.

On these shows at least, 70 percent of the time it’s white trash from the trailer park or black dude from the hood. Street smart, but otherwise dumb as a rock.

The two cops doing the interview are working on him.

They’ve got him a nice cup of coffee with creamer and a stir stick, a Coke, maybe even a Burger King with large fries.

They’ve moved their chairs so close to him, if they cough he gets pneumonia.

One plays good cop.  Nice. Smiles a lot. Considerate.  “Got enough coffee?”  “Need Another Coke?,” he asks, sometimes patting the perp friendly-like on one arm.

The other cop is bad ass, pushy, disdainful. “YOU DID IT MOTHERFUC*ER, YOU DID IT!,” he screams.

They may not have all the goods.  But they want the perp to think they do.

Then bad cop leaves. 

And good cop goes for coup de grace.

“It’s time to man up,” he says thoughtfully.  “We know what happened. We got ALL the facts.

“This is your LAST time to tell YOUR version of what went down. Your mama would want you to be truthful.  You can clear you soul and your conscience.

“You just made a mistake, right? You aint a bad person.  I know that.  We know that. Do the right thing. It’ll look good for you in court.”

So alleged perp breaks, confesses.  Thinks it's all just too much to handle.

Good cop is sympathetic, encouraging, reeling him in like a 12-pound bass on an 8-pound test line.

“Be right back,” he says, walking out, twisting the door lock behind him.

The perp starts sobbing for his mamma -- like he might of never sobbed for the young kid or the old lady he allegedly banged.

And the good cop, bad cop?

They stand in the hallway.  Laugh.  Exchange high fives.

‘Stupid, dumb, BLEEP-ER,’ one says.

No sympathy for the devil here:  Do the crime, serve the time.

But sometimes these taped interviews leave a very bad taste in the viewer's mind and eye.

Is this what justice is all about?

These TV gotcha stories hold lots of lessons.

An ugly one:

Even if you went to Harvard, drive a Beemer and aint sinned since Sunday school..... once in that interview room with good cop/bad cop, keep your lips tight, lawyer up.

Manning up leads to going down.

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