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Old March 14, 2012, 02:57 PM   #26
Stooge
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I think it's funny when people sue public services like this, and don't care where the money actually comes from.
Glad I'm entertaining you.

Now, lets take an actual case that happened not long ago. Cops go to carry out a drug raid. They bust down the front door, run in screaming. They pull people out of bed and throw them on the ground at gun point. Ooops, wrong house. The drug house is next door. In the mean time, the excitement and shock are too much for grandma. Her heart quits. Paramedics arrive but are unable to revive grandma. Are you suggesting the family should simply accept "Ooops, sorry"?
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Old March 14, 2012, 03:04 PM   #27
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Yes, the money would ultimately come from the public's own funds (or their insurance). However, the police do work on behalf of the people as a whole... it is not unreasonable to expect that the government pays for the screwups. If anything, it would cause the higher ups to take a very strong interest in the proper use of such tactics. If getting it wrong was an immediate million dollar hit to the budget, I guarantee you they'd triple check everything. Despite the best of intentions (hopefully, they're the best of intentions), the chance of causing harm or pain to innocent people has thus far not been enough to cause police agencies to review the use of these tactics.
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Old March 14, 2012, 03:15 PM   #28
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Read this one. http://www.svherald.com/content/news...ndar%2F2012-02
Note the date. Yes, they did open the door, to a deliberate impersonation.
I am 100% for making sure the POLICE have EXACTLY the right address and location for their "dynamic entry", period. I have absolutely zero reason to fear any police raid, as I am not a criminal nor involved in criminal activities, so I would have to assume anyone slamming down my door in the wee hours is NOT law enforcement, but an attempted home invasion. You want to serve a lawful warrant on me or my dwelling? Come up to the front door in uniform, knock, present your warrant specifying the items and areas to be searched per 4A, and in you will come - I'll hold the door for ya. Heck, I'll make coffee!
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:22 PM   #29
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You want to serve a lawful warrant on me or my dwelling? Come up to the front door in uniform, knock, present your warrant specifying the items and areas to be searched per 4A, and in you will come - I'll hold the door for ya. Heck, I'll make coffee!
I was on a Narcotics Raid Team for about 5 years. Based on that, I reached the conclusion that the above was exactly how to run a Warrant. We never went to the wrong house but it was really rare for the Investigators to have things right like: the layout of the property, the location of any dope, the amount of dope or even if the house had a front door or not. I remember being told that the dope would get flushed if we didn't get in fast, if it’s such a small amount then let'm flush it. Anyway, I got out of that Team after they took us to a house where after 3 months of surveillance they knew that 'the garage is full of guns' and 'we'll kick in the front door'. We found one old .22 rifle under a bed and the front door had been boarded up for years.
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Old March 15, 2012, 01:47 PM   #30
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On the lawsuit/recovery train of thought: How does it usually work out (pay off) when one officer mistakenly shoots or otherwise injures a fellow officer? I would think this type of officer error would require financial compensation of the victim.

OK now, should it really make a difference whether it is another officer or an uninvolved citizen who is injured?

I think the two should be treated very similarly; maybe a bit more delicacy to the citizen who didn't "sign up" for such risks as those LEO's know they will face in their career.


edit* Maybe we could just eliminate toilet tanks & equip warrant-serving teams with a utility specialist to turn the water off? Maybe a backflow device to insure complete loss of pressure in the house? How many "no-knocks" would that avoid?
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Old March 15, 2012, 03:37 PM   #31
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Here's a link to the case that this all stems from for those interested:

http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions...5121101shd.pdf

Basically, I think this was a poor and unnecessary decision on the part of the Indiana Supreme Court. Given the circumstances, I think that INSC could have just as easily held that Barnes' behavior represented exigent circumstances for the officers to enter and simply left it at that. While INSC did not explicitly rule on whether or not the entry was legal, they did state the following:

Originally posted by Indiana Supreme Court
Quote:
Here, the officers acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances.
This leads me to believe that, had they ruled on the matter, INSC would have found the officers' entry into Barnes' home legal.
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Old March 16, 2012, 07:07 AM   #32
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Are you suggesting the family should simply accept "Ooops, sorry"?
So your response would be to sue the department for money that the people pay for? Insurance or not the money still isn't being payed by those that would have raided the wrong house.
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Old March 16, 2012, 07:51 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ludarue
So your response would be to sue the department for money that the people pay for? Insurance or not the money still isn't being payed by those that would have raided the wrong house.
Maybe yes, maybe no. I spent several years working for an organization that provided legal defense for municipalities. Technically, we did not provide "insurance," but we did provide financial coverage for certain events. The coverage that we provided covered compensatory damage, but not punitive damages. Assuming victory on the part of the plaintiff, the questions will be: (a) whether the policy provides coverage for compensatory damages, punitive damages, or both; and (b) what kinds of damages are awarded.
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Old March 16, 2012, 08:46 PM   #34
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First I have allways been against "no Knock Laws"
Second from news reports there is an increasing number of fake police raids as part of home invasion robberies.
Thirdly it has allways been a part of my security plan to allways call 911 as soon as possible. My home is layered so as to require battering multiple doors to reach the occupied portion of the home.

If in doubt ask the dispatcher if a raid is ongoing at that location. In a small rural county such as mine dispatch should be able to respond. The call would go something like this:

Someone is busting in my door screaming police. I do not see any uniforms are you raiding (give address). Hurry I am afraid and armed. If the answer is yes we are raiding tell her that you have disarmed and am coming out. Of course if the answer is no start shooting.
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Old March 16, 2012, 10:24 PM   #35
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Quote:
Are you suggesting the family should simply accept "Ooops, sorry"?
So your response would be to sue the department for money that the people pay for? Insurance or not the money still isn't being payed by those that would have raided the wrong house.
If the democratic system is working properly, when the taxpayers get tired of paying for police who raid the wrong house, they will vote the elected officials who continue to let the police do so out of office.
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Old March 17, 2012, 09:47 AM   #36
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Maybe yes, maybe no. I spent several years working for an organization that provided legal defense for municipalities. Technically, we did not provide "insurance," but we did provide financial coverage for certain events. The coverage that we provided covered compensatory damage, but not punitive damages. Assuming victory on the part of the plaintiff, the questions will be: (a) whether the policy provides coverage for compensatory damages, punitive damages, or both; and (b) what kinds of damages are awarded.
____

You are absolutely correct Spats McGee...
...Took the privilege of highlighting the 'insurance' statement of your post, hope you don't mind.

Most municipalities are considered 'self insured' and do not carry an insurance policy through a separate ins. provider.

Two noted cases I remember in Cols., Ohio:

First case:

involves 4 legally parked (expensive) cars in a residential area and a hook-n-ladder fire truck. Cars were parked on the street,against curb on a slight curve. Fire truck is on a run. Tiller(guy steering rear of hook-n-ladder) let the rear of the unit sideswipe all four cars doing extreme damage. The owners of the car received $300 each per car. That's all the city was legally required to pay, period. The cars involved, two Mercedes, a Volvo station wagon and a very nice late model Corvette.
You couldn't buy a side mirror for any of these cars for $300 let alone repair the extensive body damage.

Second case:

involved a raid of a suspected drug house in which the wrong house was invaded. The mistaken house which was raided was owned by an elderly, wheelchair bound man. He was peacefully sitting in his wheelchair in his living room, watching TV when flashbang's were sent through his windows, his front door breached and he was taken out of his wheelchair. His arm was broken as well as separated ribs.
The city paid for repairs to his house, repairs on his broken wheelchair and paid his medical expense's. He(his family) sued the city in which the city settled with them,out of court for a ridiculously low, undisclosed(to the public) amount.

Ironically, this extremely embarrassing event wasn't highly publicized in our local newspapers. Just one very brief, small article when the incident first happened, buried two or three pages back in the newspaper. No follow-up articles.

Both these incidents were handled extremely unfair to the victims. Witnessing over thirty years of similar incidences, I can honestly say, if you have some kind of unprovoked altercation with most municipalities, in which you are totally innocent, you will not be compensated as you would having the same altercation with a private company or individual. Not by a long shot.

Quote:
Second from news reports there is an increasing number of fake police raids as part of home invasion robberies.
This has been a huge problem in the State of Ohio recently. IFAIK there have been something like 5-6 incidents in the last 4 mos. We've currently got a guy going around pulling people over in LE garb and even has a beacon in his car.
We've had home invasions in which the BG's were dressed in LE attire and in one case, there car looked like a patrol car.

Scary for sure. Not only for the residence but LE as well.

Note: If what appears to be LE knocks at my door, before I open the door a quick call to dispatch will be placed. Regardless if I see a what appears to be a cruiser in the drive.

Last edited by shortwave; March 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old March 17, 2012, 10:30 AM   #37
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Being uniformed LE in a small Southern town, it's very rare that I have to participate in raids, but I have done it. It's hard for me to imagine a circumstance where anyone at my agency could somehow hit the wrong house, since we all know where our trouble spots are. Still, I guess anything's possible. My advice to the citizenry would be thus: If you find yourself caught up in a "wrong address raid", and if it's clear that said raiders are indeed LEOs, just do as they tell you. When it becomes clear to them that they're at the wrong address [and it will do so pretty quickly], everything will be sorted out. You'll probably receive effusive apologies, and if that's not enough for you, you can certainly take it up with the chief or a private attorney if you wish.
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Old March 17, 2012, 10:57 AM   #38
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A few years back, we had people posing as city workers or Utility workers gaining access to people homes to rob them. I don't think they ever caught them. I would say trust your instincts on this and be suspicious of everyone that you don't know.

Even if the Police at your door are bonafide, there is little reason to ever invite them into your home. Yu have to remember that even if there is a nice guy inside the uniform, he is generally bound to the statutes and his job is to spot infractions and use them against you in a court of law. You don't have to resist the police, but you don't have to invite them in. Conduct your business on the porch with the door closed and politely decline them when they ask real nice if they can step inside...

If you don't let anyone in as a rule, how could you be invaded?
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Old March 17, 2012, 11:12 AM   #39
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A lot of good comments here... I've been on a few raids and got called to back Tac on one where they did indeed, raid the house. The warrant had been applied for by an inter-agency task force and as nearly as we could tell, the error was a simple typo. The Tac guys had their heads on straight and almost as soon as they got inside, they realized something was horribly wrong. Nobody got shot and the city got to buy a new door.

There have also been occasions where the truth has been stretched in the warrant application process. In those cases, somebody needs to go to jail. I would support legislation, at any level, that makes 'false information on a warrant application' a felony.
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Old March 17, 2012, 11:16 AM   #40
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Being uniformed LE in a small Southern town, it's very rare that I have to participate in raids, but I have done it. It's hard for me to imagine a circumstance where anyone at my agency could somehow hit the wrong house, since we all know where our trouble spots are. Still, I guess anything's possible.
Oh, it's possible. Surely not by any means a daily event but it has/does happen. A quick google of something to the effect of 'police raid wrong house' may give you a surprise....
....
Quote:
Search
Man Dies in Police Raid on Wrong House - ABC News
A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug raid on the wrong house. Police admitted their mistake ...
abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95475&page=1

Fullerton Police Raid Wrong House, Acting Police Chief ...
At last night's city council meeting, almost a year after four Fullerton police officers wrongfully raided her home,...

blogs.ocweekly.com/.../10/fullerton_police_officers_raid.php
Police raid wrong house in Huntersville | CharlotteObserver ...
Huntersville police are still looking for three men involved in the violent beating and robbery of a Charlotte man -- after a bad tip led them to a raid at the wrong ...

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/......wrong-house-in...
Penthouse Pet Simone Farrow seized in drug raid on Gold Coast ...
... drugs ring Simone Farrow was nabbed by police after a dramatic raid on ... else to go - I tried to go from friend's house to ... form to alert us to something we've got wrong. We ...

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/p...eized-on...rss
Residents 'terrorised' after police raid wrong house ...
Residents of Ruatoki claim they have been terrorised by police after officers allegedly stormed the wrong house in a dawn raid. It is alleged that early Friday ...
tvnz.co.nz/national-news/...police-raid-wrong-house-4744220
Although, I would say the chances of this happening in a small town would be greatly reduced versus a large metro area.

The house raid in the Ohio incident I referred to was a total fiasco. Not only did they get the wrong house but the wrong street. The house they were suppose to raid was the next street over. You could stand in the side yard of the raided house, look through the houses to the houses on the street over and see the house they were supposed to raid.
Yes, there was multiple apologies from 'red faced' city officials to the elderly man as well as to his family.

Last edited by shortwave; March 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old March 17, 2012, 11:33 AM   #41
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Nobody is perfect, maybe the police just got the wrong address. As soon as you realize it is the police and not a crook I would not interfere in any way. These guys aren't going to bust in without a warrant and their primary worry is probably making their wife a widow.
In today's world you have an endless menu of rights if the entry was illegal. You can sue them into penury, but let the police do what they think is their job. I would not interefere. Most cops I know are good guys just doing their job. You aren't defending America or the Constitution by resisting. America is a free country with elected public officials, if you have been wronged you can sue them in a court of law and have the matter decided upon by a jury of your peers.
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Old March 17, 2012, 11:48 AM   #42
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Also, from the linked article:

Quote:
The measure specifies that people are protected by the state's self-defense law if they reasonably believe force is necessary to protect themselves from unlawful actions by an officer.

Read more: http://www.wlky.com/politics/3065214...#ixzz1pOPaqbXx
I've got no problem with that aspect of it, either.
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Old March 17, 2012, 12:07 PM   #43
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Nobody is perfect, maybe the police just got the wrong address.
Seriously!

Not that simple my friend. Sometimes innocent lives have been taken. The least that happens is thousands of tax payers $ in investigative man hours are wasted due to the blown LE cover. The real BG's shut down only to relocate and start the process all over.

To say "maybe the police just got the wrong address" is ludicrous if you know the chain of events that's supposed to happen prior to a raid. Police don't just get the wrong address. There's a drastic break down of communication between LEO somewhere along the way in the LE events leading up to the raid for this to happen. Even if the courts issue the warrant with the wrong address on it, somebody with the entry team should double check confirmation of the address well before the raid. Not afterwards.

It's not to much to expect that the most important piece in the whole puzzle 'the location of the raid' would be severely scrutinized/double,triple checked from the onset of the investigation till the ultimate raid.

IMO, raiding the wrong location, shows/ranks among the worse in LE departmental discipline and is totally unacceptable.

Last edited by shortwave; March 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM.
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Old March 17, 2012, 12:34 PM   #44
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if you have been wronged you can sue them in a court of law and have the matter decided upon by a jury of your peers.
Only if you're independently rich or a lawyer yourself, otherwise this warm and fuzzy statement is absolutely not true.
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Old March 17, 2012, 12:47 PM   #45
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Shortwave: The fact that a "wrong house raid" is more apt to occur in a big city rather than a small town is just one of many reasons why I prefer serving in Mayberry, as opposed to Raleigh.
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Old March 17, 2012, 01:08 PM   #46
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Don't blame you there SS.

There's a big difference in the courts issuing/LE serving a couple warrants a week versus a couple hundred a day.

P.S. Thank You for your services in Mayberry.
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Old March 17, 2012, 01:13 PM   #47
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One possible way to reduce the errors (overall) is to make it so that while the city/county/state/etc., is responsible and pays (or their insurance pays) when found liable in court, the individual officers and their supervisors would have their wages garnished to pay back the city/insurance company, etc.

Not likely, but if implemented, I feel pretty confident that a bit more care might be taken, when their personal paychecks are on the line.

I have to wonder about the methods used in some situations. I have heard of many cases where police spent months or even years investigating, but then when they actually go to make the arrest, it has to be lightning fast, and hang those petty details, like the correct address....

On the other hand, the hundreds or thousands of correct address raids that happen for each of the badly wrong ones means that while individually a bad address raid is a bad thing, overall, it is a very minor problem, statistically.

Which is why damage awards need to be high, to ensure this otherwise insignficant problem is treated as something important. And anything costing a lot of money to the police, is important. Trouble is, the police themselves, don't PAY they money. It doesn't come out of their pocket, and usually doesn't come out of their budget, either.

Other than a tongue lashing, and maybe some minor discipline for a mid level administrator (a few weeks off WITH PAY!?) what really happens to force them to ensure that they get it right, each and every time?

Nothing, that I am seeing....
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Old March 17, 2012, 01:18 PM   #48
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Shortwave, we're on the same sheet of music. And you're more than welcome; it's my honor to serve.
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Old March 17, 2012, 05:35 PM   #49
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I think this is a fascinating discussion. I know several police officers, and have great respect for them and the service they provide. I have encountered a couple who did not represent their departments or their profession very well. They were the exceptions in my experience. I say all of this to say I do not have an ax to grind with law enforcement. They often have a thankless job to do in very demanding and dangerous situations. Thank God for them.

The challenge that many LEOs seem to have is they can get cynical in their world view, and many tend to see through a dark set of glasses. They can get an "us versus them" attitude that makes for distrust, esp in the more crime ridden neighborhoods. A forced entry raid is a very dangerous situation where there is no margin of error. Get it right and everyone goes home for dinner; get wrong, and officers or innocents can die. With the stakes so high it is incomprehensible that the wrong house can be targeted. When it does happen everyone involved is culpable, and should be held accountable.

In the case of Barnes v. State of Indiana that Webleymkv posted the court found: We hold that there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers. For those of us who tend to take a libertarian view of government, this very problematic. In fact it is more than a little frightening.
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Old March 17, 2012, 07:37 PM   #50
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44AMP, I can pretty much guarantee that every police union from FOP to AZCOPS will fight that tooth and nail. As a 10 year vet of corrections, I watched unions do whatever they could to protect officers, mostly from getting fired or disciplined for being screw-ups! It took a mountain of paperwork and personal intercession from at least one Archangel to get someone fired.
Quote:
If you find yourself caught up in a "wrong address raid", and if it's clear that said raiders are indeed LEOs, just do as they tell you
How am I supposed to make "sure" it's LE when they are shining the spotlights into my eyes, popping flashbangs, yelling contradictory orders and/or shooting at me? I don't have time to ask to see Department issued ID!!! There is NO, let me repeat that, NO EXCUSE for a TYPO error that gets an innocent civilian shot or injured. My wife will be on the phone with 911 per plan, so if she gets through before they breach the door, then we can get it resolved fast.
I repeat it for the last time, I have no reason to ever suspect I will be the target of a police dynamic entry warrant service. I am not a criminal, nor do I consort with known criminals or frequent known areas of criminal activity. Therefore, I WILL RESPOND AS IF WHO EVER IS BREAKING DOWN MY DOOR IS AN ARMED HOME INVADER. PERIOD.
If I was Lenny the Local Drug Dealer, I could expect a no knock to prevent the drugs from being flushed, or if I was Rodney the Kidnapper Rapist I could expect a no knock to prevent the death of a potential hostage. NOT being any of these, (hell, last TRAFFIC TICKET I got was 20 years ago!!!), I do NOT expect to have my door broken down, and as the Constitution STATES, I have the right to be secure in my home against unreasonable searches, which a TYPO would be, also period.
The onus was ALWAYS on us when we did a forced cell move or any other use of force, explain in detail exactly why you did that, and every one else did the same. These IRs could save you or hang you if you screwed up, and individual officers could be terminated over extremely bad actions - this is with convicted criminals, not Grandma and Grandpa peacefully watching TV until the flash bangs go off! So I say the onus should always be on those serving these no-knock warrants, always. If you get it wrong, YOU ARE THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY. I don't get a break for forgetting my license renewal, or making a typo on my taxes, and I'd bet nobody ever dies during those actions...
I'm sorry if this stance offends anyone, or makes any LEOs uncomfortable, it is not meant to do, not at all. I have always said those who wear the badge should be held to a higher standard, not a lower one, which is why I actively tried to end "professional courtesy" to staff caught speeding or any other lawbreaking.
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