Citizen's Arrest

In an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Deputy Barney Fife winds up giving Gomer Pyle a ticket for making a u-turn. Gomer, of course, tries to justify his action, but Barney won’t hear it. The ticket is given.

However, as soon as Barney hops into his squad car, he then makes a u-turn himself and Gomer runs after him screaming, “Citizen’s Arrest! Citizen’s Arrest!” Barney stops and tries to explain that his squad car is a real emergency vehicle. Then Gomer points out the rub in Barney’s logic. He wasn’t on an emergency call. Sheriff Andy Taylor makes Barney write himself a ticket and the chaos ensues from there as well as the laughter.

Still, it’s one of my pet peeves today. Too many in law enforcement do not follow the rules they themselves have to enforce. It’s as if they are above the very laws they are citing us for. I had a friend that worked for a SWAT unit and while traveling he would put his badge on his visor because he knew that if he was pulled over that the badge would get him out of a ticket 95% of the time. Another friend was pulled over for riding his motorcycle on the sidewalk and then the same cop was parked on the sidewalk writing in his book later that day. Furthermore, in front of the pizza place I used to work at, you can only enter from the north due to how the entrance is set up and the double yellow lines in the road. One of our drivers had even received a ticket for entering from the south. A few days later a state trooper was spotted doing exactly what our driver had done and the manager went and asked him for verification, stating that the driver had received a ticket for exactly what the officer had just done. The trooper admitted that it was illegal and that he shouldn’t have done it. Hypocrisy carries a badge.

The entire problem these days is that we have people in leadership roles that have no integrity. Politicians who make deals against the people they represent, ministers who do not practice what they preach, and police officers who break the laws they are supposed to enforce. How are we to get our children to respect a position that the people in it do not respect? I hear quite a bit about sports figures and celebrities being role models and I’m not sure I agree with that. However, those in office and those behind the badge are role models and they need to make sure they are setting the best example for all of those around, especially the young kids. You cannot uphold a law that you break constantly. The rotten apples need to be called out, whether it’s by calling the department and reporting it or by public outcry. It’s time for those who uphold the law to be held to the law. It’s time for a citizen’s arrest.

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