Thursday, December 9, 2010

Which dirty cop gets Hall of Shame spot?

I was walking down a street this afternoon, minding my own business (which included other people's business that I had taken the liberty of making my own) when I decided to peep into a South African Police Service (SAPS) vehicle that had pulled over a not so busy section of the street(not the one pictured above). My little peek revealed two uniformed officers going through a stash of DVDs which seemed to be pirated, judging by the trademark pirate's sleeve that legit DVDs are not sold in.

In the back seat was a thuggish character, presumably the merchant of these DVDs, leaning over to observe closely as the officers perused through his voluminous collection. It was quite easy to tell that these officers were choosing which DVDs to purchase from him. The thuggish merchant certainly did not display any signs of distress to imply that his contraband was undergoing confiscation, or that he was being solicited for a bribe. He seemed to be glowing as any business person would when a couple of minutes away from bagging a good deal.

This scene led me to ask myself a question which in turn,I would like to throw to you.

Which of these three categories of dirty cop deserve top spot in the hall of shame?

1)The "honest" ones such as those I saw today, who genuinely purchase the DVD and do not seize it illegally from the pirate?

2) The ones who confiscate the contraband but do not hand it over for destruction at the station, choosing instead to take it home for personal use or resale?

3) The ones who in return for a couple of free copies, turn a blind eye and let the pirates keep the rest?

While it is true that all the three types of policeman are criminal, I would still like us to draw a hierachy of guilt, with the most guilty at the top. This in no way though, should imply that the one ranked third is morally or legally superior than the others.

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