State Police Officer Gets The Shaft

They say this William Peake is a bad mother . . . Shut yo’ mouth!

A black man fired at the end of his 18-month probationary period as a PA state trooper says he was wrongly let go for false claims that he didn’t properly write reports, and sometimes used “Ebonics” in doing so.

The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday by 29-year-old William Peake, who graduated from the police academy in May 2009 and was stationed at the Uniontown barracks, which his attorney contends is nearly all white.

Peake was required to sign a termination letter contending he was let go for a “lack of solid job knowledge and basic police skills” and other “officer/public safety concerns” not spelled out in the lawsuit.

The natural reaction is to declare shenanigans on this story. That being said, I won’t. Why? Because I have read a lot of police reports in the last 18 years, and many of them are filled with spelling errors, grammatical abortions, and yes, ebonics.

The most egregious offender was an officer in my division who wrote, “the victim was struck with a smoothie.”

For those who did not grow up in the ‘hood, a smoothie is not a fruity whipped drink. It’s an iron. You know, because it smooths out your clothes.

12 thoughts on “State Police Officer Gets The Shaft

  1. John D

    “…a smoothie is not a fruity whipped drink.”

    Doesn’t matter. Nanny Bloomberg will still use this as an excuse to ban the drinks in New York.

  2. Jim Scrummy

    Interesting. One of Scrummy’s siblings use to be in the GC’s office of the PSP. The stories of the PA Troopers my sibling told me of some of the troopers and the crap they would do, would just make me shake my head in wonderment. This does not surprise me at all.

    Unfortunately professionalism (in many government career fields not just the law enforcement community), is severely lacking in basic skills. I work at the DoD, and I cringe at the lack of basic writing skills exhibited by my upper management (they are not leaders), and throughout my management food chain. I love to write, but I do not consider myself even a decent writer. I have people edit my work, so that it is legible and readers understand what I am writing.

    I guess I need a smoothie, the drinkable kind. It’s too early for me and alcohol.

  3. Dr. Evil

    SMOOVIE???? I saw that on COPS!

    “I was tryin’ ta get sum stank on da hang low. Bitch himme wif a smoovie!”

  4. Bob G.

    Wyatt:
    That’s OK…we’ve got a functioning ILLITERATE in the FWPD.
    Other officers fill out HER reports…and with good reason.
    And she’s also been arrested for DUI.
    (Could wind up as CHIEF any month now…LOL)
    Don’cha just LOVE diversity and affirmative action?

    Smoothie…what will they think of NEXT?
    Good call and some funny-ass comments!

    Roll safe out there.

  5. Wyatt Earp Post author

    John D – Ban irons! The wrinkled look is coming back in NYC.

    Bitter – Yes. Scout’s honor.

    PPD Lt. – When we first heard it, we just looked at the guy . . . waiting for the punchline that never came.

    Jim – It’s like the cop who brought in the missing person report to us last week. Apparently, the complainant suffered from “Schizo-effective.” True. Story.

    911 – It’s like the omnipresent “case quarter,” which is a regular quarter; as opposed to two nickels and a dime.

    Dr. Evil – The wonders of the pseudo-English language.

    Bob G. – Yes, people like that are often rewarded with promotion.

  6. Drewski1013

    Like many of the commenters ahead of me, I had never heard that use of the term before – I’ll probably have to use it sometime to impress my friends with my street cred.

    As to police officers’ spelling and grammar skills, my town uses an electronic messaging service (Nixle) to disseminate information (road closings, etc.) to the citizens when necessary. They also use it to distribute evidence of their poor writing skills. Just last weekend, I received an e-message concerning the closure of some streets for a Christmas Walk-A-Thon; the message began …”Their will be a Wlak-a-Thon occuring this morning on the following streets…”

    I called the Chief to suggest that perhaps an adult should pre-screen the messages that are sent out, and he was foolish enough to admit that this message HAD been reviewed by a Sergeant before being broadcast. That’s when I asked the Chief if anyone in our little town PD can spell or write beyond the 3rd grade level. I could hear him tapping on the keys to his computer while I was talking to him, and then heard a non-deleted expletive when he actually saw the words that went out.

    He quickly said that all future spelling and grammar issues will become a part of his informal review process for the officers involved, and that the Sergeant will be reminded that perhaps he should actually read the items that are sent to him for review. Needless to say, he was not pleased, but we pay our cops a significant chunk of change in my little town in Northern NJ, and should expect more than grade-school grammar and spelling.

  7. Jenn

    I audited patient care forms for a couple weeks when I got injured this summer, I couldn’t believe how poorly many medics wrote. I certainly wouldn’t want to stand behind one of those in court. I assumed cops were better than that!

  8. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Drewski – If nothing else, it would save a lot of embarrassment when the case goes to court. You don’t want an illegible report shown on a projection screen.

    Jenn – We’re worse. Much, much worse.

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