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True Detective Stories

By Wyatt Earp | August 13, 2009

detective-shield1The best thing about working a busy Philadelphia detective division is that no matter how much time you have on the job, eventually, something will surprise you. Such was the case yesterday, when two incredible jobs came in within 30 minutes. (And by “incredible,” I mean “not credible.”)

For the first story, pretend you are a member of the jury hearing this case. Let me know how you would rule on it. I’ll describe the facts of the case exactly as they were explained to me, with only names and locations omitted.

The arresting officers approach my desk and say they have an arrest for VUFA (Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act – simply stated, possession of a firearm on the streets of Philadelphia). The officers claim they are driving a marked patrol car down the street in full uniform, when two black males see them. The males (later identified as the defendants in this case) each pull out a handgun and drop it on the ground, right in front of the officers. The defendants are immediately arrested and transported to the detective division.

Members of the jury – your ruling, please.

Snark Attack: After I stopped giggling from this story, I gave it to the assigned detective with this comment. “Man, it’s just raining guns in this division!”

For the second story, pretend you are the detective assigned to the case. What questions would you ask this officer? Again, I’ll describe the facts of the case exactly as they were explained to me, with only names and locations omitted.

The arresting officer comes to my desk and tells me that, he too, has an arrest. This one is for domestic violence. The report states that the defendant cut the complainant’s arm with a knife and punched her in the face before fleeing the location. The defendant was arrested a few miles away from the scene, however, the victim would not come to give a statement, and the officers who took the report (and witnessed the victim’s injuries) were nowhere to be found. The arresting officer wasn’t even from the same district where the assault occurred.

Can anyone think of a question of two for the arresting officer?

Snark Attack: After my brain aneurysm subsided, I asked if the victim was coming up for a statement. The officer replied that she said she didn’t want to do so. This is where brain aneurysm #2 began. I then asked the officer is he witnessed the assault or and of the victim’s injuries. His answer? “No.” Bartender, make that aneurysm a triple!

Thank God I am on vacation for a week. I’m running out of duct tape.

Topics: True Detective Stories | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “True Detective Stories”

  1. Alan B Says:
    August 13th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    OK, I’ll rise to the bait!

    Case 1.
    I have no idea what the law says and would need the Judge to make a statment of the exact position. However:
    I would look for clear statements, hopefully backed up by on-the-spot notes in their notebooks, that both officers saw the defendents in possession of the handguns, saw them draw the guns and saw them drop them. Without that they could claim that they had found the guns on the sidewalk. It would be nice to see if they had the paperwork for the guns – if they had and it matched the guns, this would re-inforce the case that they were their guns and they had them on the streets of Philadelphia.

    I would hope for fingerprint evidence . Of course, the officers did not pick up the handguns and smudge any prints, did they??

    Case 2
    1 Do you have ANY evidence that would stand up in a court of law?
    2 Why the hell are you wasteing my time?

    Enjoy your triple aneurism!!

    Have a great holiday.

  2. RT Says:
    August 13th, 2009 at 9:46 pm


  3. USAdmiral Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Without idiots it would not be a job.

  4. MeToo Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Oh, Captain, my Captain!!!! (and by that I mean Morgan)

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Alan – Getting fingerprints from a handgun is next to impossible. We rarely even process them unless it is a major case (homicide, etc).

    RT – I told you.

    Admiral – Yeah, it would be all fun and games.

    MeToo – I could have used some that day. I really could have.

  6. george morris Says:
    August 15th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    in case 1 they both could have concealed permit to carry and just wanted to show the officers their guns!! I guess not!

  7. aaron Says:
    August 15th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    case 1: doesn’t the US constitution apply in phily?

    case 2; no case