22 November 2022

A Few Short Thanksgiving Thoughts

 We've had some rain here in the Fort Worth area the past few days. A chilly bit of November precipitation puts a damper on arrests. Criminals may not want to be outside on a cold, wet night. The police also might wish to stay dry. They may let some minor traffic violations slide that would have resulted in further investigations had the weather been better. (In an August blog post, I discussed this issue and other meteorological questions.)

I raise the matter again today because I'd planned to write about the voice-to-text hiccups that found their way into recent probable cause documents. The dearth of arrests made my pile a little thinner than some months. 

The Birds and the Buzz

My local police encountered a young man walking in the street, ignoring the oncoming traffic. He sang and flapped his arms. In his pursuit of an explanation for the man's behavior, the patrol officer asked him, by chance, whether he may have ingested an intoxicant. According to the report, the man stated that he did conceive both alcohol and Xanax earlier in the day.

If true, the ability to birth both alcohol and alprazolam would make this young man very popular on the mean streets. 

Side note: The local prosecutor recognized the typographical error. The office charged the man with possession and not delivery.  

The Ferrous Wheel

Another man's odd behaviors similarly drew the attention of law enforcement. In the cop-speak of the offense report, the officer exited his vehicle and approached the suspect. After observing the man's unkempt condition, unsafe actions, and lack of appropriate responses to questions, the patrol officer noted that "he believed the suspect had a metal condition.

Fortunately, the term was a typo, not the latest euphemism for being shot. 

When I read the sentence, I couldn't shake the image of Don Quixote. An oddly acting man clad in armor. (Perhaps I formed a metal picture.) 

Miscellaneous (Not voice-to-text)

As I said, the pile was a little short, so I'm adding a couple of other observations. 

The advent of cold weather brings the homeless population into the jail. (Another topic discussed in an earlier blog.) They stand near the bond desk and get ordered to leave the premises. They continue to stand as the command is repeated. "Leave, or you'll be arrested," the men are told. (It's almost always men.) When they decline to exit, they get escorted from the public side to the secure side of the jail. Although I can never dismiss the tragedy behind these cases, in this run-up to Thanksgiving, I am reminded of "The Cop and the Anthem," the short story by O. Henry. 

Finally, a few paragraphs back, I referred to cop-speak, the unofficial language of the police when communicating with the public. My favorite example in some time came around this week. The officer described using force against an uncooperative suspect who suffered from poor judgment and rich intoxication. The man assumed a fighting stance. The officer wrote that he then "brought his fist to the lower quadrant of his face as a distraction technique." 

Today marks for many the start of the Thanksgiving festivities. I shall close, therefore, with this holiday wish. As you gather with family and friends, may the blessings of the season be upon each of you. May all your stoplights be green and all your lines short. May all your food be perfectly cooked and all your teams victorious. And may you finish your time of celebration without distracting anyone.

Remember, jail is no place to spend Thanksgiving.

Until next time.  



  1. "distraction technique' is the kind of phrase that gives professional writers envy!

  2. "he believed the suspect had a metal condition." I instantly thought of the suspect playing air guitar while bobbing up and down yelling something from the works of Iron Maiden, but that's just me.
    Great post, and may all your Thanksgiving wishes be fulfilled!

    1. Thank you, Eve. We all go different places.

  3. Thanks, Mark! I've known a few people who've spent Thanksgiving in jail or a shelter, so I know how lucky I am!

  4. Good one, Mark. Happy Holidays and may you never suffer from flustration.


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