The New Professionalism In Theory; The New Professionalism In Practice

Law, Politics & Current Events

On June 15, 2006, Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court held a fascinating discussion with Justice Stephen Breyer on the "New Professionalism" of the American policeman:

Another development over the past half-century that deters civil-rights violations is the increasing professionalism of police forces, including a new emphasis on internal police discipline. Even as long ago as 1980 we felt it proper to assume that unlawful police behavior would be dealt with appropriately by the authorities, but we now have increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously. There have been wide-ranging reforms in the education, training, and supervision of police officers. Numerous sources are now available to teach officers and their supervisors what is required of them under this Court's cases, how to respect constitutional guarantees in various situations, and how to craft an effective regime for internal discipline. Failure to teach and enforce constitutional requirements exposes municipalities to financial liability. Moreover, modern police forces are staffed with professionals; it is not credible to assert that internal discipline, which can limit successful careers, will not have a deterrent effect. There is also evidence that the increasing use of various forms of citizen review can enhance police accountability. [Citations omitted].

At 12:03 a.m. on June 22, 2011, North Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers Edward Wyrick, Jr. and Andrew Smith held an equally fascinating discussion of the New Professionalism, as they texted one another on their mobile computers:

Wyrick: THIS WOMAN REFUSED ALL ROADSIDE TESTING, AND BLEW .00. HER HUSBAND IS A TRIAL LAWYER AND TOLD ME I SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF MYSELF.

Smith: HAHAHAHA FUCK HER AND FUCK HIM. SHE SAY HOW MUCH SHE'D HAD TO DRINK?

Wyrick: SHE SAID 1 DRINK AT 7PM.

Smith: FUCK HER.

At 12:31 a.m., after Trooper Smith had stopped Hoyt Tessener's car behind that of Trooper Wyrick, who was fleeing Tessener in a high speed cruiser after promising that Tessener could follow him to the jail where Wyrick was taking Tessener's wife Gina for the crime of blowing 0.00 on a breathalyzer, Smith resumed his conversation on the New Professionalism:

Smith: TELL HIM IF HE WANTS TO COP AN ATTITUDE TO FEEL FREE AND COME BACK AND ILL STROKE HIM THAT SPEED.

As Justice Scalia tells us, "we now have increasing evidence that police forces across the United States take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously."  Just ask Troopers Edward Wyrick and Andrew Smith of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Troopers of the North Carolina Highway Patrol would never assume, based simply on the fact that a pretty woman is wearing an evening gown and high heels and driving a Lexus in a beach town and no other evidence at all, that she'd been drinking.  And they'd never make up a story about smelling alcohol on her when she had no alcohol in her system whatsoever, and despite that fact that a machine whose sole purpose is to detect alcohol, a machine we're told by judges just like Antonin Scalia is infallible and part of the New Professionalism, cannot detect any alcohol whatsoever.

It must have been the wine all those other people she was around had been drinking, which somehow migrated onto her clothing, and into her car, and all the way with her as she drove across town.  Though French parfumiers, though Sri Lankan tea brokers, though (to borrow the language of the New Police Professionalism) FUCKING BLOODHOUNDS couldn't have smelled alcohol on Gina Tessener, Trooper Edward Wyrick is a man of his word.  And his nose.

And it was completely unprofessional of Tessener's husband, Hoyt Tessener, to demand an apology from Wyrick when it turned out that Wyrick's nose is more keen than a FUCKING MACHINE WHOSE SOLE PURPOSE IS TO DETECT ALCOHOL.  For dragging Hoyt Tessener's wife out of her car, even though the FUCKING ALCOHOL MACHINE SAID SHE'D DONE NOTHING WRONG, handcuffing her, and driving her away, a strange man, against her will, to a cage.

Of course if a non-policeman had handcuffed and kidnapped Tessener's wife, he'd go straight to jail.  No jury would convict Tessener for beating the hell out of such a man. But civilians who handcuff women and abduct them, for no good reason, are not part of the police. They lack the New Professionalism.  Which is why we send them to jail in the first place.  So Tessener shouldn't have gotten so upset, told Trooper Wyrick that he should be ashamed of himself, and then complained to the Governor after he was stopped by another trooper, who was merely adhering to the New Professionalism as he texted his fucking messages to Trooper Wyrick.

Because that's all part of the New Police Professionalism.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. TJIC  •  Jul 6, 2011 @3:26 pm

    From the cited article:

    > In filing his DWI report on the arrest incident, Trooper Wyrick wrote … she stated I set them up, but I never made contact with Tpr. Smith

    So he filed a false DWI report, then?

    I imagine that the brass will come down on him REALLY hard – maybe some vacation ^H^H^H a week of suspension with pay.

  2. Grandy  •  Jul 6, 2011 @3:28 pm

    That's far too harsh. I figure a couple of weeks with pay. He's earned a vacation, after all.

  3. h  •  Jul 6, 2011 @4:07 pm

    i snorted coffee out my nose because of this piece. thank you very,very much. a phenomenally funny reminder.

  4. Patrick  •  Jul 6, 2011 @4:22 pm

    I should point out to readers (many of whom know this), that I'm hardly the first to mock Justice Scalia for the New Professionalism. Google the phrase Scalia New Professionalism and you'll be introduced to all sorts of hypocrisies, in which men whose sole qualifications are that they can pass a G.E.D. and a driver training course, and that they haven't (yet) been convicted of a crime are given the authority to beat and imprison fellow citizens, for even less than the crime of being a pretty woman on a beach town highway at night.

    Crime and Federalism, The Agitator, and Simple Justice are particularly good on the New Professionalism.

  5. Chris Berez  •  Jul 6, 2011 @4:42 pm

    Utterly unsurprising and yet indescribably enraging. Stories like this always make my blood boil. And cops wonder why their profession is so hated. It's because people like these wear the badge while the handful of good, honest cops that try to hold the individuals who shame the profession accountable get fired and lose their pensions.

    In a just world, Justice Scalia would be treated to a nice heaping dose of the "new professionalism" is so adores. Too bad that will never happen.

  6. Patrick  •  Jul 6, 2011 @4:47 pm

    Chris, on the Scalia-Gets-Busted-And-Spends-A-Night-In-A-DC-Jail tip, have you considered the following true story?

    Robert Bork trips and falls at The Yale Club.

    I'd love to read about Scalia (one of the rudest people I've ever met) getting busted and screaming "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" at some loser with a badge and a G.E.D., but this is a great substitute until that happens.

  7. Bedstain  •  Jul 6, 2011 @5:38 pm

    "Increasing" means "more now than previously".

    To prove Scalia wrong on this, I'm pretty sure you'd have to demonstrate not that it's bad now, but that it didn't used to be significantly worse.

    Regardless of how richly Wyrick and Smith deserve a kick in the nuts, that's not a bet I'd take your end of.

  8. Patrick  •  Jul 6, 2011 @6:12 pm

    Bedstain:

    Scalia's point is that better police training (not demonstrated in Hudson, where even the State admitted its goons violated Hudson's constitutional rights) has made the exclusionary rule an inappropriate remedy for unlawfully seized evidence, except in cases factually identical to those where the exclusionary rule has already been validated. That's his entire point.

    I fail to see the evidence for the point.

    As an aside, I removed your URL and changed your user-name to Bedstain, because I wasn't amused by your URL or your user-name.

  9. Bedstain  •  Jul 6, 2011 @6:35 pm

    Patrick: If you had a badge, you'd be Wyrick. You mistook a joke for a serious argument, overreacted wildly, lashed out blindly, and made a pompous speech about it.

    Better change my name again. That'll show me to respect your authoritah!

  10. Patrick  •  Jul 6, 2011 @6:59 pm

    I didn't see a bit of irony, sarcasm, comical exaggeration, or winking in what you wrote. Given that your chosen username and URL make fun of the mentally handicapped, I'm going to prevent you from commenting here, or reading this site in the future.

    Just so that I don't overreact wildly to your wit, you know.

  11. SPQR  •  Jul 6, 2011 @8:20 pm

    Solely for his protection.

  12. Scott Jacobs  •  Jul 6, 2011 @9:45 pm

    It warms my heart to see Patrick selflessly act in the defense of others…

  13. Ken  •  Jul 6, 2011 @9:51 pm

    This is almost as upsetting as the time he banned Cornholeyourkid Jewkiller.

  14. Chris Berez  •  Jul 6, 2011 @11:06 pm

    Chris, on the Scalia-Gets-Busted-And-Spends-A-Night-In-A-DC-Jail tip, have you considered the following true story?

    Thanks, Patrick! That indeed put a smile on my face.

  15. David  •  Jul 7, 2011 @5:00 am

    Correction: This is almost as upsetting as the time he banned Cornholeyourkid Jewkiller and I wasn't there to see it. I always miss the high-grade stupid.

  16. John David Galt  •  Jul 7, 2011 @11:28 am

    The harder I look at this "new professionalism", the more it looks like the police (or at least those who practice it) have simply declared war on the public.

    John Locke told us the cure for that.

  17. Doug  •  Jul 7, 2011 @10:22 pm

    David, stick around. Just when you think all the high grade stupid will never come back, it does. Patrick and Ken, thanks for posts, I usually either laugh or my blood pressure sky rockets.

  18. Wade  •  Jul 8, 2011 @3:10 am

    "Old Policing": Mistreat and abuse only the minorities and the poor.

    "New Policing": Mistreat everyone who does not have significant political power, regardless of race or wealth.

  19. mojo  •  Jul 8, 2011 @8:08 am

    Is a cop who lies in his official action reports considered to be committing perjury?

    If not, why not?

  20. Ken  •  Jul 8, 2011 @8:22 am

    Perjury is lying under oath. Official action reports are typically not under oath.

  21. SPQR  •  Jul 8, 2011 @5:41 pm

    However, the Denver PD is currently all agog over the idea that one of the special has been fired for lying in an official report. Evidently according to their thug union, it is not to be tolerated.

  22. SPQR  •  Jul 8, 2011 @5:41 pm

    The firing that is. The thug union is quite OK with lying to cover up police misconduct.