Tag Archives: police

Swedish cops don’t go commando

Behold the Volvo of justice

Most Americans probably aren’t aware of this, but even the horrible socialist hell-hole nation of Sweden has laws that govern its citizenry — such as a two-abortion minimum and a 92% tax on herring sandwiches. There is even a law declaring it illegal to break into a bank-run cash depot and take a bunch of money.

That last provision was willfully ignored by a group of hooligans this week, and now Swedish police are under fire for failing to stop the theft. Because they really should have been prepared for this:

Swedish police faced stinging criticism Thursday for failing to stop helicopter-borne gunmen from pulling off a Hollywood-style heist against a cash depot while blocking an air pursuit with a fake bomb.

Whoa. WHAT?

With cinematic flourish, the masked bandits broke into the building through the roof early Wednesday and set off explosions to get to the millions inside. They escaped by hoisting themselves and their haul back up on rope lines.

They then blocked any air pursuit by planting a fake bomb at a nearby police helipad. And now the Swedish media is all ubjurdertungling* over the cops’ failure to, I don’t know, catapult themselves at the heavily armed men in the stolen helicopter as they fled the scene:

Swedish police must “be able to use the equipment that has been acquired for large amounts,” the Dagens Nyheter daily wrote in an opinion piece. “Helicopters, cars, boats and other equipment must be kept in a way so that criminals cannot sabotage them.”

Bear in mind that this is the same Swedish police force that was once led on a half-mile low-speed chase by a drunk Bill Murray in a golf cart. I think the citizens of Stockholm are lucky these guys didn’t stampede each other running away from the building. “Um, I don’t feel so good, captain Jensen… I think I had some bad fiskeboller and I need to go home for the day… BYE!”

Swedish police criticized after helicopter heist [Boston.com]

* Not a real word — to my knowledge

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Friday Random 10: Cop Talk Edition

Pax Arcana

copstacheThe mellifluous and articulate Mrs. Pax Arcana and I have long made sport of police officers and their peculiar word choices. Point a camera or notebook at a cop and they shift instantly into speaking a language that is related to English, but only tangentially. The overarching rule of cop talk is to ignore simple words when more obscure ones are available.

For example, a normal human being might give the police the following statement:

“I was just getting out of my car and I saw a man coming out from behind the house. Then I called you guys.”

Which will be translated for the media as:

“The eyewitness indicated that he was in the process of exiting his vehicle when he observed a male individual exiting from the rear of the residence. The eyewitness indicated that it was at that time that he alerted law enforcement.”

Part of me thinks cops do this thinking they are speaking a somehow more precise code language. Another part of me thinks cops have simply concocted a blue-collar baroque tongue that elevates them above the riff-raff they habitually toss in the pokey. Or maybe they just try to sound like robots.

Regardless, this condition apparently hurts cops in court. According to this essay by a professional witness trainer, the peculiarities of cop speak drives a wedge between them and the juries they are supposed to impress:

When you talk like that, you sound like somebody who’s full of himself or who’s trying to hide the truth in a mountain of syllables – both are stereotypes we do NOT need to be reinforcing with jurors. You don’t sound like a regular person the jury can relate to and identify with. So, when the defense attorney starts beating up on you the jury just sees two courtroom professionals – neither of which they can identify with (which means they can’t empathize with) – going at each other in some highfalutin’ word game that has little to do with them – or justice.

When asked what behaviors increase a witness’ credibility in court, jurors responded that “uses understandable language” is one of the most important. [Trial Behavior Consulting, Inc., THE RECORDER, October 1997.] That’s why we call it “straight talk.” This is the critical reason to quit talking funny in court – it hurts your credibility. Credibility is the degree to which the jury believes you – and that’s the one confrontation you must win in court.

Also, shave those goddamn mustaches off. They look ridiculous.

The songs:

Aluminum Park — My Morning Jacket
At the House of the Clerkenwell Kid — The Real Tuesday Weld
Sundialing — Caribou
Advance Cassette — Spoon
The Tooth Fairy and the Princess — Hüsker Dü
Innocent Bones — Iron & Wine
Dance All Night — Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
All Apologies — Nirvana
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell — The Flaming Lips
Roses Are Free — Ween

Bonus Video:

I Wanna Be Your Dog — Iggy Pop and the Stooges (late homage to Ron Asheton):

The Rules: The Friday Random 10 is exactly that — random. We open up our iTunes, set the thing on shuffle, and listen to 10 songs. We are not permitted to skip any out of embarrassment or fear of redundancy. Commenters are encouraged to post their own.


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