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Doug Clark: Cpl. Clark weighs in on law, disorder

TUESDAY, FEB. 15, 2011

Back by popular demand, Cpl. Clark will now answer your latest questions about cops, courts and crime.

Let the illumination begin!

Q – Whew, that was sure a close call for those two city police officers the other day.

A – Yes. It’s not every day when you knock on a door and some nutcase charges you with a baseball bat.

Q – They took the jerk straight to jail, right?

A – Actually, they took him straight to Seattle.

Q – Seattle?

A – Last year the Mariners scored only 513 runs. They’ll take anyone right now who can swing the lumber.

Q – How come there’s been so much bad news lately about cops?

A – Beats me. But it could have something to do with bad cops.

Q – You mean like that sheriff’s deputy who got canned last month in the wake of allegations of poor work performance and criminal misconduct?

A – He’ll do.

Q – One complaint about Deputy Travis Smith was about a brass knuckle knife he discovered in a vehicle search. Smith supposedly stabbed the thing into the passenger seat because he thought it was funny. What kind of cop thinks knifing a car seat is funny?

A – A cop who thinks he’s a cutup.

Q – Think Smith’s laughing now?

A – His pals in the unemployment line say he’s a riot.

Q – You still believe there are heroes in law enforcement, don’t you?

A – Absolutely! In fact, one of the bravest men works at the Spokane County Jail.

Q – What did he do?

A – He went above and beyond the call of duty according to a recent news story.

Q – Which story?

A – The one that read: “A jailer found 14 grams of meth in Richard D. Hall’s shoe and ‘bodily orifice’ after the 27-year-old was arrested …”

Q – Does “bodily orifice” mean what I think it does?

A – It does.

Q – Whoa. It’s a thankless job being a jailer.

A – Not nearly as thankless as the job would be without rubber gloves.

Q – Changing the subject a moment, what’s your take on that juror who got the boot for sleeping in Superior Court?

A – The judge should have been tipped off when the juror showed up wearing a Snuggie and slippers.

Q – How come you don’t seem more outraged?

A – We rarely see justice when the jurors are awake. Letting them doze may lead to better verdicts.

Q – You’re kidding, right?

A – Hey, I’ve sat through my share of trials. Sleep is a merciful escape when the attorneys start droning.

Q – Do you think the juror should have been kicked out?

A – No. She was just following instructions.

Q – Instructions?

A – You know, “The defense rests.”

Q – On a final note, what do you think about that city police detective who is on administrative leave after being charged with obstructing a Fish and Wildlife enforcement officer?

A – Cpl. Clark has a zero tolerance policy for anyone connected to organized crime.

Q – Organized crime? What are you talking about? Detective Jeff Harvey is vice president of the Spokane Police Guild.

A – And your point is?

Q – You think you’re pretty funny, don’t you Cpl. Clark?

A – Well, I’ve never stabbed a car seat.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.

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