FISKUS

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I was recently pulled over by our state police for speeding. It turns out that I had an old moving violation that I had never paid along with an expired driver license. It wasn’t a good day. I was detained at the local police station until the whole mess was sorted out. This lead to a discussion about authority and power with a lawyer friend of mine. What type of jobs truly give you power. Law enforcement, military – careers in politics, being a senator or congressman. My buddy laughed – “I think ER docs have the most authority of any job I have any seen” I asked him why would he think a ridiculous thing like that.

Think about it – You can meet a total stranger. Five minutes later you have your finger up their butt. Then you can bill them for it. Now that’s power.
:eek:
 

tastytreat

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Per my chief resident: there are only two reasons to not give someone a digital rectal exam. (1) you have no fingers or (2) the patient has no rectum.
 
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EctopicFetus

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Dont forget we keep people against their will a lot in the ED, esp now with the lack of psych beds. You get out of control, or are threatening, B 52 for you..
 

roja

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Per my chief resident: there are only two reasons to not give someone a digital rectal exam. (1) you have no fingers or (2) the patient has no rectum.

Actually, we presented data that showed that most of the time, the DRE is not helpful in exams to physicians. that judicious use of it will help but the dogma of rectalizing everyone is an outdated and useless concept. I imagine that if you queried alot of more experienced (ie >5-10 years experience) that you would find that thier actual practice (not what they preach) does not include rectalizing everyone.
 

tastytreat

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Actually, we presented data that showed that most of the time, the DRE is not helpful in exams to physicians. that judicious use of it will help but the dogma of rectalizing everyone is an outdated and useless concept. I imagine that if you queried alot of more experienced (ie >5-10 years experience) that you would find that thier actual practice (not what they preach) does not include rectalizing everyone.
duly noted, but you realize my comment was made in jest? man, tough crowd in here.
 

glorfindel

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It totally depends on what kind of power you're looking for. (The power to stick your own finger up someone's butt is not the kind of power a lot of normal folks aspire to.)

Think about all the low-prestige jobs that confer a lot of power in certain circumstances: bouncer, mail clerk, the person who picks up the phone to schedule you for your next dentist visit... If you piss these people off, they can make life really unpleasant for you.

Similarly, a lot of high-prestige, traditionally powerful jobs only confer power in narrowly-defined circumstances.

What all this comes down to, though, is that the power that a cop has over you during a traffic stop is almost limitless....
 

Painter1

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It totally depends on what kind of power you're looking for. (The power to stick your own finger up someone's butt is not the kind of power a lot of normal folks aspire to.)

Think about all the low-prestige jobs that confer a lot of power in certain circumstances: bouncer, mail clerk, the person who picks up the phone to schedule you for your next dentist visit... If you piss these people off, they can make life really unpleasant for you.

Similarly, a lot of high-prestige, traditionally powerful jobs only confer power in narrowly-defined circumstances.

What all this comes down to, though, is that the power that a cop has over you during a traffic stop is almost limitless....

Law enforcement provides the MOST amount of power for the least amount of education both in breadth and in years required to achieve such status, hands down. This leads to an ease to abuse such a power, and a engraved culture of police officers with no sense of compassion and empathy. They have no concept of innocent before proven guilty and will treat you in inhumane ways without much provacation. It's only when cops are out of luck and they are caught on tape that we see this, but we hear about it all the time but no one cares to listen. In fact, In Maywood California, a whole police department is under investigation after a whole community slowly united to reveal stomach-churning ill and unethical practices against the community. I say an international organization be build to independantly govern police departments as without oversight, it will only be when you feel the unjustified wrath of unprofessional police officers that'll you'll agree.
 

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Speaking of cops...


My dad just called me. He is in a motorhome in Phoenix, AZ. Was tooling down I10, had a blowout in the rear, slowed up, eased to the next exit with two cops/lights behind him.

He pulls into some parking lot. Cops want to know why he was going so slow; dad points to the tire.

He got fined $150 for going too slow on the interstate. The cop said he should have hit the ditch and called a tow truck!!! They hassled him, asking if he was on drugs or had been drinking and on and on. What can you really do in that situation, and not being from that state, its really hard to dispute the ticket. *sigh*
 

DeadCactus

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Law enforcement provides the MOST amount of power for the least amount of education both in breadth and in years required to achieve such status, hands down. This leads to an ease to abuse such a power, and a engraved culture of police officers with no sense of compassion and empathy. They have no concept of innocent before proven guilty and will treat you in inhumane ways without much provacation. It's only when cops are out of luck and they are caught on tape that we see this, but we hear about it all the time but no one cares to listen. In fact, In Maywood California, a whole police department is under investigation after a whole community slowly united to reveal stomach-churning ill and unethical practices against the community. I say an international organization be build to independantly govern police departments as without oversight, it will only be when you feel the unjustified wrath of unprofessional police officers that'll you'll agree.

What business do the Spaniards, Germans, Mexicans, etc have with Hickville, USA's police department?
 

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I would argue that the fact that we can essentially be forced to do rectal and pelvic exams on people points to our powerlessness in EM, not our power. The next time a "patient" come to the ER at 2 am with a complaint of "bleeding, might be pregnant" just to save the $5 for a preg test that she blew on more smokes and you have to have two techs hold back the flab so you can wedge the extra jumbo speculum in there while you choke back your vomit ask yourself if you feel powerful.
 
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Thanks for the mental image DocB.

Reminds me of the 5 person Foley insertion team :scared:

-Mike
 

corpsmanUP

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My wife was a cop in Houston while I was in school. They have a HUGE amount of power and unfortunately there are a LOT of these guys that abuse it simply "because they can". We used to go out with a lot of fellow cops to bars and clubs and you cannot imagine some of the crap these guys pull even off duty. They always get in fights, start the fights, and the poor guy who looked at them wrong ends up with a wood shampoo and a a set of matching nickel bracelets hogtied in the back seat of a cop car. I was never so glad when my wife left this profession. I still have a very hard time with a lot of the tactics these guys use.

Never allow a cop to search your car!! They always like to ask " you don't mind if I take a quick look around do you?". You better hope they don't find that piece of dead grass that came off your shoes when you mowed the yard last month, because they will call the drug dogs and then tear your car apart. There is no end to the wrath these asshats can dish out, so just be firm right off the bat. Even if you have nothing in your vehicle, refuse the search on principle and show them you DO have a bit of power as well.

I can't stand bad cops!
 

12R34Y

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I can't stand it when people bash the police and place them into huge generalizations with broad brush strokes.

These guys are under tremendous amounts of stress on a daily basis. People call you at the first sign of trouble and they sue you for not be perfect. They're constantly verbally abused. Nobody likes them. About 99% of cop calls are nothing/bogus/help the old lady stuff.

All interactions with police I've had in my years in EMS and now as an EM resident have been great and positive. They serve a huge and important function in our society and are the first line of defense.

I love it when people bash the cops................who's the first person you're going to call for help in an emergency? 9-1-1.

How 'bout some respect for these guys who run the risk of getting shot at everytime they pull someone over for speeding in the hood OR knock on someone's door for a disturbance and BOOM dead.

I especially can't handle any disrespecting cops from the EMS guys on here.

They've saved my butt a ton.

later
 

corpsmanUP

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I can't stand it when people bash the police and place them into huge generalizations with broad brush strokes.

These guys are under tremendous amounts of stress on a daily basis. People call you at the first sign of trouble and they sue you for not be perfect. They're constantly verbally abused. Nobody likes them. About 99% of cop calls are nothing/bogus/help the old lady stuff.

All interactions with police I've had in my years in EMS and now as an EM resident have been great and positive. They serve a huge and important function in our society and are the first line of defense.

I love it when people bash the cops................who's the first person you're going to call for help in an emergency? 9-1-1.

How 'bout some respect for these guys who run the risk of getting shot at everytime they pull someone over for speeding in the hood OR knock on someone's door for a disturbance and BOOM dead.

I especially can't handle any disrespecting cops from the EMS guys on here.

They've saved my butt a ton.

later


Well, handle what you wish, and I'll say what I wish. Seeing as I've slept with a cop some 5 years plus, and ran the streets with them as a medic for another half decade, I feel this qualifies me to think what I want. My banner of free speech was well earned a long time ago.

Hood you mention?? I am from the hood, and I know what it is like to see profiling every day. You see the side of the cops that you see because you are a "good guy". Make one wrong turn and say one wrong thing and be out of your ED realm, and see how you can become a "bad guy" in their eyes in 2 seconds.

Also read the last line of my previous post. It said I hate bad cops, not all cops. Some are good, and some are bad.
 

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Neutropenic fever...I think that makes three.

I never understood the reasoning to avoid digital rectal exams/rectal temperatures in neutropenic patients. Think about it...these patients are defecating daily, hard stool or constipation is certainly worse than a controlled finger.

JoeG
 

12R34Y

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Well, handle what you wish, and I'll say what I wish. Seeing as I've slept with a cop some 5 years plus, and ran the streets with them as a medic for another half decade, I feel this qualifies me to think what I want. My banner of free speech was well earned a long time ago.

Hood you mention?? I am from the hood, and I know what it is like to see profiling every day. You see the side of the cops that you see because you are a "good guy". Make one wrong turn and say one wrong thing and be out of your ED realm, and see how you can become a "bad guy" in their eyes in 2 seconds.

Also read the last line of my previous post. It said I hate bad cops, not all cops. Some are good, and some are bad.

My post was mainly brought about by Painter1's post not yours. Although I understand your point I still disagree.

I've been involved in plenty of situations back in the day (read: drunken college student etc...) bars where fights break out etc...I've never seen cops abuse there power. If a guy is fighting, spitting, not listening to the commands they are yelling at him or he just got done leading them on a 90mph chase then HELL YEAH he gets his brains beat out! He's a dead beat.
Painter1 posts acts as if grandma calls 911 and needs help she gets robbed and beaten and left for dead.

Just went to a bar after a shift with some people the other day and a fight broke out between 2 drunken idiots that spilled onto the street. guy was cussing up a blue streak and beligerent.

About 9 cops showed up (this occured in an inner city ghetto.....the supposed worst, non-empathetic, mean cops) and were pretty calm. Cuffed the guy. Asked him why he was being such a drunken idiot and put him in the back of the car and took him to our ED.

This......is how most situations are. 99.9% of the time. Contrary to Painter1 they don't drive to the nearest alley and beat the guy to within an inch of his life just to abuse power.

later
 

12R34Y

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My point is that it fascinates me how people are suprised by the fact that police (humans with emotions and adrenaline) fight back and subdue people are the "bad guys".

You'd beat the heck out of the guy who was slugging at you and your parter too! wouldn't you?!

I'd probably be pretty likely to end a confrontation with a guy who just led me on a police chase or ran from me with overwhelming force as well.

Especially in the middle of the night without backup etc....

These guys run the risk of getting shot at or stabbed frequently. They're in a fight for their lives.

Would you rather that someone gets in a fight with a bad guy and then plays softly with them in order to be too rough?

I know I'm the "good guy", but you run an inherent risk of being beaten by a cop if you are dumb enough to be a "bad guy" and don't listen to basic commands like "put your hands above your head."

What would you have the cops do? "Sir, put your freakin' hands on your head NOW!! or I'll shoot you!!"

Bad guy: "no. I'm leaving. I ain't gonna put my hands up."

So, the cops should then go "all right. we asked. no biggie. just do what you want and it's all cool."

No, the cops should tase his brains out. he's a bad guy.

cops don't generally beat on innocent bystanders.

later
 

Miami_med

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4 cops in my local PD arrested for trying to work with the mob last month.

We have an MD on staff at my university who landed in jail in LA because they accused him of stealing a car. He looked just like the actual perpetrator. I mean come on, they were both black :rolleyes: .

Let's just say that I have some close connections to some attorneys in this area, and some of the actions of the police that they have encountered in their work have been, we'll say, less than upstanding.

I have still never seen a cop driving within 15 mph of the speed limit unless he was about to write someone a ticket for a going a speed that was slower than he was driving yesterday. I could actually go on all day about Miami cop driving tactics. No lights or sirens.

I'm 16 years old. Cop runs red light, no lights, no sirens. Hit's me going through a green light legally. Well, technically I slammed on my breaks and it worked out that I hit him. No one is hurt. Cop admits fault. Gold shielf homicide detective shows up. Cop makes up BS story about chasing a non-existant guy running the light. Claims that his lights were on. Detective gives me a ticket. Ticket is instantly thrown out in court for being BS. $1300 damage to my car. I'm still waiting for my money Pembroke Pines.

All cops aren't bad. Many are. And I still believe that it was in NJ where a man was not allowed to join the PD because his IQ was too high.
 

corpsmanUP

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My point is that it fascinates me how people are suprised by the fact that police (humans with emotions and adrenaline) fight back and subdue people are the "bad guys".

You'd beat the heck out of the guy who was slugging at you and your parter too! wouldn't you?!

I'd probably be pretty likely to end a confrontation with a guy who just led me on a police chase or ran from me with overwhelming force as well.

Especially in the middle of the night without backup etc....

These guys run the risk of getting shot at or stabbed frequently. They're in a fight for their lives.

Would you rather that someone gets in a fight with a bad guy and then plays softly with them in order to be too rough?

I know I'm the "good guy", but you run an inherent risk of being beaten by a cop if you are dumb enough to be a "bad guy" and don't listen to basic commands like "put your hands above your head."

What would you have the cops do? "Sir, put your freakin' hands on your head NOW!! or I'll shoot you!!"

Bad guy: "no. I'm leaving. I ain't gonna put my hands up."

So, the cops should then go "all right. we asked. no biggie. just do what you want and it's all cool."

No, the cops should tase his brains out. he's a bad guy.

cops don't generally beat on innocent bystanders.

later

Gotta call BS on this response. My wife is over my shoulder laughing at your depiction of her fellow colleagues. She said it is more like 65% of the time cops do the right thing. She also mentioned that about 20% of the time they do nothing versus the wrong or right thing, meaning they just do most anything to avoid peperwork and calls.

True: cops have hard jobs and the majority of them are decent people.
True: a lot of cops abuse their power, which unlike abusing power as a McDonald's drivethrough worker, can result in irreversible life consequences for some innocent and unlucky people.

Remember Rodney King? He probably was a loser and probably even deserved a bit of a roughing up, but in typical fashion, the cops went overboard and thought they would get away with it. If you equiped every officer with a shoulder mounted video camera that never went off, there would be a lot more cops in prison, or a lot less abuse of power.
 

12R34Y

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Gotta call BS on this response. My wife is over my shoulder laughing at your depiction of her fellow colleagues. She said it is more like 65% of the time cops do the right thing. She also mentioned that about 20% of the time they do nothing versus the wrong or right thing, meaning they just do most anything to avoid peperwork and calls.

True: cops have hard jobs and the majority of them are decent people.
True: a lot of cops abuse their power, which unlike abusing power as a McDonald's drivethrough worker, can result in irreversible life consequences for some innocent and unlucky people.

Remember Rodney King? He probably was a loser and probably even deserved a bit of a roughing up, but in typical fashion, the cops went overboard and thought they would get away with it. If you equiped every officer with a shoulder mounted video camera that never went off, there would be a lot more cops in prison, or a lot less abuse of power.


You can call BS all you want. While I appreciate your wife's opinion it hardly makes me change my mind.

cops don't beat down and tase innocent people shopping for shoes.

Again........what would you have the cops do? Just be there for moral support?

How do yo expect them to enforce any law anyway nowadays? There hands are virtually tied to basically shake hands with people if even if someone is violent towards them.

Gotta love a good cop bashing thread. Anymore want to jump on and talk about the time in college some cop responded to a drunken party and pushed some drunken friend down who got mouthy with the cop?

I mean come on.

I should probably start calling ADT and have them send a technical support person out in the middle of the night for an intruder in my house instead of 911. After all they might show up and smack my wife around for calling inapproriately.

later
 

Orthonut

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This whole "cops are bad and harass people" thing's got me thinking. I suppose if you think cops only harass people, then that means that everyone in prison is innocent too?

"I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

Reply:

First of all, let me tell you this, it's not easy. In Toronto we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing. The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day-to-day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents. When you toss in the commercial, business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task.

To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring.

What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass. The tools available to us are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase we often use. This means we'll come out and give some special harassment. Another popular one is, "There's a guy breaking into a house" or" So and so has a grow op". The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no drivers license and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really beef up the harassment when you find they have drugs in the car, are drunk, or have a warrant.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

STATUTES: When we don't have PHONE or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle, Liquor Act, etc... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offences and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy smash a car window. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy.

It is a pretty cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well. I seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we keep the streets safe for them. Next time you are in my town, give me a single finger wave, that's another code word.
 

docB

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The problem with so many of these threads is that they degenerate into gross generalizations. Not all cops are bad. Not all cops are good. The same cop isn't good or bad all the time. I've been in EMS and the ER for 16 years. I've seen cops do great things. I've also been ordered off scenes just so I could go back 30 min later to transport the guy after he "fell down a lot."

What I have found is that cops usually identify with ED folks because we put up with the same bs from the same people. However if a cop for any reason decides you are a scumbag they will do whatever they want to you and it will all be justified in the report. And if you challenge a cop's authority, even if you are right, (like refusing to hold a person the cops want held because it's not medically indicated) then you will be in a lot of trouble.
 

EctopicFetus

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From Tony Montana

"In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the woman."

Also, most cops are great people. They protect us, are there some bad apples? SURE.. But are they the majority no way. They are on the front lines, this is something that has a huge impact on them and because of the system they are often given power up front but limited power behind them.
 

wook

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Remember Rodney King? He probably was a loser and probably even deserved a bit of a roughing up, but in typical fashion, the cops went overboard and thought they would get away with it.

Dude:

Have you ever seen the full video of the Rodney King incident? He actually ripped out the Tasers and was completely out of control. His hands were not displayed several times and came out quickly enought to make your sphincter tighten that he might have a weapon. At that point, IMO they had the option to cap him. Once they had him cuffed, THEY were the ones out of control.

Bottom line, the cops would probably not have gotten into trouble if they capped him while he was on his feet and out of control. Which should get people thinking about generalizing on law enforcement.


Wook
 

corpsmanUP

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Dude:

Have you ever seen the full video of the Rodney King incident? He actually ripped out the Tasers and was completely out of control. His hands were not displayed several times and came out quickly enought to make your sphincter tighten that he might have a weapon. At that point, IMO they had the option to cap him. Once they had him cuffed, THEY were the ones out of control.

Bottom line, the cops would probably not have gotten into trouble if they capped him while he was on his feet and out of control. Which should get people thinking about generalizing on law enforcement.


Wook

A little too much Fox News on your TV heh? Let's see, 9 cops, one man. I don't care how you cut it up or add up the numbers, it was excessive. Your viewpoint on something as difficult as this depends on the world from you which you derive. It's as skewed as the way Al-Quaida views the American way of life. People from tough places in the US see law enforcement differently that you see it, because they ALL know someone who got screwed by the police in one way or another. It may not make sense to the general public, but neither did racism in the 60's.
 
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