Dayton Beach, FL — An infuriating body camera video was released this week showing the callous disregard some police officers have for the very laws they enforce. The footage shows the above the law nature exhibited by law enforcement that would get the common citizen caged or killed.
Known as blue privilege, there is an unwritten law among police officers: when they catch their fellow cop, or even their fellow cop's family member, breaking the law, they are let go without consequence.
Last year, dashcam video was released showing preferential treatment of an Arkansas police chief who was let off — without so much as a warning — after speeding to an off-duty job as a referee at a football game.
The examples are unlimited.
In one case, in particular, an entire caravan of cops was given a pass for needless and dangerously speeding through town. An audio tape and video were published online of a conversation between a Washington State Patrol aircraft and a patrol car on the ground.
The aircraft kept identifying speeders while the ground unit would let them all go by since they were LEOs.
The cars were both marked and unmarked. There was also a dangerously driving motorcycle in the mix as well, weaving in and out of cars, who was actually stopped and then let go after realizing he was an LEO. Nothing happened to any of the officers for speeding.
The case in the video below, however, is perhaps, one of the most brazen practices of blue privilege TFTP has ever seen.
At 5 a.m., on June 13, Officer Rachel Ditton was driving a “red Chevy,” which was her personal vehicle, at high rates of speed. A patrol officer saw her speeding and conducted a traffic stop.
The officer followed Ditton for over a minute, observing her speeding. He then moved to pull her over.
When the officer gets out of his vehicle, after Ditton finally stopped, he's instantly berated by this infuriated speeding cop who couldn't believe she was actually pulled over for breaking the law.
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"I gotta get to work," Ditton says, clearly employing a privilege not afforded to those in the prole class. Breaking the law to make up for being late to work is a prerogative enjoyed by only those with the power to arrest you for that very law.
“Start reading your tag first before you pull someone over,” the irate Ditton shouts at the officer as she throws her car back in gear.
As the officer tried to tell Ditton, "Well, stop speeding," she then slammed down on the gas, peeling out as she sped away.
Had anyone but a police officer behaved in a similar fashion, rest assured, a high-speed pursuit, spike strips, helicopters, and potentially deadly force would've all been at the ready.
According to the News-Journal, Police spokeswoman Lyda Longa said on Monday that the department is “not going to answer any questions on this issue until the conclusion of the investigation.”
As for Ditton, she is still on the job and likely still breaking the very laws she, herself, would kidnap, cage, or kill people over.
Police in Dayton Beach would do well to take a page out of Volusia County's sheriff's book. Sheriff Mike Chitwood was busted earlier this year for going 78 mph in a 55-mph zone. Instead of acting like Ditton and demanding his blue privilege, he did the opposite. Chitwood actually asked for a ticket "to set an example" for the agency.
"I ordered him to write a ticket to send a message," Chitwood said of his own violation.
The sergeant who pulled Chitwood over quickly applied the blue privilege and told the sheriff to be on his way. But the sheriff realized this was wrong and called the sergeant back.
"I told him to write me a ticket," Chitwood said, adding that the deputy was initially hesitant. "I shouldn't be given a professional courtesy. I'm the sheriff for Christ's sake."
When cops refuse to act above the law and hold themselves accountable, this is most certainly a good thing. The Free Thought Project covered Sheriff Chitwood's story back in January in hopes his example would spread to others — like Ditton and her ilk. As we can see from the video above, however, his leading by example has yet to have an effect.