Police Still at Large

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More New Orleans Katrina policing fallout, the case of the missing Caddys:

"It needs to be handled by the Justice Department," [Cadillac dealer] Doug Stead said Tuesday. "… I think right now we've got cops looking for cops."

The state attorney general is investigating allegations New Orleans police made off with nearly 200 cars—including 41 new Cadillacs—as the hurricane closed in. The investigation is still under way, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Police have acknowledged some cars were taken. It was not considered looting because the officers patrolled in the cars, Capt. Marlon Defillo said. Police are cooperating with the investigation, he said.

"Our cars were flooded," Defillo said. "If it had been Pintos, nobody would have said anything. It got attention because it was Cadillacs."

"They didn't take the little Chevrolets, though, did they?" Stead responded. "They took the Cadillacs, and there were plenty of Impalas here."

It is not considered looting. Sweet.

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  1. I would understand how it would not be considered looting if the police reported commandeering the vehicles, and promised to return them and compensate for their use. But of course, that’s not the case here.

    Also, in the article it says that 80 new Chevys and Caddilacs were missing, so almost as many Chevys were taken as Caddilacs, contrary to what the manager is implying.

  2. “It’s not looting ’cause I was using it, see?”

  3. Yeah, that’s just insane.

    Is commandeering even legal? You see it in the movies all the time, but I thought I heard once that is used just as a plot device, and never really happened. Legally, at least.

  4. My old man’s ID (he’s a retired fed) said that he was “authorized to request” use of a vehicle during an emergency, which would to me imply that the request can be denied (this is part of the Constitution anyway, as I recall).

  5. I would think that under Fifth Amendment standards the city would either have to pay the fair market value of the cars (if it kept them) or pay the depreciation if it returned them.

  6. I love my cop car. It’s got a cop motor, a four hundred and forty-cubic-inch plant. Cop springs. Cop shocks. Cop suspension. Con tires. It was a model made before catalytic converters, so it runs on regular gas.

  7. I would think that under Fifth Amendment standards the city would either have to pay the fair market value of the cars (if it kept them) or pay the depreciation if it returned them.

    Ah, but the cars were blighted, so the fair market value was zero.

    And keeping the cars anyway is part of the cops’ personal economic redevelopment plans.

  8. Elwood, that car’s got a lot of pick up.

  9. It’s like the photograph captions say:
    Black people loot.
    White people find.
    Police people commandeer.

  10. Come on. All hell is breaking loose. You’ve got to commandeer a car. What are you gonna commandeer? The Geo Tracker? Or the Escalade?

    That’s just how NOPD rolls baby!

    Besides. You wouldn’t want those fine ass ‘Lacs to end up in the hands of a a roving band of cracked-out, baby raping, cannabalistic, EMS shooting looters now would you?

  11. Thing is, I know some people that know some people who robbed some people.

  12. If the police department has possession of the vehicles, they were used for actual patrolling, and the dealer is paid for them, then it’s not looting.

    If the vehicles are parked at the homes of police officers, and/or the police department does not have a full accounting of them, then they are stolen.

    One could argue that the cars would have been looted [blighted :)] anyway, but I’m not aware that insurance companies pay off for hypothetical losses.

  13. Awww, I was gonna loot you a present!

  14. The last Pinto was made 25 years ago. Get some more recent references, Wiggum.

  15. Only problem: in an earlier report, Sneed said the dealership started losing inventory before the storm even hit.

  16. The last Pinto was made 25 years ago. Get some more recent references, Wiggum.

    Wasn’t there a movie a couple of years ago where the entire police force drove Yugos?

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