That's just about as exciting a headline as "dog bites man."
I joked about murder victims. Of course you joke about murder victims. I mean, you do try and wait till you're away from from the murder scene before joking about murder victims (though I didn't even always pass that test).
So after work--after seeing another person take his last earthly breath, after looking at a dead criminal's brain spatter all about, after seeing the bastard's family break down over the death of their "baby," after hearing witness after witness say they "didn't see nothin'", after sorting through the guy's bloody and dirty clothes for evidence collection--after all that you go have a few beers with your buddies and you tell stories. You laugh. You try and make sense out of world that makes no sense.
This is what police do. And they do it day after day. What are you supposed to do? Buy flowers and the first silk-screened t-shirt in memory of the dead guy?
You should joke about murder victims. Otherwise you'd go crazy. It's called gallows humor. And I support it. It's cheaper than a shrink. Oftentimes more effective, too.
Now an Erie police officer, James Cousins II, is being suspended for doing just that.
Sure, this cop had a few too many. But we all have.
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So what exactly is the crime? To think such things? To say such things? Or to be recorded and posted without your consent on youtube? We all gossip and think and say insensitive things in private and to our friends that are not appropriate for public broadcast.
He was off duty and this is free speech. The appropriateness of speech changes according to time and place. If he gave this speech to a news camera for the evening news, then that would be inexcusable. Even in semi-public environments like bars we deserve some protection of privacy and free speech. This wasn't a racist tirade. He didn't use the N-word (neither of which would be appropriate in any context). He's a drunk cop telling a war story.
And for the record, it is funny, even hilarious, to come across a guy shot dead in the head right under a malt-liquor sign that says, "Take it to the head"! Swear to God. Next round is on me.