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Befehl ist Befehl.

That is the simplest statement of the Nuremberg defense in German – “An order is an order.” Normally it is presented in the more elaborate form “I was just following orders” as a defense against prosecution.

Comrade Misfit has a post up, “Patrolman, Go Beat That Defenseless Old Woman to Death!”, that concerns the latest scandal in the NYPD, primarily dealing with fixing tickets, and has a picture of a protest by members of the patrolman’s union with signs that read “Just Following Orders”.

Fixing tickets is a Class A Misdemeanor in New York under Official Misconduct [Article 195.00 NYSPL]. Cops are paid to prevent crimes, not commit them. If someone in a white shirt told you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it?

The defense didn’t work for the German General Staff, and it won’t work for NYPD officers.


1 Badtux { 11.01.11 at 12:17 am }

Picketing the prosecutors demanding special treatment doesn’t sound to me like a very good idea. I mean, they *need* these prosecutors to prosecute the people they arrest. Who in the world thinks it’s a good idea to piss off people you need?!

– Badtux the Baffled Penguin

2 Bryan { 11.01.11 at 12:46 pm }

They lose support from the community when they protest prosecution of the obviously guilty on strictly ‘tribal’ grounds. If they think the bosses were behind the actions, drop a dime on the bosses.

This doesn’t seem to be a concern when they arrest the street dealers and users while avoiding the upper levels of the gangs.