Friday, December 11, 2009

What Kenneth Aragon Teaches Us

kenneth aragon lapdArticles like this one published in the Los Angeles Times are always interesting to me because they illustrate the goings-on behind walls.

In this case, Kenneth Aragon, a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer crashed his bike after drinking too much earlier this month, and died.

On paydays, LAPD officers gather at the police department's training facility at Elysian Park. The training facility apparently has a bar where they serve alcohol. Officers celebrate payday by hanging out late into the night. This is where Aragon was.

So today the LAPD announced they had performed an investigation to determine how much alcohol Aragon consumed, and figured that he had consumed well enough to put him well over the legal limit. According to another article, the LAPD will force the academy bartenders to undergo retraining.

But if you read the first article I linked to above, police officers getting drunk on payday is a tradition. The article went on to say that during the 1970s and 1980s, they partied so hard as to bring girls into the academy for sex. These police officers drink and drive all the time, breaking the very same laws that we get busted for.

But to save face, the LAPD is going to make this guy into a scape goat. Aragon will be branded a bad apple to make us believe that the LAPD doesn't tolerate this kind of behavior.

And we all know that's bullshit.

Drinking and driving is something that we all do, police included. We all know it's dangerous, but we still do it. Just like how everybody breaks the speed limit. Just like how everybody uses a cell phone while driving. We all preach the gospel, but we never follow it.

If police officers and legislators are going to break these same laws, why do we even have these laws?

Isn't it just a game we play? We try to do the things we love to do, but we have to hide it from everyone lest we be caught and publicly humiliated. How stupid is that?

I don't know Kenneth Aragon personally, but I believe he was a good man, yet he was human like all of us. We shouldn't criminalize this guy, or make him out to be a bad apple. He was just like the 99% of us who are good people, but prone to make mistakes. Should we punish his legacy for that?

What I write won't change anything, but police should stick to going after violent criminals, and leave the 99% of us alone. I won't say anything about cops drinking and driving if they don't say anything about me doing it as well.

11 comments:

  1. The only real surprise is they didn't cover up the fact he had been drinking. There is a different set of laws for the guys in blue and the world knows it. While I am a law and order type of guy, but the rules should apply to everyone.

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  2. I did know Ken and he was a great guy. He coached my daughter in softball and gave a lot of time to help these young girls. He will be missed. He made a mistake and paid for it with his life. He has a great wife and kids and I hope the best for them.

    I also hope that his legacy won't be destroyed because of this. We all make mistakes, but this one not only hurt him but his family as well.

    Please consider what can happen when you drink and drive. Not only to yourself, but to others.

    Rest in peace my friend. You will never be forgotten.

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  3. they are just Mobile Taxation Units. that's all the laws are wrote for. to relieve us of our money

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  4. Don't by it for a minute, that the police didn't try to shift the blame and put it on the bar tenders. I would like to know how many people this officer had arrested for this very crime! And how many times he and his fellow LEO's let him drive away in his condition. Place the blame where it lies with the Aragon and his fellow LEO's that particapated in this "TRADITION". Please keep the Family in our prayers, their the ones who are suffering

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  5. I knew this guy Kenny and he was a good guy. My ex-boyfriend is a cop for the LAPD and that's how I knew him. For one let me say that this happens a lot. Everytime I went to a party with my boyfriend everyone there where cops and everyone would drink till they couldn't no more and drove that way. L A P D should not act so surprised about this because they know that this happens very often. Everytime there is a cop party or a cop gathering they drink till they are shit face.

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  6. I have known some hard partying guys over the last 25 years who eventually became cops. Out of all of those, only two of them seemed to take it seriously in terms of "I'm a cop now...I can't do that anymore." In the case of one guy, him and his buddies used to rip the mirror down in a cheap motel and put a volcano of cocaine on it. He became a cop and stopped snorting coke. Another guy I used to smoke dope with when we were in the National Guard. One weekend when I thought we were going to smoke he told me he'd given it up because he was getting onto the police dept. in his town. The rest of the ones I knew are all hypocritical assholes who make a joke out of getting away with the very same shit they ruin other people's lives for.

    I agree with you here 100%. This one cop shouldn't be villified for his screw up. He has already paid the ultimate price, and his family shouldn't suffer more insult over it.

    The sad thing is that there will always be two sets of rules...and "us" and a "them," if you will. It'd be nice if they went after the people with chainsaws and hockey masks and left the rest of us alone. But they never will. Unions, nepotism, politics, friends of friends of friends...that shit will never go away.

    It's not fair, but it is...life.

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  7. Excellent post. Honest and sensible. .08% is laughably low. Maybe it's my D.C. roots talking here, but I wonder if there isn't a Political Action Committee in your future.?.?

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  8. Ken and I were went through Marine Corps Boot Camp and law enforcement training together. He was a great man, a hard worker, a terrific athlete and my friend. My heart goes out to his family.

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  9. For the people who did not know him, shouldnt judge. Yes, the rules should apply and he did ultimetly pay the price for drinking and driving.it was his fault. but he was much more then that. and for the people who did not know him, you have no room to talk. he was an amazing person, dad, coach, officer, friend, softball player, and everything hes ever done. i love you with all my heart and i will forever until we meet again.we all miss you.nathan, lyss, adam, jess, and gab, and renee, they miss you more than anything. rip kenny, daddy, fellow team mate, fellow officer, and friend, you will be missed<3

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  10. I knew Kenny and he was an amazing person with everyone always willing to help. He even came out in my wedding. Kenny I will always remember you for ever and ever I wish I could of seen you for one last time and say good bye but I will always pray for you and I hope that you did not suffer.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)