|Tough guy Gliniewicz|
We hear that three men - two white, one black - jump a cop from a small town in Illinois and shoot him with his own service gun, and we turn on the news to hear Megyn Kelly and Ted Cruz and other sagacious observers of the American landscape lay it all at the feet of the Black Lives Matter movement and we say, well, these words came out of the 45" magic picture box on the living room wall, so they must be true.
And then comes news that the cop in question, Charles Joseph Gliniewicz (I'll not use his rank out of respect for those who have earned the right to keep using that worthy title) killed himself. He used his gun to shoot himself once and then fired a second, fatal, shot, and he put it up to look like he was the victim of ruthless American killers. And then you read the list of charges against this man, ranging from threatening to shoot a dispatcher to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the police Explorer program he was supposed to supervise to not showing up for work now and then (drunk) to having sex with a subordinate to deliberately putting the wrong court date on summonses he issued...not to mention the story coming out that he tried to hire a hit man to take out the town administrator who was about to topple over his little pile of ill-gotten gain. I tell you, the list of charges against the man is longer than the grocery list I take to the Giant on Fridays. His complete personnel file, for your head-shaking wonder, is here.
And people say, that doesn't sound like the man some of us knew. But others in the police department out there knew what kind of creep he was, and yet, he stayed employed.
Not staying employed is Ben Golden. He was a big marketing executive at Taco Bell. You know, one of the people who decide that it's time to have a big special on Steak Boss Wraps or Doritos Locos Tacos.
But he went out on a Friday night a couple weeks back and had himself a time, all right. So he was drunk when he piled himself into the back seat of Edward Caban's Uber car, and when Golden was unable to articulate clearly the destination he wished to reach, he belted Caban roundly about the head and shoulders instead.
|Drunken mug shot|
Golden, whose job, after all, was to sell stuff to people that people really don't need, immediately appeared on another camera with a heartfelt mea culpa. He said he is ashamed, extremely remorseful, and hopes to offer a personal apology to Caban.
All good, for what it's worth. Golden has previous convictions related to drunken misbehavior in his past, so maybe it's twice bitten, thrice shy, and maybe not.
But then he said the worst thing he could have said, to my mind.
“I’ve seen the video a couple times, and it’s not me, in the video, you know?” Golden said. “It’s not me. And it was hard to watch, and I’m ashamed. What’s taken me so long to talk to anybody is because I’ve been scared. I lost my job, I don’t have a lot of resources behind me, you know? So I just didn’t know what to do.There it is. "It's not me."
Bart Simpson keeps this saying on hand for times of trouble: "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything." But Bart Simpson is an amusing cartoon character on a comedy show. Ben Golden is the sort of man who gets shafazzed and suckerpunches a guy trying to drive him home.
And Gliniewicz sucker punched us all, too. No one wanted to believe it was he who did that ultimate betrayal of his badge, as his supervisor put it, but it was, indeed.
We think we know.