An article on the USA Today website, dated July 7, 2020, reports on a San San Diego County Sheriff’s Department deputy currently under investigation for sharing a doctored, vulgar photo of police murder victim, George Floyd. Although the officer in question, Deputy Mark Ritchie, has been temporarily reassigned while the investigation continues, I sincerely doubt he’ll be fired for his gross insensitivity and racist actions, though he certainly deserves to be.
Ritchie’s vulgar behavior reminds me of a cop I once knew. Back in the early 80s, when I was with the Phoenix Police Department, there was a sergeant we Com Ops called “Sgt. Stupid”. This guy–his real name was Sgt. Wayne Corcoran–was a tool with a capital ‘T’. He was a crude, lewd S.O.B. who carried around with him–to restaurants, stores, even to the ice cream parlor–a gym bag full of 8×10, full-color crime scene and autopsy photos. Sgt. Stupid thought it hilarious to pull out the gory photos and spring them on unsuspecting members of the public. The walls of his office at the Sky Harbor substation were plastered with even more of these photos–photos which were deemed confidential and not for public dissemination.
Sgt. Corcoran got away with this disgusting behavior for years. It all came to an end when, one day, a female cop saw among Corcoran’s photos her own deceased six-year-old son, his head blown off with her service revolver (due to her neglect, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). She complained to the powers-that-be and finally, FINALLY, Internal Affairs paid Sgt. Corcoran’s gore-covered office a visit and confiscated all the photos.
And that, thankfully, was the end of it. But for all his years of terrorizing members of the public, for all the dead victims he disrespected and exploited, for all his breaches of confidentiality, Sgt. Corcoran received …
… nothing. He wasn’t fired. Or demoted. Or given any days off, with or without pay. If he was disciplined at all, it amounted to no more than a slap on the wrist by his superiors.
Sgt. Corcoran spent many more years with the PPD, during which time he found innumerable other ways to offend people through his crude and vulgar behavior. He eventually retired, collecting a full pension, and went on to work for other law enforcement agencies where, no doubt, his lust and love for gore followed.