I am not one to bash police. But I’m also not surprised that a Howell police officer wouldn’t let a couple rushing to the hospital with the wife in the critical stage of labor off the hook.

Not because I have anything against the Howell police. In fact, I have met some and I’ve heard that as a whole the force is a group of really good guys.

The reason I am not surprised, though, is that some cops — just like some people in all walks of life — are real a*#holes. Drunk on their power, thrilled to be intimidating and scary and armed. And while I have been a huge advocate of the police for many years, throwing my support behind them almost every time the topic of law-enforcement comes up here on the air, this is the kind of police officer that gives all of them a bad name.

Now, I don’t know Anthony Marotto. Maybe in some aspects of his life he’s a nice guy. But he certainly doesn’t have the common sense or decency to wield that much power in his community.

I’m not even going to call him an anti-Semite, although I know many of you are expecting me to. No, I think it goes deeper than that. I think it goes to the core of how some police officers are down deep inside. Either they were bullied as kids, their family lives were dysfunctional, or their souls are just empty. But I’ve met too many good ones to not understand that something like this is unconscionable.

It seems to me that this guy had a vendetta, and I’m not sure why. Maybe somebody in his family died that day. Maybe he had a fight with his wife that day. Perhaps he had one of HIS family members hassled on the side of the road when THEY were in a dire emergency. (Although I doubt that.)

No — it’s worse than being anti-Semitic. It’s just being a mean and vindictive person. And vindictiveness is just about one of the worst traits you can have when you are charged with the responsibility of serving and protecting and caring a gun.

Do I (or should you) wish bad things on Officer Marotto? No, but I can’t help wondering why, unlike the good guys out there, he couldn’t take this couple's particular situation into account when he made his decision to leave them sitting there waiting for their summons.

I can’t help thinking that perhaps he wanted them to be punished for some reason. Is a man whose wife is in the last stages of labor above the law? No. But it certainly makes you understand why many people hold resentment and anger toward police officers like Officer Marotto.

Wouldn’t it be horrible if one day Anthony Marotto had his wife, or his daughter, or his sister in the critical stages of labor with all of the anxiety, pain and fear associated with it, be stopped and held by a police officer with absolutely no compassion for her plight? Oh, wait ... that will never happen because Anthony and his family probably have a get-out-of-jail-free card because their relative is a cop.

The Howell police, in remarking on the incident, said that the officer was “respectful”. I beg to differ. We are all human beings. Respect requires acknowledgement of this. Respect for other humans involves discretion, compassion for and thoughtfulness of others. And even though it seems that Anthony Marotto felt the need to treat this couple like criminals, our justice system even provides for a certain level of respect for criminals.

So, here is a message for the many police officers out there who don’t understand why the public shows disdain for and/or resentment toward them. Take a lesson from this situation: The public whom you are paid to serve and protect deserve respect. And Officer Anthony Marotto has a lot to learn about respect.

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