Real-Life Cops Should Take Lessons From Lethal Weapon Movies
Two Boynton Beach police officers were arrested Tuesday on charges of lying and official misconduct.
The State Attorney's Office says that these officers were not truthful about the way they served an arrest warrant last November: They wrote that they'd knocked on a perp's motel room door, but prosecutors say that they actually asked the motel owners to let them into the suspect's lodging.
Those cops, Michael Mulcahy and former officer Michael Arco, also have fat Internal Affairs files, rife with write-ups for incompetence, insubordination, and overall laziness.
But if American cinema -- specifically, the buddy-cop sub-genre -- has taught us anything about proper
policing, it's that law enforcement should be incompetent, insubordinate, and lazy.
Consider: America's country's best police officers -- Lethal Weapon's Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs -- would have never been able to take down L.A.'s criminal underbelly without numerous public shootouts and poorly orchestrated explosions and the occasional fib every now and then. Sure, millions of dollars worth of property got damaged and a lot of innocent lives were jeopardized, but they always wound up catching the bad guys, which is all that's really important if you're a real cop. Also, in their off-time, they boxed and had a little person as a close friend! How cool is that?
To prove that the ends justify the means, even if there's a teensy bit of false paperwork involved (as with the Acro-Mulcahy case), the Pulp would like to present an informative, vindicating vignette: Murtaugh and Riggs as Boynton's Arco and Mulcahy, on that fateful November evening.
Scene: Murtaugh and Riggs pull up to a Boynton Beach motel, a flophouse with a buzzing neon sign and flamingo-pink paint. A hooker or a junkie, depending upon the available extras, lingers near an algal pool. They've got to bring a fugitive to jail. Riggs, a shoot-from-the-hip kind of cop who trashes cruisers and perps with boyish nonchalance, lights a cigarette. Riggs, in skin-tight Levis, shakes his head, so that his wavy mullet undulates dreamily. Murtaugh, a veteran on the force, can't stand his partner's antics, but usually goes along with them anyway.
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs, you sure we got the right address?
Riggs: Yeah, address, I'll show you a fucking address.
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs, I don't see anything.
Riggs:Oh shit, what the hell is that?
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs, I thought you quit smoking?
Riggs throws his cigarette out of the car window and starts to eat Milkbones.
Riggs: Crazy, I'll show you fucking crazy. Shoot him! Shoot him!
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs. Shoot who? Hey Riggs.
Riggs eats another Milkbone.
Riggs: Riggs, homicide.
Murtaugh: Homicide? But nobody's dead.
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs, you got a plan?
Riggs: OK, here's what we're going to do .We're going to distract him. We're going to distract the fugitive out of the room, because we can't just bust up in there, OK. So you're going to take off your pants and your shirt and strip down to your boxers and start doing a chicken dance, OK? I'll go around the back and shoot him. I'll go out there under fire because you have more to live for. You have a wife and kids.
Murtaugh: No, you go under cover, and I'll go under fire.
Riggs: What are you, out of your mind? I got a lot less to lose!
Murtaugh, wearing sock garters and an ankle pistol holster, begins to disrobe.
Riggs: Nice shorts, Murtaugh. Are those little hearts?
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs. Aw, shutup. Riggs? Riggs! Hey Riggs, how are we going to get this guy out of his room? You got a plan?
Riggs: Plan? I'll show you a fucking plan? We'll just get the front-desk people to let us in. Then we'll jump off the side of the building, onto that giant airbag thingy. Besides, there's no bomb in there. It's a full moon. Merry Christmas.
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs. That mean I can put my clothes back on?
Riggs: Ok, so you go around the back of the office and dance and make those chicken sounds, bukaa, allright, and I'll go into the motel office and start shooting, I mean, ask the people to unlock the door.
Murtaugh: Hey Riggs. How are we going to explain this on an arrest report?
Riggs: Arrest report? I'll show you a fucking arrest report. We'll just say that we knocked and that the guy let us in.
Riggs approaches the front desk. Murtaugh begins dancing and clucking.
Murtaugh: I'm gettin' too old for this shit.
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