Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Kill a Kid? Take the Day Off

Here’s another appalling story of how the police get treated one way and civilians quite another. Dallas cop does 70 in a 40 mph zone without his lights or sirens on, hits a kid on a bike and kills him. His punishment: A day off from work. Without pay, I’m sure.

A Dallas police officer who fatally struck a child last October received a one-day suspension during a disciplinary hearing this afternoon.

Senior Cpl. Michael Vaughn appeared before Assistant Chief Floyd Simpson, who oversees the city’s seven patrol stations.

The punishment was for “for violating the emergency vehicle operations policy when he drove over the speed limit without activating the lights and sirens,” police officials said.

If a civilian had done the same thing, it would almost certainly be vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter and would result in, at the very least, a serious fine and some time in jail. Here are the details:

On October 17, Vaughn was racing from one call to another when his squad car fatally struck 10-year-old Cole Berardi, who was riding his bicycle on a darkened portion of Belt Line Road in southeast Dallas…

Cpl. Vaughn’s lights and siren were not activated as required.

The police accident report released lists speed as a contributing factor in the accident. It states that the speed of Cpl. Vaughn’s vehicle ranged from 69 mph to 72 mph at the time of impact. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 40 mph.

Vaughn was later cleared by a grand jury of any criminal culpability. But internal investigators have since concluded that he failed to the follow the department’s established procedures.

It’s amazing what having that badge can do for you.