Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bizarro World

Sometimes the upside-down-ness of our world still stuns me. Though I so often encounter the bizarre nature of the present state of our world that it seems I am quite used to it, every once in a while I'm reminded how backwards we really are. The latest incident still left me stunned though I've encountered it multiple times before. So here it is:

Last week I handled a breaking and entering of a garage in which the suspects stole about $3,500 worth of property. A few days later a suspect was identified, located, and arrested. The 17 year old was just old enough to avoid the foolishness of our juvenile court system and faces 3 felonies and a high court misdemeanor charge as an adult.

A local judge set the bond for this suspect at $10,000. It was an appropriate amount. As soon as the judge set the bond the 17 year old's parents were at the station with a bondsman. A surety bond was posted and 22 hours after he was arrested, I released the suspect to his parents in the lobby of the station.

Now for the bizarro world: Out comes the suspect who was arrested for multiple felonies to smiling parents and siblings who greet him with hugs and kisses. Almost as if to say, "Well done, nice job, we are so happy for you."

The thought occurred to me, that if I at 17 years old were to commit such crimes, my parents would have quite a different response. First of all they never would have bonded me out. Second of all if I were to get out I'd have to face the just wrath of my dad (which would no doubt be worse than any punishment the court could hand out). I most certainly would not be greeted with hugs and kisses. I would have more likely been greeted by a severe punishment which would have made me want to volunteer to return to the jail cell.

And so I guess the massive grace of having decent parents in my life is why I ended up being a police officer. In the same way the lack of such massive grace in that 17 year old suspect's life resulted in him not fearing to do that which I would have been terrified to do.

It is not surprising that the suspect's mother has a criminal history record that is longer than my arm.  It is one which her son would have to work at very hard for several years to exceed.

Still I'm shocked at how upside-down things can become once we lose the center of gravity of right and wrong. Things truly begin to look bizarre once we throw off the restraining grace of fearing the authorities which were set in place by God to keep the world from dissolving into anarchy.

I voiced my displeasure at releasing this knucklehead to his smiling family. One of the dispatchers who heard me said she thought that after so many years of doing this I'd be used to it. The sad thing is that after nearyly 10 years of doing this I am used to it, but it still bothers me.  I hope I never get to a point where it doesn't bother me.


Mike said...

Bro, I'm right with you on this one. I am often flabbergasted at the number of families who act like getting a family member out of jail is akin to welcoming the family member home from a vacation.

My dad would have kicked my butt so hard I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week. My dad instilled in me a respect for the name and reputation he earned...and he made darn sure a snot-nosed punk kid wasn't going to tarnish it!

I grew up in a relatively small town where everybody knew me as "Lloyd's boy". My identity was defined by my dad and I feared his belt more than the law! I would've begged for the police to not release me to him :)

Great post, bro!

cgl said...

I hear you. It is bizzare world working in the "questionable" parts of South Bend and Benton Harbor. As you said it truly is a different culture and a totally different world.

Amanda said...

"Sometimes the upside-down-ness of our world still stuns me."

I said this numerous times today. I'm baffled by some of the perspectives and worldviews that are out there.

Sarah said...

Yet, how does Christ greet us?

Unbreakable Joy said...

Good point Sarah.

He meets us where we are, in the midst of our own bizarro world scenario. He indeed entered the upside-down world in order to turn it right-side-up again.

And the good news is that He can upright any life, no matter how upside-down.