For some people, political power can overwhelm common sense in spectacularly nefarious ways.
As Americans, we have unfortunately come to expect that our lawmakers are more often than not somewhat corrupt. After all, they are often doing our dirty work, and a certain level of nefarious knowledge seems to go a long way when it comes to wheeling and dealing in our state houses and on Capitol Hill.
There are occasions, however, when this political power appears to corrupt our elected officials in pathetic and shallow ways, as evidenced by the latest news out of Indiana.
An Indiana state lawmaker is accused of impersonating a police officer to find cocaine, driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, according to prosecutors.
Rep. Dan Forestal, a Democrat who was elected to the state House in 2012, approached a couple outside their Indianapolis home Saturday night and told them: “I’m a legit officer doing a drug bust and today is the last day before the Feds descend and start kicking in doors,” court documents said.
He then showed them a badge with a silver chain and asked them to tell him where the “people selling drugs” lived.
Earlier in the evening, Forestal, 36, had been at a bar telling customers he was a firefighter, and asking them where he could buy “party favors” like cocaine, a bartender told investigators, according to an affidavit filed in Marion Superior Court on Wednesday.
Then things turned far uglier.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department received a call about Forestal’s behavior after 11 p.m., found him driving and pulled him over. Responding officers said they noticed Forestal’s breath smelled of alcohol, his eyes were red and glossy, and he was swaying.
He wouldn’t get out of his vehicle, and when two officers tried to remove him, he grasped the steering wheel, the affidavit said. When he was finally removed from the car and handcuffed, Forestal told the officers he was going to sue them for “violating his civil rights.”
He told them he was a lawmaker, a firefighter and the sheriff’s nephew, and “stated that due to his position in public safety and as a state representative, he would ‘have’ all of the officers’ badges,” the affidavit said.
This is yet another instance in which our public servants have found themselves under the impression that they are somehow above the laws that their constituents are subservient to.
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