Friday, May 05, 2006

Rep. Kennedy Crashed Car

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), son of Sen Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), crashed his car into a barrier around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. The police who arrived on the scene say they smelled alcohol on Kennedy's breath, but Kennedy denies drinking. When questioned, Kennedy said he was on his way to a vote. (The last House vote was about 6 hours earlier.) A police supervisor overruled the police on the scene and ordered them to take Kennedy home without giving him a breathalyzer test.

Kennedy's truthfulness is in dispute. Two witnesses, a hostess and a bartender, are reported to have seen Kennedy drinking. Kennedy's statement at the scene that he was heading to a House vote is false. Kennedy explains that he was disoriented, but the statement may have been calculated to prevent being arrested because the Constitution prohibits the arrest of a member of Congress going to attend a session of Congress.

The bigger issue to me is the favoritism that the police extended to Kennedy. As Sen. Ted Kennedy ironically asked in 1973, "Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty?" (Hat tip to commenter kitty at Radio Equalizer.)

The police did not treat Kennedy the same as they would have treated an ordinary citizen. That should not be acceptable in our society. Accordingly, the police superintendent who overruled the police on the scene should be fired.

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