A recent case from a Wisconsin slammer evokes memories of OP [via Brendan Koerner’s Microkhan]:
It doesn’t take a fancy head-shrinking degree to guess why some folks like to imitate cops. But we’ll let an expert break it down for you nonetheless. “The ordinary person who impersonates a police officer is likely to feel powerless in some way in their life,” says Dr. Phillip Resnick, director of forensic psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
That explanation certainly makes sense in the recent case of Joshua D. Kay, a Wisconsin jail inmate who just got pinched for telling his cellmates that he’s actually an undercover sheriff. The strange part? Kay was in the clink for impersonating a police officer.
But what about if you’re a seven-foot-tall millionaire? The “powerless” line doesn’t hold quite as much water. Which is why whenever I read about case’s such as Kay’s, I can’t help but think back to the curious saga of Olden Polynice. Nine years ago, Polynice was pinched twice for playing ersatz cop. Dude even sported a fake badge and allegedly identified himself as a member of the non-existent “California Sheriff’s Department.” (Polynice’s agent claims that the motorists misheard his client, and that the mediocre center was instead flashing an NBA ID card and stating, “I am a member of the Utah Jazz.”)
At least Polynice received an appropriate punishment: He was forced to end his career with my dearly beloved, eternally terrible Los Angeles Clippers.
If you’re losing interest in the NBA season and are looking for a healthy diversion, let me recommend Koerner’s book, Now the Hell Will Start. It’s one part social history, one part thriller, and one part morality play. Took it on my vacation last September and couldn’t put it down.