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A man enters the Nexus, dressed rather sharply -- dark grey suit,… 
24th-Jul-2009 01:48 pm

A man enters the Nexus, dressed rather sharply -- dark grey suit, navy blue tie, shiny black shoes, and a dark fedora to top it off. He may or may not be wearing a shoulder holster under his jacket, and that holster may or may not hold a .45 automatic pistol. Even if the man did happen to be carrying a weapon, he wouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary. The badge in his left pocket is testament to that.

Some may recognize Agent Melvin Purvis, while some may not. Either way, he wouldn't be particularly bothered -- his new environment distracts him enough for the moment, even though no one looking would be able to tell -- his expression doesn't change a bit.

Purvis strolls over to an empty table, taking a seat and pulling a smoke from his pocket. He lights it almost thoughtfully, taking a long drag before speaking.

"Do you," he says slowly; speaking with a slight, crisp Southern accent, "As a member of society... feel that those who serve the law -- particularly law enforcement -- are required to justify their actions? Or can you believe that whatever they did, they did for the public interest, and leave the matter alone?"

[ooc: Purvis is set mid-movie... no specific time, really; just in the midst of the Dillinger manhunt. :p]
Comments 
24th-Jul-2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
"Their actions should be justified," Zelgadiss replied bluntly. "Assuming someone is incorruptible just because they serve the law is like expecting every wolf to be friendly simply because they're dog-shaped."
25th-Jul-2009 01:27 am (UTC)
"Well, that does make sense -- can't pretend corruption doesn't exist in law enforcement." Although Purvis liked to believe the Bureau was moving forward, it had seen its fair share of corrupt agents... hopefully, most of that was in the past.

"What is seen as justified by some is not by others. Should they have to convince society of their justification, or are the proper authorities sufficient?"
25th-Jul-2009 01:31 am (UTC)
"Hard to say generally. There are too many factors." The chimera looked thoughtful. "Unless the authorities are themselves corrupt, they should be enough."
24th-Jul-2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
James is not the man sent in when you want somebody arrested, and if he does his job right then 'members of society' will never know his name as more than a footnote, or maybe a notch on a bedpost. All the same, it's safe to say he's qualified to answer the question and he smiles faintly, temporarily resisting the impulse to light up a cigarette of his own. "We all answer to somebody," he drawls, "at the end of the day."
25th-Jul-2009 01:40 am (UTC)
Purvis winces a little -- internally, of course -- at the thought of who he answers to. Hoover was unpredictable, to say the least; and no one wanted to be in his disfavor.

"I suppose we do," he agrees. "It is unavoidable... but there are some that we are not required to answer to, despite the fact that they may think otherwise."
25th-Jul-2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
"Are you looking for reassurance or absolution?" James asks, dry and evidently not inclined to offer either.
25th-Jul-2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
"Absolution, perhaps." He took another drag of his cigarette. "I hardly have need for reassurance, particularly from citizens who have little understanding of what working in law enforcement is like."

Maybe that's not entirely true, but at least it is for the most part.

Purvis pauses before speaking again. "Speaking generally, of course. For all I know, you could be in a similar line of work as myself."
24th-Jul-2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
If this person is a member of 'society', it is one that has little resemblance to Purvis's. Which is true, actually, but possibly not for the reasons Melvin here might think.

He looks up from the device strapped to his wrist at the 'member of society' thing - that's an odd phrase to start a question with, and listens to the rest of the question.

"Your questions are vague. Justice and laws vary from government to government, and those who serve the law must also answer to it. But if you're asking whether I as an individual trust that an agent's actions were just without requiring an explanation myself? Yes, I can."
25th-Jul-2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Purvis regards the man coolly before flashing a quick, tight smile. "The government I am referring to is that of the United States of America. A democracy, if that's specific enough."

His eyebrows raise slightly. "You have faith in the -- your -- justice system, then. I suppose what I'm asking is whether or not an agent should have to justify themselves to the public. Not their superiors, but members of the society they serve to protect."
25th-Jul-2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
He returns the smile - they understand each other, yes.

"It isn't, but I'm not sure it matters. I think what you're really asking me is, if the public demands an explanation, are you required to give it? No. Only if the demand is strong enough that it will result in unrest, undo the work you've done to keep peace and order. That is the first duty of an officer, after all."
26th-Jul-2009 05:21 am (UTC)
"Yes... that, in so many words, was what I was inquiring. What I do would not have that extreme an effect, yet... there are still some who demand explanations. I do not believe I was, or am, required to give one."

It still bothered him slightly -- although he would never admit it, or even allow his expression to show it.
24th-Jul-2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
"Actions always have to be justified to someone, be it superiors or just the people themselves." Lucy offers this evenly, almost lazily - it's something she knows a little about, from her dad.

"It would be nice if every member of law enforcement did everything for public interest, buuut not everyone is a pillar of society."
25th-Jul-2009 01:49 am (UTC)
"Every agent, regardless of their actions, is required to answer to their superiors. The question, I suppose, is directed more at the public -- whether they can demand justification from law enforcement."

Purvis takes another drag of his cigarette and exhales slowly. "Most do serve public interest, in my experience -- even if, at times, their actions seem questionable."
25th-Jul-2009 01:00 am (UTC)
Power corrupts too easily. If law enforcement doesn't have to answer to anyone, it starts making up its own laws and that ain't always in the public interest.
25th-Jul-2009 01:51 am (UTC)
"Of course, law enforcement should be -- and is -- required to answer to their superiors. However, do you believe they should also have to justify themselves to the public they serve?"
25th-Jul-2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Yes. The people at the top even more than at the bottom. The people at the top set the standards. If the ones at the bottom know they can get away with things because their "superiors" are corrupt too or unlikely to rat them out, they will. Some people feel that the public interest is best served by the public having no clue what's really being done. Once you decide the public is sheep, it's easier to feel that you're above them and can do anything you want.
25th-Jul-2009 03:12 am (UTC)
He allows a small smile, thinking of Hoover -- already under enough pressure from Roosevelt, never mind the press.

"Then who in society should the people 'at the top' answer to? Everyday citizens... or courts, perhaps?"
25th-Jul-2009 01:16 am (UTC)
"I would prefer it if it weren't necessary to justify one's actions as they pertain to the law...however, as it stands, it seems good policy to be required to explain them. It helps with the overall image of the police, in my opinion." Myra tilts her head down a little, studying the man. A refreshingly classy outfit if she does think so. She looks straight out of the mid 1930s herself, overdressed for the Nexus, but appropriate for a wander about town. "After all, without the support of those they protect, it's nearly impossible to do the job."
25th-Jul-2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Purvis mirrors her head tilt, studying her as well. Criminals and corrupt law enforcement would take issue with justifying their actions as lawful, but he didn't jump to any immediate conclusions. Perhaps she simply believed that, as some said, desperate times called for desperate measures -- even if they weren't exactly legal.

"If no one -- agents, officers, or detectives -- were required to answer to their superiors, there might be an increase of cases in which they take the law into their own hands. I personally have no issue with explaining my actions to my superior." It's just the public he has an issue with -- or more specifically, the press. It was difficult to convince them that the Bureau was serving public interest when the papers glamorized criminals like John Dillinger as modern-day Robin Hoods.

"Sometimes it can be difficult and tedious to attempt to justify oneself to the public, especially when half of them sympathize with the criminals."
25th-Jul-2009 02:09 am (UTC)
"Oh!" A light seems to go off in her eyes. Still, a sort of venom seems to build in her voice as she speaks. "You mean to superiors. Well, I would think, if they hired someone, they should have the decency to trust their judgment, especially if they have an established career." Oh, there's no doubting there's a recent past in that statement. She's not making any attempt to hide it either.

"I find it horribly ineffective when the media casts such people in a sort of golden light. I don't care if they seem to live a glamorous life; if they're murderers, just because they go down in a so-called blaze of glory, doesn't make them anyone to look up to."
25th-Jul-2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Was that a hint of bitterness he detected? He could relate to her statement... it was frustrating to be given a position, only to be constantly hounded by the one who appointed you. "Some superiors may be under pressure from those above even themselves, and may become... impatient. It can be frustrating when the one who hired you seems to have little faith in your abilities."

Purvis lets out a low chuckle. "Ineffective, yes... but it does sell more papers. People seem to love stories of a common citizen rebelling against the corrupt and greedy."
25th-Jul-2009 05:08 am (UTC)
You bare an uncanny resemblance to someone that Maroni knows, sir. Sort of. Through newspaper articles, tabloids, and rumors mainly, but that's hardly the point. Purvis certainly doesn't sound like that guy, and his dress sense seems to be leaning a little toward the old-fashioned, so Maroni won't press it.

"Yeah, they should." And means this merely on principle, because it would be a bad day for him if the GCPD ever acquired a brain, balls, or indeed a sense of ethical conduct. "I don't know about you, but where I come from, it's a bad idea for most members of society to trust a cop about the right time of day, let alone what's in the public's interest. But I think people would feel better if the cops could at least pretend like they're looking out for the average joe." He shrugs.

And then, just because it is bugging him: "Uh, what's your name, buddy?"
25th-Jul-2009 05:42 am (UTC)
Purvis raises his eyebrows, leaning back slightly in his chair. "I believe we come from two very different places, sir. There is, of course, corruption to be found everywhere... but the police -- both local and federal -- can be and are trusted by the public. We hunt the criminals to protect society, after all." Unless the public opinion is far different than he thought... but he was nearly positive that it was not.

"Purvis, sir. Agent Melvin Purvis."
25th-Jul-2009 05:51 am (UTC)
"Yeah. Well. I imagine we might. I think that was the general idea when the police were set up in my city. Just hasn't turned out so well in practice, you know? Maybe some of them still think that way, but they're not the ones in charge. And they sure ain't doing their jobs, anyway."

Maroni takes a second look at Purvis. "Yeah, right. Right. Sorry, you look like somebody else."
25th-Jul-2009 06:11 am (UTC)
"I think the general idea behind any police force would be the protection of society. It is unfortunate that corruption seems to have won in whatever city you're from."

Now Purvis is curious. "Who might that be, sir?"
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