During a police investigation, a man by the name of Warren Demesme said the following:
“This is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.”
Despite using slang, it is quite clear what Mr. Demesme is asking for: a lawyer. At least, I think it is clear.
When a suspect in an interrogation told detectives to “just give me a lawyer dog,” the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the suspect was, in fact, asking for a “lawyer dog,” and not invoking his constitutional right to counsel. It’s not clear how many lawyer dogs there are in Louisiana, and whether any would have been available to represent the human suspect in this case, other than to give the standard admonition in such circumstances to simply stop talking.
I cannot help but be reminded of the Department of Justice investigation into racist policing in Ferguson, Missouri. When the police spoke to a man named Michael, they charged him with “Making a False Declaration” for telling them that his name was Mike.
This is the United States in the present day.