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PALM LATITUDES

L.a. Speak

June 13, 1993|Jan Lonsdale \f7

Language of the law--selected shorthand from local police and sheriff's deputies: bullet: n . a one-year prison sentence. "He pleaded guilty to battery and got a bullet ." code 7: n . a work break or meal. "We're taking a code 7 at Winchell's." corset: n . A bulletproof vest. fish: v . to take a suspect into custody immediately after a hearing. "We fished him out of court and took him to jail." flip a sign: v . criminal-to-criminal hand signs or vocal warnings. "The lookout flipped a sign when he saw the squad car coming." get small: v . to get away; disappear. "Those suspects got small in a hurry." hold one's mud: v . maintaining silence, usually about a crime. "He's a lifer at San Quentin, nothin' to lose and he still holds his mud ." Kojak light: n . a portable flashing light used by officers in unmarked cars. Named for TV detective Theo Kojak. "Put up that Kojak light. We're rolling on a homicide." strawberry: n . a prostitute who trades sex for drugs instead of money. "You know Louise; she's that crackhead strawberry who works Venice." 24/24 rule: phrase referring to the last 24 hours of a murder victim's life and the first 24 hours after the body is discovered, which are the most important hours in an investigation. "Looks like the locals botched the 24/24 rule. The trail is so cold it's stiff."

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