What About Bob?

I teach a cross-listed course, Phil/Crim 380, called “Criminal Law: Theory and Practice,” intended as what I call a “citizen-philosopher’s” perspective on criminal law and criminal procedure. It complements Crim 220, Criminal Law, taught by Professor John Link, a former police chief. As one of my students so aptly put it, “Professor Link teaches criminal procedure from the perspective of the cop, but you teach it from the perspective of the criminal,” a statement apparently intended to suggest that she found my class the more practically relevant of the two.

One of the assignments I have my students do is “a short paper (around 3 pages) describing and analyzing an hour-long visit to a criminal court in session.” Alternatively,

Many law enforcement agencies and independent agencies put on informational events designed to engage in community outreach. In the past the Bergen County Prosecutors Office has done so, and the Independent Monitor of the Newark Police Department frequently does so. If you’d prefer, you can attend one of these events instead of visiting a criminal court session. But ask me before you attend one of these.

A student raised her hand in class today to do just that. “My dad is friends with someone at the Bergen County Prosecutors Office, so I was wondering if I could go to something there?” Sure, I said. 

Khawaja: So who is your father friends with over there?

Student: The chief of something…

Khawaja: You mean the prosecutor? Dennis Calo?

Student: No, his name is Bob something.

Khawaja: Robert…Anzilotti?

Student: Yeah! That’s him!

Khawaja: Robert Anzilotti is the Chief of Investigations at the Bergen County Prosecutors Office.

Student: Yeah, totally. You know him?

Khawaja: Yeah. We’ve met. The last time we hung out, he interrogated me, had me frisked, and locked me in a room for a couple of hours on suspicion of being a terrorist.

Student: OMG! [laughter]

Khawaja (floundering): But say ‘hi’ to him for me. [?]

Small world!

You think he’ll call?

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