Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Support Your Local Lawman

I am almost always a supporter of the cops. They have a difficult, sometimes dangerous, almost always unappreciated job. I have interacted with some of our local gendarmes, myself. Sometimes these interactions were social, a couple of times they explained to me the error of my ways while driving. They have almost always been calm, polite, and business like. But mostly they have been right. Hey, I was in a hurry.

But I am seeing a trend that troubles me. There seems to be a feeling of them versus us cropping up in law enforcement. Recently, a man,standing on his own property, was roughed up and his dog was shot. His crime was video recording the officer in question. A fifteen year old boy was arrested in his school without his parents present. He was charged with obstructing a police officer. This charge could have led to a jail term. His crime, exerting  his first amendment rights by refusing to take off a shirt that offended a teacher. A younger child, I believe he was ten, was questioned by police, in his school, again, without parents, for hours until he wet himself. His crime, he had a cap pistol, an obvious toy, in his pack because he wanted to show it to his friend. Incorrect behavior? Yes. Wouldn't a call to the parents be sufficient?

A man in Nevada was asked by police if they could use his house for surveillance of another home. He refused his permission. Then police in military regalia battered down his door and roughly ejected him from his own home. They then went to his parents home nearby and did the same thing. When they left the houses they had been trashed. There is now a Third Amendment lawsuit against that police department. Two women in Texas are suing police as they were forced to subject themselves to body cavity searches at the roadside after a traffic stop.

It seems that there are police out there today that think a badge allows any behavior they deem necessary or maybe just to show they have the power to do as they wish. What happened to "Preserve and Protect". Police want and deserve respect. But when their own go over the top with their behavior they damage the respect for every officer out there. Public perception paints with a very broad brush.

The police must police their own ranks. They must do it stringently. I understand the concept of a strong and solid blue line. But it would be so much better if the undesirables were filtered out before it got to the media and the courts. Then we could take pride in supporting our local lawmen and women.  

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