The Annoyed Man wrote:
I agree with Lynyrd, in that we need to be careful to not paint all LEO with the same brush. The problem the LEO community has is an old one.....the horrible actions of a few bad apples bringing shame and dishonor on the heads and shoulders of good decent cops, making their jobs that much harder. I think we need to remember that there are LOTS of LEO who read these stories, and agree with us
that not only is justice not served, but that evil is encouraged whenever a cop gets away with murdering a citizen without any consequences to their own liberty. In the previously mentioned book, "Rise of the Warrior Cop: the Militarization of America's Police Forces
", the author, Radley Balko, gives examples of officers who cringed at what they were ordered to do, and then went on to become activists against
this kind of thing.
So remember that the good cops still considerably outnumber the bad ones. It's just that the actions of the bad ones are so
appalling that it is hard to see beyond them to the good ones who actually agree with us.
But there is no doubt that the policing arm of gov't at all levels has become the enforcement
arm. I'd like a LEO to describe to me how, beyond his personal
recognition of my 4th Amendment rights, I still even have
any 4th Amendment protections in the eyes of law enforcement at large. When the police won't police themselves, and their masters (apparently not us
) won't police them, then who makes sure that the rights of the individual citizen are always placed ahead of an ambitious prosecutor's crapulent need to make a name for himself at election time?
TAM, I obviously, can't speak for all LEO either current, or former, but in my case, I was very cognizant, of everyone's 4A rights. I am sure that a lot of crime went, undetected, and unpunished, because I refused, to overstep, my authority, to search, or even, enter a home, or vehicle, without proper authorization, i.e. a warrant. You are correct, there is, and has been, for a long time, a mindset, among several LEO, and their superiors, that they are the "enforcers" of the streets. I don't have the answers, to try reverse that, but there is at least a certain amount of blame to be laid, at the feet of civilians. Those who push, for stricter, laws, those who "demand" that the police should "make criminals pay" when, as stated, the police, are not there to be judge, jury, and executioner. They put pressure on elected officials, who in turn pressure the police chiefs, who then pressure their department's personnel. You are correct, there are so many good LEO, that have to work among the turmoil, criticism, and undeserved, bad reputations, caused by the bad apples, that it becomes, almost unbearable. There is a "danged if you do" and danged if you don't" conundrum, for most officers. It is also, very frustrating for officers, to see so many criminals, turned back out on the streets, because it is more cost effective to take a plea bargain, than to go through a trial.
This case, like so many others, at least in my opinion, comes down, to over zealousness. This was not a serial murder case, or even, a drug dealer, who had shown a propensity for violence. This was an assault, case. Why the need for a night time, raid? According to neighbors, the police had dealt with the suspect in the past, so I'm sure that they could have devised a way to make the arrest, without putting innocent people at risk, or even law enforcement personnel. Also, from what I gathered, the arresting unit, was not the local constabulary, but from an adjoining city. Coordinating better with the local department, or even allowing them to serve the warrant, may have gone a long way towards, preventing this tragedy. Going to the wrong address, was not the only tactical mistake made, but that one falls directly at the feet of the coordinating supervisor. JMHO