Police Abuse #9

As with my other series on this blog, I am winding down on this series as well.  This most likely will be my final installment in "Police Abuse."  I hope those that are in law enforcement do not take my opinions and stories personally.  I am certain there are many hardworking, dedicated law enforcement officers who do their duty and honor their oath each day.  But, in my experience and from what I have witnessed, you LEOs are far and few between today.  It seems that along with the war on drugs and the terrorist attacks of 9/11, LEOs have gone too far in "protecting the public" from themselves.  When you are knowingly violating the rights of an American citizen, you are making a mockery of the sacrifices men and women have made to enable us to have a Bill of Rights.  What does it say about you when you do this?  I know you have a dangerous job.  But, if the job has become too big for you, then you should do yourself and the general public a favor and seek employment elsewhere.

In this final installment, I want to make an acknowledgement that Attorney General Eric Holder finally, after six years, did something right.  Eric Holder said that he is discontinuing, effective immediately, the DOJ’s “Equitable Sharing” program, which allowed state and local law enforcement personnel to recoup the value of seized property for use in their own departments – for personnel, vehicles, firearms, salaries, and on occasion coffee machines, air conditioners and so on.  All this was done without so much as American citizens being charged with a crime, much less being convicted of a crime.  It was an outrageous overreaction to the failed drug war of the 1980s.  Police loved it so much (gee, I wonder why?) that it has been continued until now.  Unfortunately, the  policy does not change state forfeiture laws, many of which burden property owners and permit policing for profit.  But, this is a start to bringing common sense to this terrible policy.  This is the beginning of the end for civil forfeiture.

I also want to state, categorically, I am NOT now or have I ever been "anti-cop" as I have been accused of in email constantly.  What I am, however, is anti-bad cop.  It appears there are those who are opposed to police accountability.  Everyone in the USA is accountable for his or her actions except for those in law enforcement.  This has to end in order to gain trust from John Q. Public.  Right now, law enforcement, in this country, has a PR nightmare with people.  Only police can change that perception they currently have.  I grieve for the two cops murdered in New York.  That is a terrible tragedy.  We have to come together because we want the same thing, fight crime in this country.  We all want that. 

In closing, I wish those that are in law enforcement recognize you do have a problem with bad cops.  Bad cops are like the proverbial bad apple.  They make everyone else look bad.  One of the problems I find in law enforcement is the so-called "thin blue line" that causes everyone, from the police commissioner on down to the cop on patrol, to cover each others back, regardless of circumstances.  Until that element in law enforcement ends, there will never be trust of police in our cities and communities.


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