Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Due Process

It's not on every police car door, but enough that it becomes something of a meme: To protect and serve. That's what law enforcement officers are here to do. Whether it's enforcing traffic ordinances or checking a four-year-old's house for monsters, Or maybe you'll be charged with taking down a notorious gang, like MS-13. If you are unfamiliar, Fox News calls this group "the gang that scares other gangs." Keeping in mind this comes from the news channel that scares other news channels, and is also the font of all discernible "thought" in the current White House. It comes out of Steve Doocy's mouth and comes out of our "President's" Twitter account. Which would be fine if Steve was using facts or generating policy. He's not. That leaves the heavy lifting to the "President," who let's face it, really isn't up to the task.
How does our "President" propose our nation's law enforcement officers deal with MS-13? Addressing the Suffolk County Police Department on Long Island, he urged them not to be "too nice" when they are "thrown into the back of a paddy wagon." Trump then spoke dismissively of the practice by which arresting officers shield the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are placed in police cars. "I said, 'You could take the hand away, OK?'"
Gales of derisive laughter.
What the giant tab of chewable Vitamin C has not considered is that this is precisely the thing that makes doing a cop's job so difficult. They are connected to the community, extensions of the neighborhoods and streets that they patrol. All that tough talk is great when you're surrounded by a group of heavily armed Secret Service agents, but it doesn't play as well out in the world which the rest of us live. 
The International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a statement just a few hours after the bulbous carrot finished his rant. It said, in part: “The ability of law enforcement officers to enforce the law, protect the public, and guard their own safety, the safety of innocent bystanders, and even those suspected or apprehended for criminal activity is very challenging" said the statement.
“For these reasons, law enforcement agencies develop policies and procedures, as well as conduct extensive training, to ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.Law enforcement officers are trained to treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with dignity and respect.This is the bedrock principle behind the concepts of procedural justice and police legitimacy.”
Are you listening, Steve Doocy? 

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