Don’t rock the boat

I feel compelled to write about why I write about police misconduct, and prosecutorial misconduct.  Believe it or not, I care about what you think.  More importantly, I have friends who are police officers and family members who are police officers, and I care about what they think.

The public wants to believe that there is no systemic police misconduct.  It is always an isolated incident.  We want to believe that police officers are a special breed of honest, ethical, and upstanding human.  We need to believe that, because we want to feel safe.  We want to feel that our trust in public officials is not misguided.  I write about police misconduct because I’ve been on the front lines and I’ve seen that it isn’t always so.  Police officers are human – sometimes they lie, they cheat, they hurt other people and they abuse the power that we give them.  When they shine, they really shine.  But when the evil side of human nature comes through, it is twice as ugly because of the authority that police are vested with.

I don’t hate police officers.  I have an incredible amount of respect for any person who goes into law enforcement, risking their life and their health in the interest of keeping the rest of us safe, usually for low wages and little reward.  Criminal defense and law enforcement are two sides of the same coin – both sides’ goals are to enforce the laws and constitution of our state and nation, and to protect the citizens of our state and nation.  Both sides are needed to accomplish these goals and to keep the balance.  On both sides, we need advocates who go into their professions for the right reasons, not people who are just doing a job and drawing a paycheck.

I want you to do your job and to do it well.  But, if you are lying under oath, losing your temper and hurting people on the street, or using your authority for personal gain, you are not doing your job – you’re just an asshole with a badge.  There are not many things more frightening than an unethical human being who is out to help themselves with a badge and a loaded gun.

If you actually read the blog posts that I write, you would see that I am not bashing police officers or law enforcement.  I express my opinion about departmental policies such as when to chase a suspect – an important issue that needs to be discussed because it has a tremendous impact not just on the lives of motorists but of police officers as well.  I blog about abundant specific examples of officers who commit crimes – another important issue that reflects on the leadership and policies of specific police departments.  I don’t usually blog about warm fuzzy cop stories – it doesn’t mean I don’t see those and appreciate them, they just don’t typically have a place here.

If you are a cop, and you are not lying under oath, beating your wife, tampering with evidence, beating suspects while they are handcuffed, driving drunk, or arresting people who have not committed a crime, I am probably not complaining about you.

The same is true about prosecutorial misconduct.  I have to say that locally there are some of the most ethical and conscientious prosecutors that I could ever hope for, and I am grateful for them.  There are also a few that have proven they are not trustworthy, and that they will cheat to get results.  Unfortunately, the job attracts both types.

I’m going to continue to write about police misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct, because I don’t see anyone else doing it.  If no one writes about it, if no one points it out, the public will continue to believe that it doesn’t exist.  Lawyers don’t want to “rock the boat.”  Some are afraid, some are too political, and some just don’t care.  Sometimes, our job is to rock the boat.  Sometimes, if it’s necessary to make positive changes, it’s our job to sink the boat.

 

4 Responses to “Don’t rock the boat

  • Mark Bellamy LL.M.
    5 years ago

    Bobby,
    I am sorry to admit that I have no faith in any law enforcement anywhere in the U.S. border to border, coast to coast. I was raised in different foster homes and a few of the temporary ones were police officers and back in the day children were to be seen and not heard. So, they talked freely about their mis doings at cookouts and other gatherings , and they are thieves, sexual predators, murderers drug dealers and every other kind of thing one may think of or imagine and they do it all behind the blue wall. My 60 plus years stats say maybe 3 out of 10 may be good…maybe!

    • Clancy Collins
      2 years ago

      I tried my damnedest to “ROCK THE BOAT” about several SCHP,SCDPS AND SCDMV FOR 2 YEARS. ALL TOO MANY TIMES I FEEL TO BLIND RYES,AND DEAF EARS. I HAVE EVIDENCE FROM A SCDPS-OPR CITIZEN COMPLAINT INTERNAL INVESTIGATION I FILED, SUSTAINED INVESTIGATION: EMPLOYEE VIOLATED POLICY PROCEDURE AND GUIDELINES! NOTHING WAS DONE, NO APOLOGIES, 5 LAYWER OF SC REFUSED MY CASE AND I STILL FIGHT FOR ADVOCACY BECAUSE I RECEIVED NONE! NO JUSTICE, NO DAY IN COURT, NO DOCUMENTATION 2/3 TIMES PULLED,AND OF THOSE 3 TRAFFIC STOPS ARRESTED FOR DUI/PM AND COULD NOT BE CHARGED BECAUSE I PASED ALL TESTS ADMINISTERED. WOULD REALLY LIKECTO SHOW YOU MY FOIA EVIDENCE, LITERALLY UNBELIEVABLE AND STILL NO ONE EVER “PROTECTED, HONORED OR SERVED” ME!

  • Endeavour
    5 years ago

    Mark Bellamy,

    It makes me sick to read that you endured that kind of abuse and corruption at the hands of the police when you were a child. I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote and also what Bobby Frederick wrote. I have experienced police and judicial corruption of the worst kind and what happened affects my life to this day.

    “There are not many things more frightening than an unethical human being who is out to help themselves with a badge and a loaded gun.”

    Although I didn’t write that, I have said it.

    Three out of ten good ones is optimistic, these days, in my view.

    What a great blog.

    Thanks.

  • Hello I’m joshua. And sadly I too have developed this view not from conspiracy theories or others but from what I’ve seen and experienced personally. Odd numbers the last guy posted but I agree maybe 1/4 of them are good. I was on the receiving end alot growing up not from criminal activity or anything like that just targeted sexually and tortured endlessly. Sold my dad’s farm he left and left at 2 am in the morning to escape that dreaded small town. I was taken to places and had things done to me only god can heal. Don’t talk about it much now days. Anytime I see a cop I cringe and panic. Sometimes with full blown panic attacks and this makes them suspicious of me. It’s just fear. Most Americans fear the judicial system more than terrorist.

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