Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Only Ones Get More Privileges

Just what on earth is going on?

SB 647, introduced by Sen. Alan Sanborn, R-Richmond Township, could prevent the public from ever finding out about acts of abuse by police officers.

The bill would apply not only to officers for municipal police departments and county sheriff's departments, but also to law enforcers for airport authorities, and community colleges and public universities.

Why the hell does an elected representative of the people think that he needs to introduce legislation that prevents the public from finding out about the wrongdoing of public servants?

The so-called Garrity legislation would restrict the use and disclosure of "involuntary statements" made by law enforcement officers in response to questions by their agencies if the officer were ordered to answer under threat of dismissal or other penalty.

The only way such statements could be disclosed by the agency for which the officer worked is if the officer gave permission in writing.

The statement could be released to a prosecuting attorney or attorney general, but only in response to a search warrant, subpoena or court order.

However, those attorneys would be forbidden from disclosing the statement to the public.

Illegal acts by officers, under this legislation, might never be made public.

And this benefits the public in what way exactly?

Even if an officer committed an illegal act or abuse of power and were terminated, the police department he or she worked for could never reveal to the public the cause for dismissal without the officer's written permission.

A victim of alleged police abuse would never be allowed to view the implicated officer's statement about the incident.

The bill would allow a "bad apple" to resign and be hired by another police agency without that agency ever knowing that the officer was implicated in abuse or an illegal act.

Essentially, the bill would allow an employee paid by the public to hide potential illegal acts from the public, and make his or her agency - including police departments - comply in such cover-ups.

The "Only Ones"- cementing their privileged status over the common folk of America.

Big hat tip to War On Guns.

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