Is Law Enforcement really above the Law?
I ask this question because there are so many stories surfacing now about the over-reach of police and the blatant assumption that they can do whatever it is they want and not have to worry about responsibility. It used to be something you would only see in some of these police shows on television or in a Cops episode but now I guess its life imitating art.
Take as an example this article from the Associated Press reporting that “a northern New Mexico sheriff was arrested Friday on charges he cornered a driver at a dead end, threatened him with a silver revolver as the driver begged not to be shot and had him falsely charged with assault. U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez announced Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella, who has had brushes with scandal throughout his career, and his son, Thomas Jr., were arrested by FBI agents at their Espanola homes in the March confrontation that left the driver injured. Authorities didn't detail the injuries. The driver was arrested on charges of aggravated assault of a peace officer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on March 11, but prosecutors dismissed the case two weeks later. The Rodellas pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on charges of conspiring to violate the driver's civil rights, falsifying arrest documents and other charges.”
It was further reported that this individual had been in trouble multiple times and yet still was allowed to roam free, carry a badge and represent the people of Northern New Mexico. My question is why? Why would those who knew about this allow this to continue as if they didn't expect for things to get completely out of control. How many times must we see that when you turn a blind eye to something or pretend that it doesn't exist, it does not go away but become bigger and most often stronger? Do we not figure that for every instance we keep our heads buried in the sand another life gets upended and that life now is infected and may turn diseased.
The truly sad part of this whole thing is that those who are supposed to be more educated may not be based on the decisions that they make. I say that because in this same article it is reported that even after hearing all this still “a federal judge on Friday released both men on their own recognizance and ordered the sheriff not to carry a firearm.” Really, your honor, released on his own recognizance and his only punishment, which may never be enforced, is to not carry a firearm. Should we even address him as your honor because there is no honor in what he did nor is that justice for the individual that he and his son man-handled. If true, this sheriff and his son more than violated that man’s civil rights but he violated the oath of the office and the oath that he took. Not to mention all of those good law enforcement officials who face the chance of death and yet still perform as they should, he violated their trust and diminished their names.