Some friends of mine and I had a discussion not too long ago regarding violation of rights and law enforcement. What should happen when members of the Law Enforcement Community (Cops, Lawyers, District Attorneys, Judges, etc) violate someones rights? It seems that more and more people are willing to overlook the trampling of rights in order to feel safer, as long as it does not change "too much" of their day to day lives.
When we started the discussion, I was all for 1 strike and you are out. Violate someones rights, and you are done, no longer able to have a job in the Law Enforcement Community. But, I was convinced that my stand was a little too unforgiving. Cops, Lawyers, Judges, etc are PEOPLE. I have made mistakes in the past, you have made mistakes in the past. People make mistakes, it is what we do after those mistakes, how we change our behavior or ideas that counts.
If a Cop violates someones rights, there should be an official reprimand. There should be a PUBLIC apology by the officer and the Police Department in question. The officer responsible should take a refresher course, at his expense, in what rights people have. If at a later date the officer violates someones rights again, he should be handed his hat. Again, a public apology by both the officer and the department.
The case of Rolf Lindgren is an example of where several people should have been making apologies. Rolf was falsely arrested for stealing $50. The Prosecutor asked for charges to be dismissed just before jury selection. Another case of people playing fast and loose with rights was the Adam Raisbeck prosecution. The District Attorneys office had someone arrested for not appearing at a hearing that was cancelled. Adam was eventually acquitted on all charges, but not until after his familys savings were depleted.
These types of things happen because people are complacent, as long as it does not happen to them or their loved ones and friends, it is "too bad" but nothing is done. Law Enforcement is supposed to be protecting our rights, not trampling on them. Not looking for ways to get around them.