IS IT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT’S THE PROBLEM, OR JUST US AS HUMANS?

Watching the 30 for 30 episode where the Duke lacrosse team was falsely accused of rape because a DA wanted to get re-elected, and used race baiting and withheld evidence to do it at the expense of nearly ruining the lives of four innocent White men...

 

Remembering OJ Simpson getting off for murder, because race and politics took center stage over the facts and a mountain of evidence...

 

Hearing stories of black males who spent decades in prison for something they didn't do because no one cared about them getting a fair trial, who are being found innocent decades later, but can never get the years they lost back...

 

Remembering the story of a budding athlete from my city that missed an opportunity to play in the NFL after high school because he spent ten years in prison for a rape he never committed...

 

Recalling a case as I, a young police officer met a victim of an assault who cried real tears to me about being violated in the worst way, her shirt was ripped, and she had bruises. Then later finding out the accused recorded the encounter, in which it was clear she darn near violated him during the consensual encounter. I remember wanting to believe her just because she was a woman...

 

Remembering the Rampart Scandal where two officers planted evidence on innocent people and ended up making my job to protect people and maintain order extremely difficult long after they were arrested and booked...

 

These incidents and more, drive me to do everything in my power to conduct myself as a part of the justice system with honor and integrity. I am driven not to manufacture justice, but to bring criminals to justice with honor and have faith in the system even as imperfect as it may be.

 

Sure there are many individuals whose actions when I arrested them were horrific, and despicable, but it is not, and never will be my job to "help" justice through dishonest actions.

 

I would rather lose a case involving a mass murder being honest and truthful, then win a the case knowing I tampered with or withheld facts or evidence that could prevent someone from getting a fair trial.

 

The cases I lost, I was crushed because I knew what the suspect did, but I when I got home, I could sleep at night knowing I lost those few cases without tarnishing my profession or my name.

 

In the cases I just mentioned, it is my strong opinion that we have the greatest justice system in the world. The issues clearly seem to be the human beings who are charged with running it.

 

As Judges, Jurors, DAs, DCAs, Detectives and officers; we must constantly remind ourselves when someone is brought to justice no matter how horrible the crime they have been alleged to have committed, that if it was our son or daughter, wife or brother being brought to justice, how would we want them treated.

 

Would we want them prejudged as guilty, because they are black, a cop, a woman, a man, or because we somehow identify with the accuser?

 

We must always resist the temptation to take justice into our own hands because we don't have faith in the system.  Because when we do, that is how the people of all walks of life lose faith in us all.

 

To the media and pundits, please be responsible and stop trying these cases in the court of public opinion. You have a huge obligation to report the facts as they come, and not to fan the flames to beat your competitor for ratings or stumping for an ideal you are pushing when you are supposed to be objective.

 

To the general public and advocates please stop tying your political ideologies to these incidents to push your cause or get 15 minutes of fame before you know the facts. I know it's not an easy thing to do.  Our causes such as social justice, women's rights, and other noble causes are so valuable to us all. 

 

It's as human as breathing, but right now in a grave somewhere, there is a woman dead in the ground, and a young man who was an innocent bystander who were killed in Brentwood in 1995 and they never received justice. I cannot judge you, I have been guilty of this myself, but I am trying to grow from this every time I was wrong. Someone's freedom or chance at justice should not be seen as a basketball game where we are rooting for one team to win over the other.

 

Somewhere there is an innocent Black male man in a prison cell, because racial hysteria and hatred, or a rush to get justice won out over the facts.

 

Somewhere there is a white cop worrying if he will go to prison because public perception, and media sensationalism wants to see "justice" before the gavel drops, when he had no choice but to protect himself.

 

Somewhere, there is your son, your daughter, your mother, your brother

 

Think people.

 

That's how we make the American justice system a bit more just.  We have to do it together. We cannot force it on any level, from the bench to the pew. We must respect this process. 

As human beings, we must all admit to having biases...

As human beings, we must all admit to having biases...

As human beings, we must all admit to having biases in our heart at some point in our lives.  As police officers, we are not exempt from these flaws.  Yet in order to truly become an effective police officer, one must do the following:  As soon as you don your uniform, you must leave your personal worldview at your locker so it won’t stymie you in being the best cop you can be for the sake of all. 

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