Thursday, April 22, 2021

Due Process - Even for the Police

 It is much easier to confirm a predetermined outcome because you are only looking for things that agree with your hypothesis. Any true scientist will tell you, it is only when you try to disprove your theory that you actually find the truth.

Even this does not guarantee you have "proven" your original idea. Once papers are published on the research they have conducted, other minds, without the predisposition that it is true, can either validate or disprove the stated theory.

When an agency of the State announce they are going to investigate to see if there is a "pattern" of behavior it signals trouble, because they will look past the "elephant in the room" of a history which refutes the "pattern."

I admit that I am bent toward supporting the police instead of finding fault. If you know me, you understand why. For those of you who do not know me, my father died on active duty as a police officer. He was killed while trying to apprehend two suspects in a robbery. I do not agree with the current politically-correct posture of hating the police. I support them in every way.

I am also not naive enough to think there are no bad people in uniform. However, I know first hand that the VAST majority of those wearing the badge that I have known have a love and respect for people to the point that they are willing to risk their lives every time they pin it on.

You may, or may not, be aware that each police department has an internal affairs department which oversee the activities of each officer. Every stop, every arrest, every complaint, every issue, is investigated to determine whether they followed the law, the procedures, and the code of conduct, which is expected of every officer, every day. They are also scrutinized by state and federal authorities. And indeed, they should be.

I had a good friend who served alongside my dad, and continued to serve after my dad died. He probably spent at least 30 years on the force. He told me once, after being assigned to Internal Affairs, "It's the only job as an officer that he ever hated."

Not only do police have to answer to their ranking officer, they also answer to I.A., plus the 24/7 news cycle that is waiting to catch them doing something wrong. That is tremendous pressure, added on top of the fact that the job they are trying to carry out has risks of its own, including being killed.

I picture it like this: riding a unicycle on a tight rope, with no net, juggling double edged knives, blindfolded, with someone shaking the rope the whole time you are on it. Yet, these men and women still are willing to pin on the badge, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and show up to do it all again.

Just in case you are wondering, this is not about the Chauvin verdict. I did not see the trial. I did see some of the video when the event happened. What I saw was troubling. I also know the camera lens is not a very reliable witness. I'm glad the case is resolved, pending appeal, and hopefully the people of Minneapolis can move forward.

But just like all the days before the verdict, and all the days after, the police continue to show up for work, ready to mount the unicycle with wounds bandaged from yesterday's cuts and bruises, and once again protect the rights of everyone that want to see them gone. I, for one, tip my hat to them. I take every opportunity I have to buy them a meal at a restaurant. I speak encouragement to everyone I see. I let them know that, regardless of what the media has to say, there are still those of us who are supporting them.

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