Due process does not mean automatic amnesty for all police no matter what they do. It includes investigation, prosecution and punishment of the guilty. All the guilty—not just those frightened, poorly trained, overly aggressive and socially challenged officers who are quick to use deadly force, manhandle, bully and otherwise abuse people who they are told to target.
It also includes their superior officers who send them out to do their dirty work, as well as the top officials who determine policing policies and practices. Thus, due process allows us to locate the dangerous behavior of certain police in a context that is not necessarily of their own making.
Due process also protects those police who become whistle blowers, or who refuse to follow directives they view as discriminatory, unjust, dangerous to the public, or patently illegal. Or those who choose not to protect all those in the police chain of command who are misusing their power.
To my way of thinking, due process is the better way to achieve full accountability and to make changes in both policing policies and the behavior of individual police.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Vera Pavone: Why there must be accountability for police and due process
After my last post on the NYPD, where I pointed out how MORE was being trashed from the left for calling for due process for police, Vera sent these thoughts, and I totally agree.