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March 13, 2015
[Blue Line Lawyer]

Officer Needs Help! In Ferguson and Everywhere.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, two LEOs were shot while working near an apparent peaceful protect following the resignation of Ferguson Missouri Police Chief Tom Jackson. Moments later, while these LEOs are bleeding on the ground, someone can be heard shouting, “Acknowledgment nine months ago would’ve kept that from happening.” And still the rhetoric continues that law enforcement in the United States is the problem.

The United States Attorney General called the shooter “a damn punk” who promoted discord in the community. If that is the definition of a punk, I’d like to start passing out name tags.

The rhetoric has been a multifaceted attack on law enforcement. First, an attack on tactics by the grossly ignorant. Second, an attack on the due process rights of LEOs  when they carry out one of the required functions of their jobs; the use of deadly force. Finally, an allegation that all LEOs, irrespective of their backgrounds, beliefs, or skin color are racists. This cacophony of ignorance has predictably led to more threats against and more confrontations with LEOs around the United States. The internet contains a cesspool filled with statements like, “Stop filming, start shooting!”

If the situation wasn’t disturbing, it would be ironic. The people claiming to support civil rights want to take away the constitutional due process rights of those who take to the streets in uniform to protect strangers. In addition, the very people who have been talking about how bad LEOs are and how pervasive their culture is with racism are standing slack jawed in wonder that LEOs are being attacked in Ferguson, MO.

When LEOs decide that the risk of doing the job, being proactive to protect people, and being visible as a deterrent to crime is no longer worth the risk, they will become a strictly reactionary arm of your community. They will get there to take reports, let bank robbers drive away, and simply draw chalk lines around murder victims. Imagine a world where there are no patrols in high crime communities because the risk of losing your career or your freedom is not worth it or a wanted person driving without fear anywhere in the community because LEOs have ceased making traffic stops. Recruitment numbers will continue to drop in the future. Who will be left to answer your calls for help?

Perhaps people should call the folks who have all the answers but have never spent a day in uniform. Stay safe.

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Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice about a specific issue or situation. Working directly with an attorney on your situation is the best method for navigating legal issues. If you have a concern about a specific issue or situation, you should seek legal advice without delay. Contact the supreme court or bar association in your state for assistance locating attorneys in your area.