Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Judge, jury, executioner?

The Never-Right Wingnuts seem rather confused by what the role of the police are in a free nation. In a free nation, the police are charged with a) protecting human life, b) protecting property, and c) apprehending suspects. Special emphasis upon word suspects. The police are NOT responsible for a) judging guilt or innocence (that is the court's job), and b) deciding upon or carrying out punishment upon judging guilt or innocence (again, that is the court's job).

The Never-Right-Wingers apparently have forgotten all of this, as exhibited by their fervent frothing at the mouth when two Border Patrol agents by the name of Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos forgot the little fact that they aren't supposed to be judge, jury, and executioner, and shot an unarmed Mexican in the back as he ran from the agents. They then failed to file required reports for discharge of a weapon, destroyed evidence, and laughed and joked about it. Until their supervisors turned on them and turned them in, that is.

Here's the thing. Law enforcement agents aren't allowed to shoot people just for running. They're only allowed to shoot people who present an immediate danger to the agent or to innocent bystanders. That's the law. That has always been the law, because law enforcement's job is not to be judge, jury, and executioner. Law enforcement's job is to apprehend *suspects*. Get that? SUSPECTS. Until a man has been judged in a court of law, he is not a criminal, he is a SUSPECT, and has a right to life that is enshrined in our Constitution, and any person -- lawman or no -- who tries to remove that life without meeting the fundamental criteria for doing so (i.e., immediate danger to life, or due process via conviction in a court of law) is a CRIMINAL.

These border patrol agents broke the law, and they paid the price for it -- as they should have. Being a lawman doesn't exempt you from following the law -- period. These lawmen knew better, and they allowed their emotions to override their training and departmental policy. It's not the first time, and it won't be the last time, but lawmen who break the law cannot be allowed to do so, because that sets up a dual system of law -- one for you and me, and one for lawmen. There is a name for such a dual system of law. It is called TYRANNY.

Some other things to think about:

  1. These Border Patrol agents requested a jury trial. So it wasn't the State that found them guilty. It was a jury of American citizens, nevermind that some of the members of said jury have now been intimidated into saying that they shouldn't have voted 'Guilty'. I'll note that if you're innocent of a crime, request a trial by judge. If you're guilty of a crime, request a trial by jury. Sounds like these two border patrol agents weren't so confident of their innocence, eh?
  2. The Border Patrol was instrumental in locating the evidence to convict these two. That's telling. I grew up around cops. My dad was close personal friends with the police commissioner of our town, and we lived next door to a cop and a cop's kid was my best friend growing up. I'll tell you this: If cops turned on two of their own, those two were BAD cops. As in, corrupt, violent, probably done a lot worse multiple times, until finally their co-workers got tired of having their good name sullied and ganged up and set these two up.

My suspicion is that there's a lot more dirt that could be dug up on these two, that got covered up under the blue wall of silence, until finally it got to be too much even for that wall. Because police agencies just don't prosecute their own unless we're talking *REALLY* bad cops, I mean the worst of the worse. Don't believe the propaganda that these two are somehow victims. Police agencies just don't work like that. If it was a righteous shoot, they'll stand up for the cops involved to the end, because they're all cops and they all know what it's like on the street. Just ask Police officers Edward McMellon, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy, who shot Amadou Diallo 41 times and still have a job (albeit McMellon retired and went to work for the fire department afterwards).

Either these two were dirty cops, or somehow human nature has changed over the years and the blue wall of silence has gotten thinner. I'm suspecting the former. In which case, good riddance.

One last thing: If you do a Google search on "border patrol convicted ramos compean" you'll see all these right-wingnuts frothing at the mouth. They ALWAYS mention the race and immigration status of the suspect who was shot in the back by these two cops. Always. Do you think they'd be frothing at the mouth if it'd been a white American from Dallas who was shot in the back? I don't think so. They'd be frothing at the mouth about how the cops ought to be hanged. Racism, anybody?

-- Badtux the Law Penguin

Crossposted over at the Mockingbird's place

Posted by: BadTux / 10/25/2006 12:20:00 PM  


I got a sneakin' hunch those two silenced a potential snitch, but there's no evidence of that that I've seen.
# posted by Gordon : 27/10/06 6:18 PM  

Presumption of innocence is so pre 9/11...
# posted by Pooh : 30/10/06 5:06 PM  

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