Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Will Steve Cooley Seek Justice Or Blindly Prosecute?
Retired cop, now film actor Dennis Farina’s reputation and future is in the hands of Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley.
The former Chicago police burglary detective turned actor forgot he had a small handgun in a briefcase as he routinely began the boarding process for a flight out of LAX. TSA workers discovered the gun to his major embarrassment and put the ZERO TOLERANCE enforcement policy into action.
Zero tolerance for similar acts of forgetfulness does not further the cause of fighting terrorism or a prosecutor’s duty to seek Justice. That’s especially true for these similar violations that overwhelmingly snare off duty or retired cops rather than terrorists.
As of today Cooley’s office has not filed formal charges against the popular career lawman and actor. I take that as a sign that prosecutors understand the allegations that brought the arrest of Farina require that actual intent to violate the law must be present. Bringing a case forward to a trial when it’s so obvious that intent does not exist is horrible public policy.
On or off screen Dennis Farina has always been a genuine crime fighter. Farina’s reputation deserves to remain unsullied.