Saturday, July 31, 2010
Now, Cops May Have to Scoot After they Shoot!
The department pulled out all the stops to find the officer who violated department policy by his flight. Perhaps the officer was off of his beat and maybe outside of his district. Some districts have little choice for meals and officers sometimes risk a suspension for a decent meal in a neighboring district. Maybe the officer was making a booty call during his lunch period? Where the cop came from is anyone’s guess.
One significant benefit of the officer’s flight was avoiding the old, Office of Professional Standards and a lots of paper related misery. The real benefit was the officer made no statement whatsoever which is his right as an American citizen. No zealous prosecutor would be presenting the officer’s own words to a jury had someone who did not observe the shooting decided the officer’s use of deadly force was not justified.
A real factor in determining whether to prosecute cops for murder and manslaughter surrounds eye witness statements. The problem is that often eye witnesses to police shooting are the offender or his friends, family or accomplices. Often jurors add up the witnesses for both sides and whoever has the highest number determines the verdict. Do you think that’s a little scary for white cops in an all Black neighborhood?
With the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals trashing the administrative rights concept protecting officers in the case of Officer William Cozzi, there is are no good reasons for cops to stick around after shooting dangerous suspects ever!
If officers can’t flee they need to refuse any statements without having a defense lawyer present. No lawyer in his right mind will let a cop say anything about a shooting. This may affect the prosecution of suspects but that’s just too bad. Cops can’t be expected to have fewer rights than criminals trying to kill them.
Most cops I know have zero ability to keep their mouths shut when under investigation. They are so pre-programmed to cooperate they never stop to read the Miranda warning they all carry. What’s worse they all keep on blabbing even after someone else reads it to them! That has to change.
I want all my cop friends to watch law professor James Duane’s lecture and learn how to redundantly repeat these four simple words to investigators investigating you, “I want a lawyer.”
When you finish Professor Duane’s video it’s time to watch a long time police investigator George Bruch of the Virginia Beach Police Department explain the reality of Professor Duane's message.