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C E Voigtsberger
C E Voigtsberger
12 days ago

With all due respect to Detective Luca Benedetti and condolences to his widow and family, let me take the other side of the coin.

For far too long in the lost war on drugs, law enforcement and the courts have relied on patently false testimony in order to provide a basis for searches for drugs. Indeed, the “no knock warrant” is a direct result of the war on drugs. Based on questionable testimony involving hearing “suspect” sounds within a house suspected of harboring people involved in the drug milieu. The canned bases for knocking down the door and rushing in were so repetitious and obviously memorized that I used to joke that we could prepare transcripts of the testimony in drug cases from a form, just checking off the different versions of establishing probably cause for forced entry.

Then we have the long standing practice of the Blue Wall where otherwise honest police officers knowing that there is a fellow officer who is outside the law in his handling of cases or using questionable tactics in pursuit of his arrests but remain silent. When that is hiding felonious conduct of a fellow officer, that in itself is a felony.

To further bring scorn on their profession, too many police officers avail themselves of their position to violate the law. Too many of them speed and drive recklessly and depend upon “professional courtesy” to escape what others have to face in the way of civil penalties.

It is common knowledge in the Bay Area that significant numbers of folks who have unlisted license plates pay no tolls on any of the bridges in the Bay Area because the bridge authority cannot track those unlisted numbers. Police officers are the reported biggest offenders.

Now, I am not beating the drum for disbanding police departments or hiring social workers to accompany cops who will defuse violent situations. That is so pollyannish as to be ludicrous. What I am beating the drum for is for the police to respect all the laws, including the ones that require them to drive with the flow of traffic. The ones that require them to tell the truth on the stand that they stopped the guy because he was a certain minority in a high crime area. Pay the toll on the bridges and toll roads like everyone else. Turn in the bad apples that you know are violating the law. Get rid of the bad apples. Get rid of the cop who always has someone resist arrest after he is handcuffed. You know who he is. Get rid of the guy who gets in the unit at at the start of shift and says, “Boy I sure hope we have some action tonight” and goes out of his way to stir up some “action.” You know who he is. Get rid of the guy who stops a young woman and a young child riding their bicycles on a stretch of road that isn’t open to vehicular traffic yet and screams and yells at them but doesn’t issue a citation because he really just wanted to vent and didn’t want a record of it.

Get rid of the cop that stops a young black youth on his way home from track practice in the summer and is carrying his shirt in his hand because he is hot and makes him put his shirt on. What’s with that? Is a male walking with his shirt in his hand on a hot summer day some secret crime? Or is it a cop who just wants to bully somebody? Then you wonder why folks want to get rid of cops? To bring this diatribe to a close, clean up your act. Then maybe you will get some respect for the job you are supposed to be doing. And maybe then nobody will pay attention to the loonies who want to defund the police.

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