Jay DelDotto | Two Police Scenarios

Letters to the Editor
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Scenario No. 1: A police officer or sheriff’s deputy responds to a call from a gas station employee that he has just been robbed. The officer is close by and sees the suspect running from the gas station and he matches the description of the suspect. The officer goes in foot pursuit of the suspect and subsequently ends up in a physical confrontation with the suspect. During the confrontation the suspect violently struggles and has his arm broken. The officer sustains minor cuts, his uniform is torn. The suspect has numerous prior arrests, including several for assault. However, several witnesses complain the officer used excessive force in apprehending the suspect, and go to the news media and local politicians and demand that the officer be charged. 

Several days later the district attorney, under pressure from civil rights groups, decides the officer will be charged with an assault on the suspect for using excessive force. The officer is suspended due to the pending charges. No pay. Who knows what will happen? Termination, jail. FBI investigations and a possible civil rights violation, making it a federal crime. 

Scenario No. 2: Coming back to work after vacation, another officer hears all about the incident and learns the officer has been suspended and the district attorney is filing charges against his fellow officer. The officer who was on vacation goes out on patrol and gets a call to the mall that an elderly woman just had her purse stolen. In the purse is her monthly Social Security money. 

The officer arrives and sees the suspect running through the parking lot with the purse. A crowd is gathering. He starts to give chase and catches the suspect. The suspect starts to struggle. The crowd is gathering and taking photos of the confrontation. Someone yells, “Police brutality!” At this point, the officer thinks about the incident that occurred with his fellow officer and the charges he is facing.

Just what do you think this officer is going to do? What would you do? Would you back off and let the suspect go or continue to struggle, facing the possibility that one of you will be injured and that you might be charged with excessive force and assault? Take your choice. 

I was always told that resisting arrest can have bad consequences. Either the officer gets hurt, the suspect gets hurt, or both get hurt. Most likely the new marching order will be, “If they resist, let them go!” 

Comment: The public better decide who the bad guys are and who the good guys are and who they want responding to their calls for service. If they want the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, and every other group with some grievance against the police to handle crimes and criminals, and a society with no police or a severely handicapped police, then vote in those politicians who agree with that philosophy. A lot do. Many California city mayors and city councils, along with our current Sacramento legislators, seem to be going along with those who say that police are bad, are racists and need to be punished in some way. Who or what will replace the police/sheriffs? Maybe someone can figure out how to enforce all the laws, and keep the bad guys from eating up the good guys with no police/sheriffs. Or, such severely handicapped police/sheriff’s officers who are in fear of making any kind of an arrest that could result in them being charged with assault or a civil rights violation.

Who would want to be a police officer or a sheriff’s deputy today? 

Jay DelDotto

Valencia

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