How Can I do It?
I am often asked how I can represent those accused of crimes after I spent so many years as a police officer. The answer is twofold – I believe the Constitutional rights of people are being eroded and I believe some police officers abuse their authority.
Our Constitutional rights, in my opinion, are the most important aspect of being an American. Our forefathers fought a war to guarantee them and protect people from government. Since then, and especially in the past few decades, Congress, legislatures, and the courts have marched ahead with laws and court decisions that have eroded those rights in a misguided attempt to punish all “bad people” with little regard for the privacy of the general public. The most significant encroachment in our rights is the reduced protection we have from unreasonable searches. The law seems to be constantly changing giving the government, through the police, more and more legal ability to search people and their possessions in an effort to discover illegal activity. What this does, however, is allow more and more searches that find nothing because there was nothing to be found. I simply believe that the attitude of “if you don’t have anything to hide, why should you mind me looking” is wrong. I am committed to be part of the resistance to this destruction of our Constitutional rights.
I know that police officers are entrusted with a great deal of authority and more power than any other actor in government. They have the power to take away your freedom by arresting you. They have the power of life and death with no prior review of their actions. I know that while most police officers are honest, hardworking people, some are on a crusade to try to punish everyone who commits even the smallest infraction. Those crusading officers will do anything, legal or illegal, to do that. But more than that, even the ones who consider themselves honest will occasionally bend the rules (our Constitutional rights) because they think a small violation of someone’s rights is justified in the pursuit of discovering what they think is obvious criminal activity. This “bending of the rules” is just plain wrong. Yes, some people commit crimes, even horrendous crimes. But when rights and laws are violated in the pursuit of arresting those who may be committing crimes, the ultimate result is a police state where no one has any protection from government or its agents. I believe that, if there is no “push back” against this abuse, our rights will slowly but surely disappear.