EXTRA, EXTRA, Read All About It-Law enforcement Officials Demonstrate Ethical Policing

Three newsworthy events occurred in Ferguson, Missouri last week. First, according to published reports, the two officers who were shot in the performance of their duties were released from the hospital and are recovering. Second, various news sources report the arrest of Jeffery Williams, a 20-year-old man in connection with the shootings. Williams was arrested this past Saturday and charged with two counts of first-degree assault.

The third noteworthy event is the restraint showed by the Ferguson Police Department in their search  for the person or persons responsible for the shootings. By all accounts law enforcement officials conducted a thorough and respectful investigation that led to Williams’ arrest (although the arrest was made possible mainly by help from the  public).

The character of the search is noteworthy because in too many cases law enforcement officials terrorize entire communities in order to effect an arrest. Such was the case in the search by Boston Police in 1989 for the  suspected killers of Carol Stuart, and by police in Union, South Carolina in 1991 in response to the murder of Susan Smith’s two young children.

For example, after terrorizing the Mission Hill section of Boston (largely African American) and  numerous innocent black males in Union, South Carolina, police later implicated Charles Stuart (a Caucasian) in his wife’s murder- no African American was involved, and  arrested Susan Smith  (Caucasian) for murdering her own children.

Unfortunately, in their search for the killers police randomly: stopped, searched, and arrested many black men innocent of involvement in either crime.  Some of those men even had false charges drummed up  against them.  Because the crimes were high profile the violent police searches made national news and shocked some members of society.

Fortunately, the recent search in Ferguson, Missouri for the shooter of the two police officers reflects the antitheses of the tactics used  by Boston police in 1989  and Union, South Carolina police in 1991.  Hopefully,  the referenced investigation by Ferguson, Missouri law enforcement  officials represents a more just way in which police interact with all citizens.

2 thoughts on “EXTRA, EXTRA, Read All About It-Law enforcement Officials Demonstrate Ethical Policing

  1. I really enjoy reading your blog you always present thought provoking topics. Now saying that this article follows the last one justice for all including law enforcement officials. First let me say I don’t mean to be pessimistic or to come off negative. But it is what it is and this article should not be an extra, extra. This should be the norm. This is the job of law enforcement officials. But the sad thing is that very few of them act in the capacity in which they are suppose to act so when they do it becomes a big deal. I only pray that it’s not the current atmosphere in Ferguson that made theses officials behave in this manner and that it will become the normal procedure when investigating any crime not just those perpetrated against the police.
    Thank you once again for taking the time to always challenge our thinking and to present alternative perspectives.

    1. Richard, You are right on so many levels. I too hope it wasn’t simply being under the watchful eye of the international community that prompted FPD to behave ethically in their search for the shooter of the two police officers.

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