There is something coming out of the social conflagration that has been Ferguson, Missouri for the past half year or so beyond police officer Darren Wilson having shot robbery and assault suspect Michael Brown. That something is the controversy, generally, over towns, cities, counties and states raising revenue through the, little-to-no-tolerance, enforcement of minor traffic and other civil infractions. Officers observe a minor violation of law, and, rather than consider the option of issuing a warning, which is, technically, normally, one of an officer’s enforcement options, they nearly always issue expensive citations.
This is what the Department of Justice has accused the Ferguson Police Department and other neighboring agencies of doing. This illustrates the untenable situation today’s officers and deputies find themselves in. They are berated daily by one political party who believe in social justice over equal justice—all the way up to the U.S. President and Attorney general, and, to make matters worse, the cops suffer a barrage of local governmental policies that place them in a position to piss off the public.
I am fortunate in my experience with the Seattle Police Department that I was never required to work under such a policy.
When policymakers and lawmakers at any level of government create policies and laws based on limiting rights people formerly had, and/or on raising revenue, they intentionally place their cops at odds with their communities. Tell me something: is this something police officers need, especially these days?