The text below was posted as a comment to Cop Block’s Facebook page by Ed Medlin. I followed-up and Medlin was cool that it be shared here. It’s also now included on our Welcome LEOs page in the hopes that some currently employed in policing will be emboldened to do what’s right.
For what it is worth, I am a former police chief, with almost twenty years of law enforcement experience. I’ve taught in a half dozen academies, and taught criminal justice courses at a large university. [A Google search placed Medlin at Emory University, near Atlanta]
I wish to take this opportunity to express my total agreement with the statement “badges don’t grant extra rights,” and to say that, if anything, cops, prosecutors, judges, and other people involved in effectuating the criminal justice system actually should hold themselves to a standard higher than that to which they hold others. I’m not referring only to officers not using excessive force or to judges or D.A.s not giving special breaks to cronies; I also regard “flashing a badge” to avoid a traffic citation, asking for a “police discount” or accepting free meals, etc. to be forms of corruption.
I once worked for sheriff’s department that gave uniformed personnel two alternatives at the end of their shifts: 1) change into street clothes; or 2) drive straight home, without stopping along the way. Even stopping to go into a grocery store and purchasing a quart of milk was grounds for a three day suspension- no personnel business was to be conduced while in uniform, other than purchasing food during a meal break. THAT is the way it ought to be everywhere, but no where does it seem to be done that way, anymore.
Of course, that’s all small potatoes when compared to excessive force, intentional violations of the constitutional rights, or police perjury. Perhaps even worse than brutal or corrupt cops are judges and prosecutors who are protective of such cops. I only wish I could say that brutality, perjury, etc. are rare occurrances. They are not the norm, but neither are they anomalies.
Neither I nor, to the best of my knowledge, any of the people who served under me engaged in or helped to cover up excessive force, fudged testimony, or illegal searches or arrests…but there sure as hell were other agencies where various illegalities were tolerated, or even actively encouraged. And, one of the agencies with a bad track record was the F.B.I. That, of course, is the agency charged with investigating misconduct by other agencies.
Keep fighting the good fight!