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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Undue Process

There were a few articles I was going to write over the last few days, but I've not been doing well lately... my headaches have been bad lately and one spot on my side has really been hurting where that gang of neonazis broke my ribs when they attacked me... needless to say that I've not been sleeping well because I jump up awake several times a night dreaming and feeling like I'm being attacked all over again because of the pain.

...So, I'll just put together some random thoughts on this dreary Sunday.

I Love A Parade

First, yesterday was Seattle's Seafair Torchlight Parade and we tend to go a bit all-out for it. We love the parade, as cheesy as it sounds, because we also have a strange "love-hate" relationship with Seattle... if it weren't for what happened to me, it'd be all love. In any case, our balcony has a great view of the event and we decorate it so the people in the floats always point and wave and several people took pictures.

Anyway, the police chief and his wife were in one car, she pointed up and said "oh my goodness" loud enough that I could hear her over the noise of the parade. She smiled and waved enthusiastically and, well, since she had nothing to do with what the SPD did to me I smiled and waved back... then she nudged her husband who also smiled and waved... I'm not a mean-spirited person so I kept waving, but I wonder what he would have thought if he knew who he was smiling and waving at.

Innocent Until...
A story in the news recently evoked some sympathy from me for a police officer, even though I'll be hated by cops and cop haters for admitting it (I have no friends in Seattle, so no loss). Seems a Seattle police officer was fired after he was accused of a felony involving him allegedly bursting into his soon-to-be ex-wife's home and threatening her boyfriend. The police department insisted that it is their policy to fire any officers accused of a felony so he was fired without even an internal investigation being completed.

Well, a public employee commission recently found in his favor and forced the city to give him his job back along with back pay. Seems that the first trial resulted in a mistrial when the jury couldn't decide on the case and the prosecutor then offered a reduced misdemeanor plea, which he then accepted.

Seems a lot of people responding to the article thinks he should have stayed fired and that this shows how little control the city has over it's police officers while SPD officers come to his defense by trying to justify what he was accused of instead of focusing on the real matter at hand, the fact that he should have been treated as if he were innocent until he was found guilty... at most he should have been reassigned to desk duty until the case was done, otherwise he was being punished before being found guilty.

Now, sure, the SPD didn't treat me like I was innocent when they denied me medical care when they arrested me, when they taunted me in my cell, when they interrogated me under duress, and when they kept me long after they knew I was innocent and cost me my jobs. But, perhaps it's a lesson they need to learn through experiencing the other side of that gavel; that there is a reason for presumed innocence... I know it's misguided, but I just hope they apply that lesson to how they treat others instead of just how they want to be treated.

Raging Roads
Then there's the bicyclists vs motorist incident all over the news. Seems that there are two sides to the story but the media and the police only want to let people know about one side and not the other, (meanwhile The Stranger has some excellent coverage of it from both sides)... One bicyclist was hospitalized when he was hit by the motorist involved but the news paints the motorist as the victim since the bicyclists chased him down in a vigilante rage to disable his car and hit him as well.

Honestly, I think there's plenty of wrongdoing on both sides of that altercation. The driver and the bicyclists should both face charges, if anyone does at least. The motorist shouldn't have gunned his engine and run down the bikes and the cyclists did more than was necessary to stop the driver... Both sides were wrong so if one side is charged the other should be too. That's the way it should work when both sides stand accused, but the police don't work that way here, they pick sides and never admit they were wrong about anything.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Thank your for your reasonable position about Felton Miles.

Packratt said...

Thank you for reading, and thanks for the positive feedback!

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