The tarnished badge

I once got in big trouble by writing an op-ed called “Why I love the Tea Party.” I thought it was terrific that there was a group that was focusing on the need to conform to constitutional values and the Bill of Rights. Recent events in Washington point out the enhanced importance of our following these crucial documents.

Yet, I find it ironic that so many of our citizens are dumping on a recent federal court jury which upheld the Constitution when high level police officers in our city blatantly violated the constitutional rights of innocent citizens. What is going on here? On the one hand we demand law and order and fidelity to the Bill of Rights. On the other hand some of our citizens turn around and excoriate the recent verdict demanding that police officials adhere to the same level of conduct required of everyone else.

Our Constitution does not permit the police to go into someone’s home and demand property or possessions without a warrant or probable cause. We should congratulate our fellow citizens who sat on a jury before the Honorable Matthew Brann, rather than criticizing them. We should thank the lawyers who vindicated our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The police officers who broke the law may have many fine personal qualities, but they certainly did not exhibit those abilities or respect for the law in their dealing with the Shrey’s. The Sun-Gazette had it absolutely correct when they referred to the “tarnished” badge.

Hypocrisy is rightly condemned in our religious traditions. Let us keep that in mind when misguided people trash the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury.

Clifford Rieders


Submitted by E-Mail