As a criminal defense attorney, I find it irritating that I’m frequently treated as if only the first word in that tripartite title counted.  With recent changes in Fresno, I’m now unconstitutionally searched several times a day; the sheriff’s deputies x-ray or lamely rummage through my bag looking for weapons every time I enter a courthouse.  Given that most days I’m doing that a half-dozen times, you’d think someone would figure out that the most dangerous weapon I carry (which they routinely ignore) is my heavy, sharp-pointed, three-foot long umbrella on rainy days.

The irony is not simply the weapons that are overlooked by searches that range anywhere from perfunctory privacy invasions whose real goal is to show who’s the boss, but that, compared to law enforcement officers, criminal defense attorneys are, on the whole, saints.

So I’m even more irritated when I go into court and the words of police officers are given such great weight that anything I, my client, or witnesses for the defense might say is automatically suspect.  But look at the evidence: police officers on the whole are, in fact, worse than defense attorneys.

On just about any given day, while the presiding judge is requiring brown-shirted deputies to ignore the law and search folks without any particularized belief that they have committed, are committing, or are about to commit any crimes and while those brown-shirts are “only following orders” (one of them actually said that to me), you can pick up the Fresno Bee and find between one and three stories about law enforcement officers breaking the law.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer himself — supposedly now a hardcore Christian — was previously investigated for having an affair with a 16-year-old girl.  As with most other police controversies, nothing ever came of this.  Since then, Dyer has remained an ardent advocate of withholding judgment on police officers who break the law.

And the Fresno Police Department’s most recently exposed criminal enterprise is not unusual.  Police departments in other areas of the country routinely shake down “criminals” to improve the bottom line.  Tenaha, Texas, for example, has a roaming cash checkpoint intended to help their cash-poor city to fund its two-person police department.

In other areas of the country, police routinely take property they want without warrants or right, in order to “investigate,” or cover up, crimes.  After the recent BART shooting in San Francisco, for example, police chased down witnessses and confiscated their cameras.  (The article about this has, for some reason, disappeared, but here’s the Google cached link.)  As the article points out, police have no right to take your property simply because you witnessed a crime.  But as one First Amendment lawyer noted:

You don’t want to get into a situation where you are refusing to comply with law enforcement, especially when that law enforcement officer just shot and killed somebody. No camera is worth losing your life over.

Not all officers committing property crimes have such laudable motives as funding new police stations or protecting the reputation of the police force.  Like other human beings, officers sometimes commit crimes because of addictions (5/2016 edit: San Jose Mercury News link has vanished from Internet). As with other human beings, police officers sometimes commit crimes of opportunity. But do drug dealers deserve to be robbed? Does this justify the officers’ crimes?

Officers who commit property and other crimes don’t just target drug dealers.  Sometimes (6/2016 update: link broken, removed) they hit hardworking construction site owners.  Sometimes it’s just a person who was stupid enough to trust them.  Sometimes they even steal from their own fellow officers!

I want to be clear about what I’m not saying here:  I’m not saying that all police officers are crooks, liars, criminals.  Cases like each of these I’ve linked above should serve to remind us that police officers are human beings.  Human beings not infrequently look out for their own interests.  Not all police officers are crooks, but police officers are ideally situated to abuse the power we, the People, have given them.  It’s no surprise, then, that they frequently do abuse this power.

Meanwhile, I’m hard-pressed to find any information about Fresno-area attorneys committing such crimes.  I know of one local attorney who has been arrested and charged with crimes, unrelated to his job.  I’ve no doubt there may be others that happened before my time.  (My memory of such arrests is of a District Attorney and perhaps some Deputy District Attorneys, but I’ve no doubt criminal defense attorneys in Fresno have also committed crimes before.  After all, the basic premise of my article has to do with humanity committing crimes.)

Isn’t it time we stopped considering officers as super-human and above reproach?  Shouldn’t we understand that they’re subject to the same foibles, fears and fibs as other human beings?  Shouldn’t we stop convicting people of crimes based almost entirely on the say-so of law enforcement officers whose jobs clearly bias them against the witnesses they defame in courtrooms and the people they aim to convict when they testify?

At the very least, shouldn’t we evaluate what they say in the context of all the evidence?  Isn’t that what we do for other human beings when they testify in court?

I’d like to hear what you have to say about this.  Feel free to use the form below to leave your comments to this post.

20 comments

  1. I am a law abiding citizen and a hard working father and have been harrased several times by FPD.Illegaly detained, threatened and am sick of them and there attitudes that they can do and treat people of a certain look or race however they want,just because im in a certain neighborhood, and dont look like an upper class person like the ones who are leaving comments on here defending the crooked cops probably look.They dont have any idea how enraging it is to be waiting for a bus after working 12 hours and be pulled aside and have pockets and id checked for no reason.Happened three times in one week while my truck was broke down.

  2. I am a law abiding citizen and a hard working father and have been harrased several times by FPD.Illegaly detained, threatened and am sick of them and there attitudes that they can do and treat people of a certain look or race however they want,just because im in a certain neighborhood, and dont look like an upper class person like the ones who are leaving comments on here defending the crooked cops probably look.They dont have any idea how enraging it is to be waiting for a bus after working 12 hours and be pulled aside and have pockets and id checked for no reason.Happened three times in one week while my truck was broke down.

  3. Actually, he was accused of what would probably be considered statutory rape; not of molesting. And the “mere doubt” should not open anyone’s eyes to anything.

    I want to point out again, as I have on numerous occasions, that it is not the fact of whether he did or did not do this that seems important to me most of the time. Although I believe the news reports indicate he hasn’t really commented one way or another, I would expect that he would deny the truth of the accusation.

    What I think matters most is that (being as I would assume he believes himself to be innocent of what he has been accused of), he doesn’t have more appreciation of the principle that people are innocent of crimes of which they’ve been accused unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

    I, for one, keep bringing this up because in news conference after news conference, he seems hell-bent on poisoning the minds of potential jurors, because he makes accusations and provides the police department’s one side of the story.

    In my personal opinion, most of the time, other than the fact that someone has been arrested for a crime, few details should be broadcast prior to a trial. Accused persons are supposed to be tried in a court of law, following procedures and rules regarding evidence which have been developed over hundreds of years of experience as to what allows for a fair trial.

    Trying people in the press is a good way to up the number of innocent people being convicted. It serves no other real purpose. It is almost always purely police propaganda.

  4. Actually, he was accused of what would probably be considered statutory rape; not of molesting. And the “mere doubt” should not open anyone’s eyes to anything.

    I want to point out again, as I have on numerous occasions, that it is not the fact of whether he did or did not do this that seems important to me most of the time. Although I believe the news reports indicate he hasn’t really commented one way or another, I would expect that he would deny the truth of the accusation.

    What I think matters most is that (being as I would assume he believes himself to be innocent of what he has been accused of), he doesn’t have more appreciation of the principle that people are innocent of crimes of which they’ve been accused unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

    I, for one, keep bringing this up because in news conference after news conference, he seems hell-bent on poisoning the minds of potential jurors, because he makes accusations and provides the police department’s one side of the story.

    In my personal opinion, most of the time, other than the fact that someone has been arrested for a crime, few details should be broadcast prior to a trial. Accused persons are supposed to be tried in a court of law, following procedures and rules regarding evidence which have been developed over hundreds of years of experience as to what allows for a fair trial.

    Trying people in the press is a good way to up the number of innocent people being convicted. It serves no other real purpose. It is almost always purely police propaganda.

  5. What the hell, He molested a 16 yr old girl, shouldn’t the mere doubt that he may have done it, or how he even got himself into that type of investigation open everybody’s eyes to his persona??? come on people get it together, don’t you find it odd how that time in his life never comes up again like it would with any other individual. hmmmm think about that…..

  6. What the hell, He molested a 16 yr old girl, shouldn’t the mere doubt that he may have done it, or how he even got himself into that type of investigation open everybody’s eyes to his persona??? come on people get it together, don’t you find it odd how that time in his life never comes up again like it would with any other individual. hmmmm think about that…..

  7. Mr. Horowitz,

    One year ago I was defending Fresno Police and Chief Dyer in particular. But, then my home was burglarized and I had to deal with the Fresno Police Department in ways that most people never do.

    22 firearms were stolen from my home in three separate burglaries. And, there was a VERY serious attempted invasion by force while I was at home. If I had not been well prepared to confron armed criminals, the attempt would have been successful and I might not be able to write this.

    Fresno Police refused to respond to the home invasion attempt and refused to collect important evidence (fingerprints, shoe prints, etc). Over a four month period, NONE of the calls I placed to Fresno police detectives were returned until I started complaining VERY vocally to friends of mine that work with them. When I finally recieved the one return phone call (after weeks of calling), the detective told me that FPD would be happy to raid and search any home if I could give them a name or address of anyone I suspect. But, they still would not come to my hoase to collect evidence.

    When I realized (and confirmed) that the serial numbers of my stolen firearms had not been reported to BATF, and FPD would not return my phone calls about the serial numbers i had been able to obtain, I called the mayors office.

    After calling the Mayors office, another detective called to tell me that he was not going to let anyone tell him what to do and if I continued complaining to the mayor, he would find a reason to put me and/or my son in jail.

    When two (of the 4)Oakland police officers were killed by a rifle that might have been mine, i called Oakland PD. Oakland PD was WONDERFUL! They confirmed that Fresno PD had still not reported my firearms to BATF. They confirmed the serial numbers i gave them and those provided by the gun dealers I purchased them from. They forwarded this informato to FPD and got an Oakland area BATF agent involved.

    Oakland PD and BATF provided information to Fresno PD confirming the information that I had provided. They also confirmed that the selling dealers had tried to give the information (serial numbers) to FPD but that the FPD detective had refused to accept it. After all of that the Fresno PD detective wrote a letter to the Mayors office claiming that the firearms dealers claimed that I had never purchased any firearms from them!

    Several months after the burglaries, one burglary report was apparently “modified” to eliminate any mention of one of the stolen handguns. A month later that same firearm was recovered by one of the few honest FPD officers. that officer called me to ask, among other things, why i had not reported it stolen. He was very sympathetic and, without prodding conceded that a full 50% of FPD officers lack the integrity to serve in a job of public trust. He went even further by claiming that MANY FPD officers are continuously involved in criminal activities. He then asked me to understand that 50%, including himself, are honest and doing the best they can under the circumstances.

    FPD refuses to return my phone calls about the my recovered handgun. Thankfully, Oakland PD and BATF have documented that I did indeed report that firearm stolen. Thankfully, one of the firearms dealers saw the “red flags” and documented their attempt to provide evidense of my firearms purchases top the FPD officer who claimed I was lieing about ever purchasing those firearms.

    Fresno has no criminals as dangerous or dispicable as those who are wearing police uniforms. And our new Mayor doesn’t seem to care.

    These “men” and “women” are the ultimate cowards and should be in prison. They falsly claim to put their lives at risk for us when their jobs are actually statistically safer that that of a typical salesman, truck driver, farm worker, etc.

    They are no better than school yard bullies with the principal on their side. They are too lazy to “work”, too cowardly to do anything without overwhelming and innappropriate force.

  8. Mr. Horowitz,

    One year ago I was defending Fresno Police and Chief Dyer in particular. But, then my home was burglarized and I had to deal with the Fresno Police Department in ways that most people never do.

    22 firearms were stolen from my home in three separate burglaries. And, there was a VERY serious attempted invasion by force while I was at home. If I had not been well prepared to confron armed criminals, the attempt would have been successful and I might not be able to write this.

    Fresno Police refused to respond to the home invasion attempt and refused to collect important evidence (fingerprints, shoe prints, etc). Over a four month period, NONE of the calls I placed to Fresno police detectives were returned until I started complaining VERY vocally to friends of mine that work with them. When I finally recieved the one return phone call (after weeks of calling), the detective told me that FPD would be happy to raid and search any home if I could give them a name or address of anyone I suspect. But, they still would not come to my hoase to collect evidence.

    When I realized (and confirmed) that the serial numbers of my stolen firearms had not been reported to BATF, and FPD would not return my phone calls about the serial numbers i had been able to obtain, I called the mayors office.

    After calling the Mayors office, another detective called to tell me that he was not going to let anyone tell him what to do and if I continued complaining to the mayor, he would find a reason to put me and/or my son in jail.

    When two (of the 4)Oakland police officers were killed by a rifle that might have been mine, i called Oakland PD. Oakland PD was WONDERFUL! They confirmed that Fresno PD had still not reported my firearms to BATF. They confirmed the serial numbers i gave them and those provided by the gun dealers I purchased them from. They forwarded this informato to FPD and got an Oakland area BATF agent involved.

    Oakland PD and BATF provided information to Fresno PD confirming the information that I had provided. They also confirmed that the selling dealers had tried to give the information (serial numbers) to FPD but that the FPD detective had refused to accept it. After all of that the Fresno PD detective wrote a letter to the Mayors office claiming that the firearms dealers claimed that I had never purchased any firearms from them!

    Several months after the burglaries, one burglary report was apparently “modified” to eliminate any mention of one of the stolen handguns. A month later that same firearm was recovered by one of the few honest FPD officers. that officer called me to ask, among other things, why i had not reported it stolen. He was very sympathetic and, without prodding conceded that a full 50% of FPD officers lack the integrity to serve in a job of public trust. He went even further by claiming that MANY FPD officers are continuously involved in criminal activities. He then asked me to understand that 50%, including himself, are honest and doing the best they can under the circumstances.

    FPD refuses to return my phone calls about the my recovered handgun. Thankfully, Oakland PD and BATF have documented that I did indeed report that firearm stolen. Thankfully, one of the firearms dealers saw the “red flags” and documented their attempt to provide evidense of my firearms purchases top the FPD officer who claimed I was lieing about ever purchasing those firearms.

    Fresno has no criminals as dangerous or dispicable as those who are wearing police uniforms. And our new Mayor doesn’t seem to care.

    These “men” and “women” are the ultimate cowards and should be in prison. They falsly claim to put their lives at risk for us when their jobs are actually statistically safer that that of a typical salesman, truck driver, farm worker, etc.

    They are no better than school yard bullies with the principal on their side. They are too lazy to “work”, too cowardly to do anything without overwhelming and innappropriate force.

  9. I can’t help but shake my head over the fact that people feel the need to come here and defend police officers and point out how unfair I’m being and how I might “get a different view of police officer’s [sic]” if I’ll just do this, that, or the other thing. “That, that, or the other thing” usually means going to read some cheerleader’s post about the police. Apparently many of you forget that I work around police officers quite a bit and get to see them in action more than many of their cheerleaders.

    It’s ironic that many who feel the need to defend police officers seem to miss the point that I’m not attacking all police officers. In fact, nearly every time I say something about the police, it has to do with systemic issues stated as generalities and what is wrong with the system; I’m not attacking particular police officers at all.

    I happen to know some quite honorable police officers for whom I have a lot of respect. I don’t always agree with how they do their jobs, or with their particular view on the world, but that doesn’t change how I feel about them as human beings.

    Nevertheless, police officers aren’t gods. They’re human beings. Human beings make mistakes. Human beings give in to the temptation to make themselves look good even when they’ve made mistakes. Human beings with power to do so can, will and do sometimes lie, twist the truth, or otherwise stack the deck against the wrong people. If “the good guys” are so honorable, why is getting discovery and evidence one of the number one issues in courtrooms today? (DAs have a big part in this, but it starts with the police, many of whom don’t always turn things over even to the DAs quickly enough.)

    Furthermore, do you folks who feel I’m so damned unfair to the police actually not read paragraphs like this, taken from the post above?

    I want to be clear about what I’m not saying here: I’m not saying that all police officers are crooks, liars, criminals. Cases like each of these I’ve linked above should serve to remind us that police officers are human beings. Human beings not infrequently look out for their own interests. Not all police officers are crooks, but police officers are ideally situated to abuse the power we, the People, have given them. It’s no surprise, then, that they frequently do abuse this power.

    Do you just skip over it when I say things like this because you think any criticism of “the police” is a bad thing and any negative statement made about the police, however true it is, shows that I’m prejudiced?

    The majority of police officers are decent people. However, even decent people are human beings. And all human beings are subject to abusing power when it is given to them. When you combine that with the cheerleaders who believe the police can never, ever, not even once do anything wrong, you’ve got a great potential societal danger.

    That’s why the power of government — of which the police are the actual power! — was deliberately limited by our Founders.

    Finally, I’m a criminal defense attorney. I get to see a lot of police officers. I get to see them in situations where, as I’ve said, there is a great temptation for even the best of them to tell what they consider to be “little white lies” to make sure “the guilty people they arrested” get convicted. But isn’t the purpose of a trial to determine if, in fact, the accused person is actually guilty? Isn’t the purpose of a trial to get at the truth? Do the cheerleaders who visit here forget that this system was set up the way it is on purpose because our Founders well understood the tendency to jump to conclusions and the need for an adversarial-type trial?

    The hardcore among you who so love to tell me I’m biased, unfair, need an invitation to get a different view and so on: you only prove the wisdom of the Founders and my points.

    I suppose for that, I should thank you.

  10. I can’t help but shake my head over the fact that people feel the need to come here and defend police officers and point out how unfair I’m being and how I might “get a different view of police officer’s [sic]” if I’ll just do this, that, or the other thing. “That, that, or the other thing” usually means going to read some cheerleader’s post about the police. Apparently many of you forget that I work around police officers quite a bit and get to see them in action more than many of their cheerleaders.

    It’s ironic that many who feel the need to defend police officers seem to miss the point that I’m not attacking all police officers. In fact, nearly every time I say something about the police, it has to do with systemic issues stated as generalities and what is wrong with the system; I’m not attacking particular police officers at all.

    I happen to know some quite honorable police officers for whom I have a lot of respect. I don’t always agree with how they do their jobs, or with their particular view on the world, but that doesn’t change how I feel about them as human beings.

    Nevertheless, police officers aren’t gods. They’re human beings. Human beings make mistakes. Human beings give in to the temptation to make themselves look good even when they’ve made mistakes. Human beings with power to do so can, will and do sometimes lie, twist the truth, or otherwise stack the deck against the wrong people. If “the good guys” are so honorable, why is getting discovery and evidence one of the number one issues in courtrooms today? (DAs have a big part in this, but it starts with the police, many of whom don’t always turn things over even to the DAs quickly enough.)

    Furthermore, do you folks who feel I’m so damned unfair to the police actually not read paragraphs like this, taken from the post above?

    I want to be clear about what I’m not saying here: I’m not saying that all police officers are crooks, liars, criminals. Cases like each of these I’ve linked above should serve to remind us that police officers are human beings. Human beings not infrequently look out for their own interests. Not all police officers are crooks, but police officers are ideally situated to abuse the power we, the People, have given them. It’s no surprise, then, that they frequently do abuse this power.

    Do you just skip over it when I say things like this because you think any criticism of “the police” is a bad thing and any negative statement made about the police, however true it is, shows that I’m prejudiced?

    The majority of police officers are decent people. However, even decent people are human beings. And all human beings are subject to abusing power when it is given to them. When you combine that with the cheerleaders who believe the police can never, ever, not even once do anything wrong, you’ve got a great potential societal danger.

    That’s why the power of government — of which the police are the actual power! — was deliberately limited by our Founders.

    Finally, I’m a criminal defense attorney. I get to see a lot of police officers. I get to see them in situations where, as I’ve said, there is a great temptation for even the best of them to tell what they consider to be “little white lies” to make sure “the guilty people they arrested” get convicted. But isn’t the purpose of a trial to determine if, in fact, the accused person is actually guilty? Isn’t the purpose of a trial to get at the truth? Do the cheerleaders who visit here forget that this system was set up the way it is on purpose because our Founders well understood the tendency to jump to conclusions and the need for an adversarial-type trial?

    The hardcore among you who so love to tell me I’m biased, unfair, need an invitation to get a different view and so on: you only prove the wisdom of the Founders and my points.

    I suppose for that, I should thank you.

  11. The one thing you are absolutely right about in your assessment is this, police officer’s are human. I invite you to read an article I just published based on my time as a police officer. The link is provided as my website address. Maybe you will get a different view of police officer’s. By the way, FPD was my old department prior to my retirement. I am very proud to have been a member of FPD and I think you take the examples of a few bad apples and turn it into a generalization of police officer’s as being crooks and liars. I thought the same thing about defense attorneys, and did not like to many that I came in contact with. However, I realize that despite a few bad apples, most attorneys are decent people trying to do what they think is best, just as cops do. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1800210/police_officers_are_human_.html?cat=47

  12. The one thing you are absolutely right about in your assessment is this, police officer’s are human. I invite you to read an article I just published based on my time as a police officer. The link is provided as my website address. Maybe you will get a different view of police officer’s. By the way, FPD was my old department prior to my retirement. I am very proud to have been a member of FPD and I think you take the examples of a few bad apples and turn it into a generalization of police officer’s as being crooks and liars. I thought the same thing about defense attorneys, and did not like to many that I came in contact with. However, I realize that despite a few bad apples, most attorneys are decent people trying to do what they think is best, just as cops do. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1800210/police_officers_are_human_.html?cat=47

  13. Mr. Horowitz:
    Your accusations against Chief Dyer are very vague to say the least.You say he is not capable, courageous or dedicated and then you fail to give one specific example of such a case. You say he is guilty of favoritism and “if the stories are true” racism. Again, you fail to give specific examples of favoritism or racism. As an attorney you should know better. I especially take offense to the phrase “if the stories are true”. You do not tell us what the “stories” are much less give us any supporting evidence for those stories. Are “stories” always true Mr. Horowitz? Have you ever defended anyone who has had someone tell a “story” about them that later proved to be false? I dislike you comparing law enforcement officers to Nazi’s. Your comments about their “brown shirts” is clearly a comment indicating that they are similar to the Nazi’s. Also your comments about the officers telling you that they “were just following orders” is once again an insinuation that they are at least somewhat Nazi like. If they were really as Nazi like as you seem to think you would not have the freedom to pursue the profession you do and would certainly not have the liberty to be writing your blog. With respect, Eric Essman.

  14. Mr. Horowitz:
    Your accusations against Chief Dyer are very vague to say the least.You say he is not capable, courageous or dedicated and then you fail to give one specific example of such a case. You say he is guilty of favoritism and “if the stories are true” racism. Again, you fail to give specific examples of favoritism or racism. As an attorney you should know better. I especially take offense to the phrase “if the stories are true”. You do not tell us what the “stories” are much less give us any supporting evidence for those stories. Are “stories” always true Mr. Horowitz? Have you ever defended anyone who has had someone tell a “story” about them that later proved to be false? I dislike you comparing law enforcement officers to Nazi’s. Your comments about their “brown shirts” is clearly a comment indicating that they are similar to the Nazi’s. Also your comments about the officers telling you that they “were just following orders” is once again an insinuation that they are at least somewhat Nazi like. If they were really as Nazi like as you seem to think you would not have the freedom to pursue the profession you do and would certainly not have the liberty to be writing your blog. With respect, Eric Essman.

  15. “And personally, I find…attorneys with personal and/or political agendas that they place above Constitutional rights and laws to be just as frightening as police officers who abuse their power.”

    Assuming that you mean attorneys whose personal and political aims result in them ignoring their clients rights and (therefore) providing ineffective assistance of counsel, I’d agree that they are frightening. I’m not sure if they’re “as frightening as police officers who abuse their power,” though. Bad attorneys only impact the clients who come to them and, to some extent, the system of justice; bad officers affect our entire society. The damage they do is more pervasive and more serious.

    Jerry Dyer faces criticism from me specifically because he is not a very good officer; he is not “capable, courageous, and dedicated [as a] leader.” A leader would be an exemplar for the people he leads. Dyer is not that. And not just because of his past history — people can change and, if he had, he should be forgiven for his past — he is not an exemplar because he encourages his people towards a militaristic approach to their jobs. From what I can see, he does little to stop the abuse of power within his ranks and encourages favoritism and, if the stories are true, racism.

    There are, indeed, very good police officers. I, too, am grateful for them.

    But if you want to talk about something scarier than the bad police officers, which exist in too many (and increasing) numbers, it’s people who, like the citizens of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, stand by, do nothing and make excuses for the fascistic portions of their government as they gain strength.

    That there are good officers doing their jobs with honor does not mean we should ignore the realities I discussed in this article.

  16. “And personally, I find…attorneys with personal and/or political agendas that they place above Constitutional rights and laws to be just as frightening as police officers who abuse their power.”

    Assuming that you mean attorneys whose personal and political aims result in them ignoring their clients rights and (therefore) providing ineffective assistance of counsel, I’d agree that they are frightening. I’m not sure if they’re “as frightening as police officers who abuse their power,” though. Bad attorneys only impact the clients who come to them and, to some extent, the system of justice; bad officers affect our entire society. The damage they do is more pervasive and more serious.

    Jerry Dyer faces criticism from me specifically because he is not a very good officer; he is not “capable, courageous, and dedicated [as a] leader.” A leader would be an exemplar for the people he leads. Dyer is not that. And not just because of his past history — people can change and, if he had, he should be forgiven for his past — he is not an exemplar because he encourages his people towards a militaristic approach to their jobs. From what I can see, he does little to stop the abuse of power within his ranks and encourages favoritism and, if the stories are true, racism.

    There are, indeed, very good police officers. I, too, am grateful for them.

    But if you want to talk about something scarier than the bad police officers, which exist in too many (and increasing) numbers, it’s people who, like the citizens of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, stand by, do nothing and make excuses for the fascistic portions of their government as they gain strength.

    That there are good officers doing their jobs with honor does not mean we should ignore the realities I discussed in this article.

  17. It sounds to me like you have a very large “chip on your shoulder” towards police officers, especially Jerry Deyer.

    Sure, there are corrupt officers, just as there are corrupt attorneys and corrupt workers in every single profession. BUT there are also very good police officers, for whom I am very grateful. And as a Valley resident, I consider Jerry Dyer to be a very good officer, and a very capable, courageous, and dedicated leader, with a very difficult job in which he must constantly face criticsm from people such as yourself.

    I am thankful for the bravery, courage, and dedication of police officers, even though I know there are police officers who abuse their power. There are teachers who molest their students, parents who abuse their children, company employees who commit fraud, and attorneys who accept bribes. And the list goes on. In every walk of life and every profession, there will be those who abuse and misuse their “power.”

    And personally, I find dishonorable attorneys and/or attorneys with personal and/or political agendas that they place above Constitutional rights and laws to be just as frightening as police officers who abuse their power.

  18. It sounds to me like you have a very large “chip on your shoulder” towards police officers, especially Jerry Deyer.

    Sure, there are corrupt officers, just as there are corrupt attorneys and corrupt workers in every single profession. BUT there are also very good police officers, for whom I am very grateful. And as a Valley resident, I consider Jerry Dyer to be a very good officer, and a very capable, courageous, and dedicated leader, with a very difficult job in which he must constantly face criticsm from people such as yourself.

    I am thankful for the bravery, courage, and dedication of police officers, even though I know there are police officers who abuse their power. There are teachers who molest their students, parents who abuse their children, company employees who commit fraud, and attorneys who accept bribes. And the list goes on. In every walk of life and every profession, there will be those who abuse and misuse their “power.”

    And personally, I find dishonorable attorneys and/or attorneys with personal and/or political agendas that they place above Constitutional rights and laws to be just as frightening as police officers who abuse their power.

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