By Peter R. Quinones
With the upcoming documentary our production company, Stateless Productions, is making on America’s Police Crisis, I have been forced in interviews to talk more about law enforcement than I have in some time. Below is an article I wrote in October 2019 that I believe needs revisiting. Many people are familiar with cases such as Warren vs. District of Columbia and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez in which the courts have declared that police officers have no mandate to protect you as an individual.
The one that is rarely brought up is Graham v. Connor in which the courts laid out how an officer involved shooting is to be judged. Below provides insight into that ruling. Prepare yourselves.
Those who take police accountability seriously had reason to celebrate this month when Amber Guyger, the police officer who walked into 26-year-old Botham Jean’s apartment, mistook it for her own, and fired a fatal shot into him, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10-years in prison. Many saw it as a penetration of the “Thin Blue Line” with the cop responsible for Jean’s death heading to prison (with numerous appeals waiting in the wings).
At 2 AM on October 12, Ft Worth resident Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death through a screened, closed window in her home by Ft. Worth Police Department officer Aaron Dean. Dean, 35, was hired by the department in 2017, and started in the field in 2018. Jefferson’s neighbor, James Smith, was concerned when he noticed the front door of her home was ajar. He called the police on a non-emergency number at which time the Fort Worth PD dispatched officers on a welfare check. Instead of knocking on the door, they walked around the house in the dark with flashlights which led to the shooting.
Categories: Police State/Civil Liberties