They say that, in the state of Texas, you can indict a ham sandwich. An indictment is not an indication or determination of guilt, it is a determination made by a grand jury stating that enough evidence exists to bring formal charges against the accused.
This morning, after being indicted by a grand jury, the chief of police of West Columbia TX was arrested on six counts of tampering with evidence and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Here's my issue with it. Typically, a cop has to SERIOUSLY fuck up before any type of real discipline is ever meted out. When they kill someone in a manner that most would consider to be outright murder, they are often found to have "acted within departmental policy". Shoot someone's dog for no apparent reason? The dog was being aggressive, and the officer "acted for his own safety". Have a cop act like a total disrespecting asshole to the very people who pay his/her salary? Well, the bogus charges end up dropped if you raise hell.
That's what generally happens for lowly patrol officers. If you're a higher-up, there typically has to be videotape evidence or a serious paper trail before someone will even consider listening to a complaint. This isn't a "local issue", this is known to occur across the country. The "Thin Blue Line" (complete with its own logo, bumper stickers, etc) is an informal reference to the so-called brotherhood of "Law Enforcement", and they most typically look out for their own.
Don't get me wrong, not all cops are like this. I know a pair of them that I would trust my life, liberty, and property to...and that's saying something, considering there's members of my own family that don't even rate such a thing. We have disagreements about their chosen profession, but I know they are at least honest about who they are and what they do...and they walk the talk.
With that said, I personally know SEVERAL police officers, current and former, who are admitted (although not convicted) felons...with these felony offenses against the laws of this state having been either before they chose to be officers, or while wearing a badge. I don't know a lot of cops personally, I'd say that it's probably about a dozen. At least half of that number would fall into the category of "admitted felon", and I've been personal witness to at least three of these felonious acts.
I'm not suggesting that the laws they'd broken should be treated as felonious acts...or, for that matter, even prohibited at all. I believe that a truly moral society has no business imprisoning, fining, or otherwise using force against a person whose actions have not actually harmed another non-consenting individual.
My issue with police officers is, quite simply, that they knowingly accept a job where their sole line of work is to use force against EVERY person that has violated the laws of this state, even when those laws have criminalized actions that do not harm anyone.
When a person is charged and sent to prison for possession of controlled substance, that person is not treated as an "individual who needs our prayers and support". That person is treated as a convicted felon. He will forever wear the scarlet letter of "Convicted Felon" upon any state-issued ID card he is ever issued. He will be barred from voting. He will not be allowed to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer. He will most likely never be given a real opportunity to have a decent job. He will remain an undesirable second-class citizen by the majority of society.
I do not know if Michael Shane Palmer is guilty of the crimes he is accused of. I do, however, know that his department has arrested and assisted in the prosecution of numerous individuals accused of the very same crimes he is accused of engaging in. Not only was this considered "acceptable", it was encouraged...and is known to be a source of funding for the police force. More dope busts = more "drug war" funding.
He, as well as his officers, were more than willing to arrest, aid in prosecution, and even celebrate the destruction of peoples' lives while claiming it has "made the streets safer", "protected the children", or some such other statist nonsense. You are participants in a so-called "War on Drugs", and you actively participate, claiming that grown adults are somehow not capable of making choices for ourselves...knowing that the actions you perpetrate will destroy the lives of those involved. You write it off as saying, "well, they shouldn't have been involved in it, nothing bad would have happened if they'd stayed away from dope".
When an officer is accused of crimes, the most often statement that comes from his supporters will be something akin to "Who are we to judge the actions of another?". Well, unfortunately, a police officer takes it upon himself to judge the actions of others, and does so through the barrel of a gun. He takes it upon himself to decide when someone should be cited for "not stopping enough" at a stop sign, having a pot roach in the ash tray, getting into a fight at a local bar, etc. When these officers have either committed such acts in the past, or even continue to do so even while serving as officers with a law enforcement agency, they are the epitome of hypocrisy.
Sorry, but I have no sympathy for people who get caught up in the very system they wilfully decided to become a part of. Fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads...