Keep Police Accountable

This news item is all over the internet and these events happened far from Maine, yet I feel compelled to blog about this because it exemplifies so much that is wrong with police conduct in our country today.  

On January 27, 2015 San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury arrested San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson inside the Hall of Justice while she was clearly acting as an attorney representing a client.

 

So much is wrong with this brief video that I cannot resist making a bulleted list:

 

  1. Law must pass the test of common sense every time.  A cooperative person who is submitting to an arrest cannnot be arrested for resisting arrest.  As this NPR report points out, defending this practice will instantly lead to loss of trust in the police, as it is clear that the only message here is "submit or be arrested."  
  2. Look closely at Brian Stansbury's body language in the video.  This macho fellow just can't resist using his size and mannerisms to intimidate a woman.  He knows he is in the Hall of Justice and on camera but that is not going to stop him.  I don't know inspector Stansbury, but I am concerned that the San Francisco Police Department's defense of a misogynist bully will not be good for their reputation. 
  3. Inspector Stansbury is a defendant in a 2013 civil rights lawsuit.  The plaintiff in that lawsuit is one of Brian Stansbury's fellow SFPD officers who was arrested by Stansbury while off duty.  Inspector Stansbury charged his colleague, who is black, with resisting arrest, but that charge was later dismissed.  Stansbury is accused of choking the plaintiff, after profiling him by asking the plaintiff repeatedly if he was on parole or probation at the time of the arrest.
  4. Finally, I will repeat something that many have already mentioned but which is very much worth repeating.  If Brian Stansbury is comfortable conducting himself in the manner shown on the video above, knowing that he is on camera inside the Hall of Justice in front of an officer of the court, how does he behave in the dark alleys of his city? 

If you are eligible to vote in Maine and care about Liberty and Justice, please register to vote as a Libertarian by writing-in the word Libertarian on the Maine voter application.


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