Tensions between police officers and many in the African American community have rarely been worse. Whether it is racial profiling or shootings and beatings caught on camera, the rising amount of incidents involving law enforcement and black motorists have given rise to movements such as Black Lives Matter and other protest groups. One of the most high-profile cases recently came to a close when Michael Slager, a white police officer in North Charleston, SC, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of black motorist Walter Scott.
The Problems of Police Brutality and Racial Bias
The Slager case is a microcosm of what many people believe is a problem that isn’t getting better. Back in 2015, Schlaeger stopped Walter Scott for a broken tail light. What seemed like a routine traffic stop suddenly went tragically wrong. Scott got out of his car and fled on foot. The Scott family believe he ran out of fear of getting arrested for unpaid child support. Slager eventually caught to Scott and the two men struggled over the officer’s taser. Slager believed he was in danger and thought Scott would use the taser against him. But instead, Scott broke free and ran away with no weapon. As Scott ran, Slager brought out his pistol and fired eight times. Scott fell to the ground. Shortly after the shooting, Slager walked over to Scott and then dropped his taser. Prosecutors claim it was Slager’s attempt to plant evidence. In just the last two years alone, several high profiled cases of the deaths of African Americans at the hands of white police officers have been documented including:
- Philando Castille
- Sandra Bland
- Tamir Rice
- Rekia Boyd
- Eric Garner
- Alton Sterling
But police brutality is not just a racial problem. It is everyone’s concern. Police officers have one of the most difficult jobs. Each day, officers are placed in extremely stressful and potentially life threatening. The vast majority perform their jobs in a professional manner. But it only takes a few bad cops to ruin a department’s reputation and cause community distrust.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Police officers are sworn to protect and serve the public. However,nobody is above the law. Those who are arrested and accused of crimes also have rights. When those civil rights are violated, it should bring consequences. Many people who are arrested do not properly understand their rights. In the heat of the moment, it is easy to lose control of your emotions and lash out. Unpleasant words are exchanged and pushing and shoving can turn into a punch, kick or even worse. An experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney not only protects the rights of the accused, they can also provide valuable advice to help place clients in the best position to succeed.
Have You Been the Victim of Police Brutality? Contact Farmington Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph Jardine for a Consultation
It only takes one arrest to ruin your reputation and ultimately cost a person their freedom. Each day countless people throughout Utah are wrongfully arrested. Many are the victims of police brutality. Over the years, Farmington criminal defense attorney Joseph Jardine has successfully helped protect the rights of people who have been accused of crimes. He and his legal staff utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help clients resolve their legal issues. To learn more, contact the Jardine Law Offices P.C., P.C. in Farmington and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.