Funny How Video Changes Everything

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

Police violence is common.  A small minority of bad officers have brutalized the public for years.  Their actions dishonor the vast majority of decent people who work as police officers.  What has changed is that some officers can no longer get away with brutalizing citizens because of citizen journalists. 

Today, we learned that two Gwinnett County Police Officers were fired because they were caught on video kicking and punching citizens during their arrests.  Their behavior does not surprise me at all. 

For years, my clients have told me that a police officer brutalized them during their arrest.  The problem was always the lack of proof.  Now, every citizen is a journalist, and the police can no longer get away with police brutality.

However, the police sure tried to suppress the truth.  It was only a few years ago they threatened to arrest citizens who were trying to record their behavior.  The police harassed Innocent citizens trying to observe them. Innocent citizens were lied to when police officers told them that it was illegal to video the police.  

Interestingly, the weight of public opinion about observing the police forced its universal acceptance.  

Now, prosecutors have been forced to take police brutality seriously.  Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter has no choice but to prosecute Master Police Officer Robert McDonald and Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni.  However, before cell phone videos, prosecutors utterly ignored complaints of similar incidents.

Because of the casual nature of their actions, it seems to me that the misconduct of these officers was their normal behavior.  Why were they never caught?  The answer is that police officers do not want to investigate other officers.  There has been an insidious pattern of police officers covering up the misconduct of fellow officers.  

A Simple Solution to Protect the Public and Good Police Officers:

Even though police violence is common, only a small group of bad officers are to blame.  Most officers do their jobs with honor and distinction.  Good police officers should demand to be equipped with body cameras.  This is to protect them from unfounded accusation.  It also would then protect the public from bad officers. 

If the police arrest someone, they should be required to have the arrest on video.  The legal presumption should be that the officer would not be able to testify against someone unless their is a video of their arrest. This is the check and balance that would protect innocent people from police misconduct.  If you have been charged with a DUI in Gwinnett County Georgia, Call Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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