Sometimes The System Works

Hat tip to Ken Lammers at CrimLaw for picking up this Washington Post story about a former prosecutor, now Washington D.C. judge, testifying about two rogue homicide detectives who she caught fixing trials.  According to the article, federal prosecutors and cops have lined up on either side of the aisle over the “power struggle” between cops and prosecutors.

You’ve got to admit, a story like this restores your faith in the system.  This is what it’s supposed to be, where prosecutors don’t just love their cops so much that they believe every lie and scam out of their mouths.  Where judges are willing to put their lives and careers on the line to testify because it’s the right thing to do.  Where the people in whom the public reposes trust acts to earn that trust, even if it means telling the truth about the ugly underbelly of law enforcement. 

When I read this story, I just swelled with pride.  There is integrity left in the world.  All right, the feeling passed.

Now for our Abner Louima flashback.  So the cops have lined up to support one of their own, no matter that these mutts coached witnesses on how to finger the wrong person as the perp.  So when push comes to shove, cops will invariably circle the wagons, protect some of their own over honesty, integrity and justice.  Well, now we’re back to reality.  The blue wall of silence looms over all.  Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

We, the People, give these men and women guns and shields upon their taking an oath to uphold the law and Constitution.  In return, they lie and cheat and violate our trust.  What’s wrong with this picture? 

So there’s a few bad apples out there in the cop bushel.  We pluck them out and we’re done, right?  Not exactly.  That’s the circling the wagons problem.  You see, if they were really the good guys, then those cops who were not in support of other cops lying and cheating and violating our trust would NOT stand behind their dirty brothers in blue.  They would pull out their weapons and cuffs and arrest a dirty detective, because that it their job.  More than a job, that is their oath.  When a crime is committed, it is their responsibility to act.  And by act, I do not mean throw them a fund-raising party to cover legal fees.

After Abner Louima was brutally anally raped with a toilet plunger, a precinct full of cops was made aware when this scum named Justin Volpe waved the plunger around like a prize.  Not one single man or woman in that precinct lifted a finger.  It is the paradigm of police failure. 

So here, the detectives didn’t use a toilet plunger, but merely subverted the system of justice by having their witness finger the wrong man.  From the cop perspective, my guess is that nobody get all that bent out of shape since this is in the finest of law enforcement tradition.  Except one former federal prosecutor, now judge, who has my humble appreciation.