Many of you know me from Late Late Nite. What some of you may not know is that I am a lifelong Republican who served 24 years in law enforcement for a city police department on the West Coast. I’ve worked patrol and detectives and loved it all. It has been 4 years since I retired due to on-the-job injuries and, because of those injuries, I was driving a desk the last couple of years so my street experiences are even more out of date.
But I can say that, in my opinion, the tactics being used by law enforcement in Minneapolis/St. Paul appear to be very heavy handed methods whose sole purpose appears to be to intimidate. I’m ashamed of the unprofessional conduct – but feel I must add that I have no knowledge of standards of professional conduct in states other than California.
I don’t know who is running this show but it smells like the Feds have been taking lessons from the pre-Olympics Chinese to me. In the America that I policed, all of the Bill of Rights were protected, including the First Amendment right guaranteeing freedom of speech and assembly and the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unlawful search and seizure.
I was attending a Homicide Investigation school when the Rodney King video broke and remember feeling ashamed to be wearing the badge because of the actions of my brother officers down in Los Angeles. Other officers attending (from all over the state including LAPD) were embarrassed and there was a lot of talk during breaks about the stain on the badge from the actions of those in the King video. The past several days and nights, I have been watching the videos over at the Silo and here at the Lake and I’ve got that same shame all over again.
Upon arriving in Beijing before the Olympics, Bush admonished the Chinese when he attended the dedication of the US Embassy with:
…We must work together to protect the environment and help people in the developing world; continue to be candid about our belief that all people should have the freedom to say what they think and worship as they choose. We strongly believe societies which allow the free expression of ideas tend to be the most prosperous and the most peaceful. [my bold]
Is President Bush going to likewise admonish the Minnesotans?