Why “Criminals” Should Have Rights

What happens in a world where law enforcement is allowed to treat civilians as criminals with no rights? They will illegally enter a home and assault its occupants.

[Captain David] Glidden first demanded to be allowed into the home and was denied permission. So, according to the complaint, he pepper-sprayed Jason [Hagan] and then [Jason’s wife] Laura.

“Glidden then turned to Jason, who was still standing, and shot him in the back with his Taser,” the complaint said.

When Laura closed the front door, Glidden continued triggering the Taser through the closed door.

Then [Sheriff Darren] White joined in.

“Together they forced open the door and found Laura and Jason lying on the floor,” HSLDA said.

They “slapped Laura, knocking her glasses off of her face,” they threatened to shoot the family dog, they threw a telephone across the room, called Laura a “liar,” handcuffed the parents and threatened to let Jason fall down, according to the complaint.

And the alleged crime? A messy home. The fact that the couple chooses home-schooling over public education for their kids likely gave authorities an extra sense of “duty” to insure the well-being of the children. Insuring that “well-being” with a warrantless entry. And by assaulting Mom & Dad. And threatening the life of a family pet. And destroying a telephone.

The last few weeks have shown the public the vast gulf in our justice system on punishing alleged civilian misconduct and the alleged misconduct of public officials. Just this week, there was yet another cop not indicted for his role in the death of a civilian. Rarely do civilians receive the same leniency. With the odds so heavily stacked in their favor, can there be any doubt why so many cops feel they can assault and kill with impunity?

A starting point to balance the scales would be more transparency. The end game should be equal treatment under the law, with no exceptions granted just because the accused is employed in the public sector. We’re a long way from that.

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