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Tag: Police

My Take on Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog
“Making a Murderer”. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

It has been tough getting into the swing of things after the holidays. It’s not because there is nothing to talk about; quite the contrary. With Affluenza Teens and Bill Cosby and stand-offs on Federal Land it’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to legal subject matter right now.

Then I binged Making a Murderer last weekend on Netflix.

WOW. Everyone with even a slight interest in how criminal cases really work in real life needs to see this. It’s like the O.J. case on steroids. You just know I had to write about it.

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Cops Gone Wild! …Again!!

Cops Gone Wild - Again - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

I’ve had it.

For some reason that video, the one with idiot cops screaming about blowing a hole in the poor guy’s head, got to me. No, the victim wasn’t black. And no, he was not actually shot and killed. But maybe that’s the issue. There was nothing else going on with this one other than the fact that the cop was a complete jerk.

Which, unfortunately, is simply too often the case. Of course this is the part where I am supposed to point out how wonderful most cops are and how this is just one bad apple. But, I am sick of saying that. Why? Because it is total politically correct nonsense that we are basically forced to say and I refuse to keep playing that game. It is a lie.

We are forced to say that because we don’t want to alienate people or lose potential clients by simply speaking the truth. Not to mention that there really are plenty of nice decent police officers; but why is it whenever I meet one, they seem like such a breath of fresh air? Such an anomaly? Oh, yeah, I remember now. It is because they are the EXCEPTION, not the rule. Take my word for it. I know.

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COPS GONE WILD

Cops Gone Wild - Bates - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

It’s a giant flood of bad cops, raining down from the internet skies. A veritable avalanche of bad behavior, much of it caught on tape. Bad cops on tape.

By bad I don’t necessarily mean dishonest. Just bad. Take the case of the Tulsa, Oklahoma reserve deputy, Robert Bates, an insurance agent who gave a lot of money to the elected Sheriff in Tulsa for his campaign. Voila. Like magic. Somehow at 73 years of age this guy is smack dab in the middle of a major sting-bust.

A bust for selling illegal firearms, no less. Really?? Could there possibly be a more inappropriate place to stick an old fat campaign contributor?

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I love the Witness Organization.

Witness Organization - Recording Police - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

I LOVE the Witness organization. Founded by Peter Gabriel, their mission is to help people create valid and admissible videotapes of wrongdoing by authorities. How can that not be great? It is totally turning everything on its head. Watching the people watching us. In a way that works.

Hopefully.

My initial reservation is the one I have expressed previously: When cops are misbehaving it might be better to just do what they say rather than it risk your life. You are just as dead right as you are dead wrong and so on.

Still, when it works, it is wonderful. And, as I noted in my last post, it can cut both ways. In the now infamous Officer Slager shooting of Mr. Scott in North Charleston, it may even provide a defense for Slager, depending on the other evidence that exists.

Cameras are inherently neutral witnesses after all.

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Cops Get Away With Murder… Or Not (the Fleeing Felon Rule)

Cops Get Away with Murder - The Fleeing Felon Rule - Seattle Criminal Lawyer BlogFinally. A cop is being treated like any normal citizen.

Well, almost. It took a real live caught-in-the-act video to make this happen. The common thread in the so-called “expert” analysis is that if Officer Slager had not been caught on tape he never would have been charged.

I’m a bit frustrated that my last post got lost in the tech wilderness. I wrote it several days before this horrible incident happened in North Charleston. If it had posted before this shooting it would have looked like a prediction. But, then again, who wants to predict someone being killed?

However, I do have a prediction about this case that will probably surprise you.

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