As I said previously, Republicans have been a party of losers because they take the position of not doing anything, while more radical Democrats push for ever more changes that make us look more like California and the old Soviet Union. Republicans need to actually rally under something more than just lowering taxes. I’ve got a few ideas, so let’s start with an easy one: stop cops from lying.
Now, that sounds odd right. Would police officers really lie? Isn’t that illegal? Well, fun fact, police officers can lie to your face to try and get you to confess to a crime. We’re not talking about misrepresenting truth, or talking around the issues, or any other nuanced conversation. Nope, cops can straight up lie to you. They can literally tell you they have evidence that makes you guilty when they have nothing.
Worse still, this is protected by the Supreme Court! So its totally OK for this to happen. Are we surprised when this gets abused? Let’s take the folks currently jailed for the January 6th protests. Can you bet the police and prosecutors are lying to them right now, threatening to jail them forever under the same laws used to prosecute actual terrorists? I can guarantee we’re going to start hearing these horror stories from people this year, if not sooner.
Or how about something closer to home? Virginia Beach police got caught using knowingly false, completely made up DNA tests to pressure people to confess to crimes. Yup, that just came out, conveniently right before a new Republican Attorney General takes over this weekend. Even worse, in one case this fake evidence WAS PRESENTED IN COURT! It had fake signatures and everything. How on earth can we trust a court process when DNA evidence, which is supposed to be a gold standard in a court room, can be faked?
Want to bet Mr. Miyares is going to find even more examples of this once he starts digging? I’d stake more than a few dollars on him finding out that there are plenty of abuses happening in Virginia right now.
Here’s the worst part: police get away with it. Nobody is being sent to jail over this.
Now, think about this: if you’re a young man, particularly a young black man, and you read stories like this about police falsifying evidence, and you already have some distrust of them, and you see these officers and prosecutors walk away unscathed, why on earth would you put any trust in them?
I’ve experienced this first hand myself. NCIS pulled me into a room a few years ago and interrogated me over some travel expenses I took while traveling for the Navy. The investigator, a super pushy a**-hat of a man, rattled off dates of trips I took over two years ago and said “So why did you take this trip?” I fired back that I had no idea (my memory isn’t that good), but that every trip had a description section, which I always filled out to explain why I was traveling. He told me, to my face, that all the sections in DTS (which is the Defense Travel System, an online database where government members book travel arrangements) were empty, and that he had checked that himself. I finally told them to pack sand (in a nice way) and that I would send them a written statement of the reasoning behind my trips.
Not surprisingly, when I got back to my office and logged into DTS, what did I find? ALL THE TRIPS HAD REASONS LISTED! Every, single, one. I even had additional documentation anytime a trip went over a weekend to explain the cost savings to the government. Agent A**hat had lied to my face in an attempt to get a confession. When I sent him a wonderful 3 page memo outlining all the reasons and raising the question about whether he would like to press actual charges and suggesting we should sit down with a lawyer, suddenly the investigation disappeared.
Now, I’m an angry, bitter Sailor and I tend to punch back at people. Most people aren’t like me. How much would you bet that Agent A**hat had successfully intimidated people into confessing before? How much you want to bet that he’ll do it again? If you’re in the Navy, or have a son or daughter in the Navy, doesn’t it bother you that people like Agent A**hat can operate with impunity?
Police intimidation and lying is real. It happens at all levels of government, and its getting worse. It is absolutely intimidating to sit on the wrong side of a police officer or prosecutor, worse still when they are a jerk-off loser, and be told you’ll be rotting in jail unless you confess. Republicans should make this tactic illegal, and should make it easy to prosecute anyone that uses it, especially at the federal level. Want to stop stupid cases like Kyle Rittenhouse? Start with laws that punish police officers and prosecutors from abusing their power. Republicans need to champion this cause, which affects everyone, but especially young black people, and make it a legislative priority. This is an easy win.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. For the NCIS agents reading this, I have nothing but disgust for the dirty tactics you use, and you should be ashamed of yourselves and all the innocent people you’ve intimidated and punished.