Monday, July 27, 2009

Kalamazoo's new police chief not enforcing laws

To be fair, he's not disregarding all laws, only the ones that he personally doesn't seem to agree with.  Let's face it, there are certain laws we all disagree with and would rather not comply with.  Speed limits are my personal bane, but everyone has theirs.  Some are victimless crimes, some aren't. 

Chief Jeffrey Hadley, of the Kalamazoo Public Safety department has decided that his crusade against lawbreakers, would exclude illegal immigrants.  He has put out a memo to his officers that they have "no interest in enforcing federal immigration laws".  Funny, I thought that police officers had interest in enforcing all laws.  His excuse for allowing individuals in the city of Kalamazoo to escape prosecution for violation of federal statute is because he believes that if you enforce these laws, you create a subset of individuals who "live in the shadows" who are no longer protected by laws.  If they are victims, they're less likely to report these violations as well.

Ok, Chief, I'll play your silly game.  I'll match your strawman with several of my own:

1.  Since we're afraid of creating individuals living in the shadows, let's not enforce prostitution laws either.  Face it, prostitutes are victims of assault, rape, and murder at a much higher statistical probability than your average American.  And they're much less likely to report the crimes against them (several studies have shown both of these to be accurate, this isn't just me pulling stats outta my ass) because often these crimes are part of the prostitution act and they're afraid of being prosecuted for it.  If you stop enforcing those laws, you'll take these people out of the shadows, making sure that there is justice for everyone, not just the people who don't pay for sex.
2.  Also, let's not enforce drug laws.  There are frequent deals where a seller represents their product as extremely potent and when the buyer gets home and consumes the product, finding out that it's half oregano.  When someone is defrauded like this in the non-drug community, they have a claim in civil court or sometimes criminal courts.  However, when drug laws are involved these individuals who went into the transactions with trusting intent, must merely accept that they were stolen from and either accept it or seek out other forms of justice outside of the law.  If Chief Hadley stopped enforcing drug laws, these individuals would be able to pursue justice through the legal system, rather through street justice, cutting down the street violence as well as taking these users out of the shadows.

The only question I really have for Chief Hadley though is exactly who put him in charge of deciding which laws would be enforced and which ones would not.  I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a cop.  But it was my understanding that it was the job of the police officers to enforce the laws, and the COURTS to decide what sorts of laws would be punishable by time, by fines, or by probation.  It's not the job of the cops to decide what laws will be enforced and what ones have not. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are no "victimless" crimes.