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[personal profile] eosin
A peeve I've had for a while is the refusal of public officials to do their legal duties, whether out of cowardice, laziness, political expediency, sedition, etc. I'm posting this now because of the sheer number of derelict officials who are brazen in their misconduct. This is definitely not limited to a political party or to a single religion or other group. Not surprisingly, I believe in regular and equal enforcement of our laws; not just for the general sense of fairness, but because existing laws are surprisingly strong if officials have the will to enforce them.

Some easy examples are things like ignoring looters, or participating in looting, during a natural disaster. Other examples that are more common are refusal to enforce laws against disturbing the peace, incitement to riot, loitering, public urination, assault, etc. against one group or another, despite public outcry, because "Well, you know, group X has it rough...". This gets particularly nasty when obvious violent hate crimes are done (e.g., a group of youths from identity X openly state they will attack someone from identity Y that evening and make good on their threat) and there are no arrests, or no charges are filed, or charges are inexplicably dropped, or charges are reduced to something trivial, or sentencing is reduced to something trivial. I'm not referring to rumors BTW, I'm referring to incidents that make the local paper and the 6 o'clock news because of the damage done.

Other outrages include things like real estate fraud, where a con man pretends to be the owner of a property, files the phony paperwork with the county recorder for ownership (which doesn't bother to check records and then hands the property to him), rents it via a Craigslist ad, and neither the police (who know where he lives) nor the county recorder will do anything about it, even after the con was done to a dozen victims. With multiple victims and a paper trail for everything, one would expect a quick arrest and and easy trials.

There are many low-level annoyances as well, such as where a public nuisance is specifically banned, but the refusal to enforce it is explained with the excuse that "Well, somebody somewhere else said it was OK." Or where a burglary suspect in a spot with frequent burglaries is witnessed and reported, but there's no response while he's there. Or where a spot with drunken teens, drug dealing, and noisy homeless guys late at night (all at the same time and place) get's the police response of "Move to another city." Or where phone and internet harassment/stalking by a company employee gets the response of "Oh, well, that person has a disability."

There's a reason why we've had the phrase 'law and order' rather than just the word 'law'. Laws are instructions on the use of force, usually with police or other public officials, and they exist to have some level of order to protect society. Without order, there is a slide toward third-world conditions--not just countries, but also in lawless areas within a country. Any official who has power does so with the public trust, and when that trust is clearly violated, they should be removed from power. If an official is particularly hostile to doing their job, they should be removed swiftly, via recall, impeachment, etc. This is sorely needed with many legislators, judges, police chiefs, mayors, deputies, and others. So when I hear others say "Vote out all incumbents.", I understand how they feel.

Date: 2010-07-27 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterlion.livejournal.com
On one side, a police force who concentrates more on peace-keeping than on strictly keeping law - ends up with a quieter and more content populace... on the other keeping law and order is very important.

Canada USED to be an example of the former. It's largely why we had no "wild west" (except Fort St John), never had much for large scale troubles and few attempts at revolution.
Things are changing - and I'm still not sure it's for the better.

That said, public officials (including police) must follow 100% of the law. Enforcement outside of public office may (or may not) allow latitude - but a public official who's allowed to "get away with it" ruins ALL such officials.


eosin: (Default)
The Pedantic Swordsman

March 2013


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