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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: Discouraging Citizens From Filing Police Complaints

     Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it much harder for citizens to report instances of police abuse, while simultaneously putting internal affairs investigations at even greater risk of succumbing to police corruption. House Bill No. 2698 would require citizens to swear an affidavit before submitting a complaint against an officer. If any part of the complaint is later shown to be erroneous, the citizen could be prosecuted. Complaints will not be investigated until the accusers swear affidavits, according the bill's text.

     It gets worse. The bill also establishes that police officers accused of abuse will never be questioned until after they have read and reviewed all aspects of the complaint. Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of how police interrogate citizens, suspects are never given the opportunity to review the entire case against them before being questioned.

     The bill would also mandate that all investigations are final. If one police agency finds a cop to be innocent, no other agency would be allowed to review the case--even if the latter agency is a higher authority, such as the state police….[Under the U.S. Constitution, the citizen is protected against the government. This laws and others like it protects the state against the citizen. It's not supposed to work that way.]

Robby Soave, "Awful Bill Would Make It Even Harder to Report Police Abuse," The Daily Caller, March 18, 2014 

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