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Officer Safety Comes Before Constitutional Rights?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by capdek, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. capdek

    capdek Oregon Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Check out this story which I found on the NRA/ILA website:

    Guns of Contention: If Philly says no, Florida can say yes | Philadelphia Daily News | 08/31/2010

    I don't want to speculate one way or the other on the reputations of the individuals at the center of the story. However, the thing that really caught my eye was the following excerpt:

    Lt. Fran Healy, special adviser to the police commissioner, acknowledged that some city cops apparently are unfamiliar with some concealed-carry permits. But he said that it's better for cops to "err on the side of caution."

    "Officers' safety comes first, and not infringing on people's rights comes second," Healy said.​

    Huh? :huh:

    Perhaps I'm uninformed on this issue, but I thought officers were required to swear an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States?

    As I posted in an earlier, somewhat-related thread, a significant amount of evidence seems to suggest that the de-facto rule today among most rank-and-file police departments is exactly what Lt. Healy said - that officers should do whatever is necessary to ensure their safety - even if that means violating the rights of the occasional law-abiding citizen from time-to-time. We know there have been some very controversial police shootings of individuals who appear to be - on the surface at least - law-abiding citizens. For example, the Army Veteran with a CCL who was recently shot and killed by police at a Costco store in Summerlin, NV immediately comes-to-mind.

    Aren't the police required to swear an oath to uphold and defend the constitution and respect the constitutional rights of all citizens? Perhaps I'm mistaken on this.

    Don't get me wrong - like most people, I want to see each and every officer go home to their families at the end of their shift. But it troubles me when they are willing to violate the rights of law-abiding citizens to ensure this happens.

    One of the reasons we respect and admire our police officers is because of the bravery they show in putting their lives on the line to arrest bad guys while still ensuring fundamental rights guaranteed to each and every citizen remain protected under the constitution. While it is natural for most civilians to put their own lives ahead of others in most circumstances, when police officers do this, I think it demeans their bravery as police officers.

    I understand a police officer wanting to go home to his or her family at the end of their shift, but if they are more afraid of getting shot than of violating a citizen's constitutional rights, perhaps they should choose a different line-of-work. Call me an old-fashioned idealist I guess, but that's my humble opinion - for what it's worth.
  2. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Philly has been out of step with the state laws of PA many times. The Philly Mayor is right there with Mayor BlumNut in New York City in his anti-gun thinking.

    Now we have our Portland Mayor joining the fray and attempting to circumvent state law in the same manor.

    They are frustrated by their inability and refusal to put criminals behind bars so they lash out at the folks that do not break the laws to make it appear in the media that they are doing something about the problem.
    The media of course just laps up any form of gun control.
  3. 56kninja

    56kninja Portland Member

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    When the Constitution 100% guarantees that the officers will be there in time to save people, and won't screw up (such as arrest or shoot the wrong person)
    then they can make that claim..

    And since they can never make that claim and will never be held liable for not being there, then they have no ground.
  4. Partsproduction

    Partsproduction Tillamook Oregon Active Member

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    This is the same argument against an officer taking my gun during a traffic stop. It doesn't matter if he has it for ten years or ten seconds, he is infringing on my right to keep and bear arms. Any cop who does that should lose their jobs, and maybe more, since they took an oath to defend and protect the constitution.