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A Few Bad Apples

by Jerry Bader

A recent incident in Green Bay shows that a growing percentage of the public isn't giving law enforcement the benefit of the doubt in officer conflicts with the public. This story is a lesson in why that's happening. A Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy rolls through a stop sign and seriously injures a motorist.

Instead of being treated as the victim, the seriously injured woman is charged with OWI, when she was stone cold sober. The deputy is punished to some degree for his role in the accident but is never held responsible for trying to deflect blame from himself by pinning the OWI charge on her.

To add insult to injury, he then milks this accident for injury pay when it doesn't appear he was seriously injured. As bad as the deputy's behavior was, the department's behavior is what really erodes the public trust here. I still believe a majority of law enforcement officers are a credit to their profession.

But a systemic failure like the one that seems obvious here will continue to erode the public trust in law enforcement. They are held to a higher standard. When a deputy and a department fails in this spectacular of a fashion, it harms law enforcement everywhere.