Progress in Lawrence Policing
Posted on September 20, 2016
About a week ago I <a href="http://kansasprogress see this here.org/impunity-for-police/”>complained about a Lawrence judge who saved a former cop from a brutality lawsuit by disallowing critical evidence. On September 16th the Police Department made up for it to a significant degree by charging the same ex-cop (Frank McClelland) with misdemeanor battery in a different case. Perhaps more surprisingly, another cop had violated the blue code of silence and reported McClelland to a supervisor. There was also evidence on a police car video recorder.
Moral: when the evidentiary stars align right, some degree of justice may be possible in cases of Lawrence police brutality. Even if a jury refuses to convict, being charged and tried and named in the press constitutes a form of punishment.
I doubt if this would have happened under any previous Lawrence Police Chief. In this and other respects I am grateful for the appointment of Chief Tarik Katib.
And now we will find out if a Lawrence jury is willing to convict. The national pattern has been that most juries are unwilling to punish cops for brutality. A whole lot of citizens live in fear of crime, view the police as their protector, perceive police violence as an essential tool, and are afraid of tying police hands. All it takes is a single hold-out to prevent conviction by a 12 person jury.