On Friday the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it is legal for an officer to frisk a pedestrian on the street if he/she thinks the pedestrian might be carrying a weapon or drugs. The ruling overturns a lower court's decision which threw out the conviction of a Mattapan man on weapons charges.
District attorneys and police are happy; civil libertarians are unhappy. And the everyday citizen?
We already know the U.S. is full of folks happy to give away their liberty in exchanged for perceived security.
Many other folks, though, would say, "What's new?" The court's ruling just confirms life as already experienced by people of color, young people, homeless, poor, working class or otherwise "wrong place, wrong time" residents of Springfield.
I found this great picture of a police officer. It's so much how we want the police to be. I think they'd say they have to be the way they are because of the way everybody else is. Police have a terrifically tough job. I wouldn't want to be one. Anyone whose chief job is enforcing the rules runs the risk of starting to believe that the rules exist in and of themselves, for themselves, and forget the big picture and their part in it.
Arise and the ACLU got Police Commissioner Flynn to agree to stop having his officers photograph the homeless. Of course it still happens to young people all the time.
Flynn has set a tone for his officers but it is not one that has promoted courtesy and compassion.