Make no mistake about it, the reason there is so much abuse by police and by prison guards is that prosecutors have largely ignored these very-serious problems for decades.
Attorney General Matt Denn must have seen the video of the vicious kick to Lateef Dickerson’s head by a Dover P.D. officer [“Video reveals kick to head,” article, May 8], and he is to be commended on having Officer Webster indicted. [“Grand jury indicts Dover police officer,” article, May 5]
Two other prosecutors “took a pass”: Charlie Oberly, U.S. Attorney for Delaware, and former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden. Could it be that their heads were so firmly in the sand on these issues that neither grand jury even saw the video? I suspect they did not, nor did the prosecutor ask for an indictment, or surely there would have been one. The video tells the story, and it goes well beyond showing “probable cause”, the very low standard of proof needed by a grand jury. We can all plainly see what I am confident a jury will ultimately decide, if given a chance: this officer is guilty of assault.
People like Fred Calhoun, president of the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police, who blindly (he did not even see the video) defend the police, miss the point entirely. He said such nonsensical things as: “I’m purely saying that the system worked the first time.” And “here is no reason why the case should have been brought back before a grand jury.” Wha-a-a-at? The whole point is that the system did NOT work right the first time. Fred Calhoun should criticize criminal cops, for they are blight on the profession — his profession, a disgrace to their departments.
When law-enforcement officers commit crimes, they should face justice swiftly, for they have violated a sacred public trust. We do our nation a disservice when officials continue to have their heads in the sand concerning police abuse and prison abuse. The failure of prosecutors, state and federal, across the country, to prosecute criminal police and prison “officers” is a national disgrace. This blatant failure of duty, this bias, does much to undermine faith and confidence in our criminal-justice system.
The law applies to all, and errant officials must be held accountable!
Former Deputy Attorney General
President of Citizens
for Criminal Justice