Monday, July 18, 2011

The City of Midway Has A Law Enforcement Problem

On July 15th, the Police Chief and another officer of the small town of Midway, Georgia, spotted three children selling lemonade and shut them down.

It is insane to try to justify why in the world any police officer would have stopped to check for City permits at a lemonade stand in the first place, nevertheless try to understand or justify what motivated a Police Chief to do so.

But yes, that's what happened. She sees the kids selling lemonade and stops to investigate. It sounds crazy doesn't it?

After thinking about the insane actions of the Police Chief of Midway, Georgia, I've come to the realization that the City of Midway, Georgia, may have a law enforcement problem.

But friends, it's not lemonade stands and children showing that they want to work for the money they need to go to a water park. It is much bigger than that.

The City's problem is their Chief of Police. She demonstrates a complete lack of leadership and good judgement. She has shown how wrong a person can be when they have no common sense and an inability to use discretion. She obviously has no understanding of the community that she's supposedly serving.

The actions she took in shutting down that lemonade stand are unbelievable coming from a rookie police officer, nevertheless the Chief of Police. It's just not right!

It is not the actions of a law enforcement professional, and worse certainly not the sane and responsible actions of a Police Chief anywhere.

Why do I say this? It's because my first degree was in the Administration of Justice. And over the years, I still remember one aspect of the Administration of Justice that was enforced almost daily. It was the use of common sense.

I had this one teacher who was a great teacher. He was retired from the FBI, and he was a man who believed in officers using discretion during their duties.

He once asked my class if it was always right and correct to follow the letter of the law? Many in my class were already police officers and they were pretty insistent that that is how the world should work.

My teacher than asked if they were also in agreement that the law gives them the authority, and subsequently they would be within the law, to shoot a fleeing felon? Again the police officers were in total agreement, and yes, many said that they would not question themselves to do what the law calls for.

Then my teacher asked how many of those officers would shoot a man who just tried robbing a bank? Again almost all said yes.

Then he asked, what if that fleeing felon was an 84 year old deaf man in a walker going away from you and couldn't hear you yell stop? Since the 84 year old deaf man walking away from an officer could technically be considered a fleeing felon, would we be justified in shooting him? The class fell silent.

He saw the silence and asked, "so when does common sense supersede the letter of the law?"

He was a good teacher, it's a shame that the Police Chief of Midway, Georgia, didn't have someone to teach her the difference between following the letter of the law and using common sense which she appears in shot supply.

The City of  Midway should rethink their hiring process when screening people for key positions in their city government. A Police Chief with questionable judgement is not an asset.

Story by Tom Correa

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