Wednesday, December 21, 2011
We need protection from drug-dealing cops, not from peaceful ministers
by Larry Geller
Civil Beat has identified an apparent discrepancy in the administration of justice in Hawaii’s federal court. Justices believe that a Hilo minister should remain in jail for 17 months on pot charges but a cop who was found to have a large quantity of meth and drug dealing paraphernalia should be set free on bail. The HPD officer, who has sworn to uphold the law, is back in the community. What about justice, justices?
An ordained Hilo minister who believes marijuana is a religious sacrament is about to spend his second Christmas in federal lockup awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, a federal judge on Monday released on bail a Honolulu police captain found with more than a half pound of methamphetamine and other drug-dealing paraphernalia in his home.
Where's the equity?
[Civil Beat, Off The Beat: Cop Accused of Dealing Meth Free, But Not Pot Minister, 12/21/2011]
Of course, it happens that many people will disagree with decisions handed down from the federal bench. Judges understand the law while critics may not be acquainted with it, but still, the situation headlined by Civil Beat should make us wonder what they are putting in the air conditioning up on the fourth floor of the federal courthouse in Honolulu.
It also raises once again the question of differential justice applied to police. Often police are allowed to break the law with impunity. We are seeing this play out across the country as police escape penalties even as they shoot someone in the back on a train platform or repeatedly violate the civil rights of peaceful protesters. This cop will face the music, but why the differential treatment? Will the drug-dealing cop get his day in court before the minister?
Who is a greater danger to the community, a drug-dealing cop or Roger Christie from Hilo?
No question drug dealing cops and violent cops or the greatest threat to society..In fact penalty should be greater for cops who violate oathes.
The difference is Minister Roger Christie is advocating marijuana use for all who wish to use it. The Police Captain's half pound of methamphetamine was clearly for personal use. Might have been a ten year supply but it was for personal use. Say What?
Drug dealing cops are a menace to society, as well, a public concern of the highest order: homegrown terrorism.
The police commissions are an arm of police advocacy and damage control (for the PDʻs public image).
I agree absolutely, penalties should be much higher for police officers and government officials. In fact they should both be drug tested frequently. Can you imagine the wrath of police harassment that would befall someone writing legislation for something like this?