Letter to the editor: Law enforcement has ‘bad apples’

June 29, 2015

Letter to the Editor. By Scott Watkins, Sheridan Township.

I am in full agreement with Sheriff Cole in regards to the dangers of the public recording police interaction and possibly interfering with an officer or officers doing their job. (See related story here). But bringing up Trooper Butterfield’s death was callous and uncalled for, and was an exception to the rule and far from the norm. It was indeed a tragic incident, but individuals who decide to enter law enforcement know full well the risks their chosen career curtails.

As an individual who has had interactions with members of our local law enforcement wherein the officer or officers in question did comport themselves in a manner which was in fact illegal by the law I am pleased that our citizens are attempting to hold officers accountable for their actions. I have had local officers violate my rights on more than one occasion, dating from the mid-1980s up to as recently as 2010. The officers involved ranged from new recruits to decades long career officers, and almost all of them are still employed here.

Mason County law enforcement is not exempt from “bad apples”, and I guarantee you can find many individuals besides myself  in our community who have experienced the same types of violations I have, and would wholeheartedly agree. It is an experience one never forgets, and leaves you with feelings of mistrust, helplessness and anger.

Until officers stop maintaining “The Blue Line” the distrust will remain. Technology has finally given citizens a way to protect themselves from corrupt law officials and shine a light on an issue that has gone on for far too long and happens across the country.

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