Public Safety Isn't a Law Enforcement Priority

by Will

Liberty Minute July 30 2014

Whenever a police officer detains a citizen, officer safety is the highest consideration. When the citizen is injured or killed without justification, officer safety and institutional protection for the agency employing him trump full and timely disclosure of the facts. This is borne out by the actions of the Missouri Highway Patrol following the death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson.

Ellingson drowned while handcuffed on May 31 after being arrested by Trooper Anthony Piercy on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Ellingson, who was in a life vest with his hands cuffed behind his back, fell out of the trooper?s boat. His specially designed vest somehow came off in the water. Repeated attempts to rescue him were unsuccessful. His body was found the following morning.

Defying that state?s Sunshine Law, the Missouri Highway Patrol has refused to honor public records requests, insisting that the investigation isn?t complete. However, Trooper Piercy has been returned to duty following a brief paid vacation ? also known as administrative leave. That development suggests that either Piercy has been cleared of suspected wrongdoing, or that his department has no problem with allowing a homicide suspect to carry a gun and badge and exercise custodial control over other suspects.

Far too often, public safety is last on the list of law enforcement priorities.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

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