Jay talks with a law enforcement professional about recent controversies including charges of racism in Ferguson Missouri and New York City, the militarization of police, etc.

006.mp3 (58m 16MB)

Jay’s pre-interview notes:

Recent news events have left me wondering: How do prosecutors, who work on the same team with the police all day every day, stay impartial when the defendant is a police officer?

As a rambunctious teenager I experienced tension with police on two occasions. In my adult life I’ve had no trouble at all. Police have always been very helpful and professional. I assume the fact that I’m a boring, law-abiding, stable, middle class white guy plays at least some role in that history.

I assume law enforcement is a challenging, difficult job that often goes under-appreciated. I assume most officers are doing excellent work. But inevitably, mistakes will be made. Some of those mistakes will result in loss of life.

When people die during police action are the police subject to the same prosecution an average citizen is? More? Less? I try to imagine being a prosecutor who relies on police every day to do my job. Would I not have enormous incentive to make sure I don’t alienate the police force by prosecuting an officer?

How can prosecutors be impartial? Are they? Does the article below offer evidence that they’re not? Are police being held to a fair standard? Why are grand jury results so different when the defendent is a police officer? Does that mean the system is broken?