Monday, May 11, 2009

Police Failing to Enforce Law If Lawbreaker is a Police Officer

APD officers caught running red lights

Dozens of Austin police officers have been caught on camera running red lights since the city first installed red light safety cameras in May 2008. The city has installed nine red light cameras since last year and issued more than 6,000 citations to red light runners.

In that same time, more than 36 local police officers have also been caught on camera. The officers are not running on calls and do not have their flashing lights on, as is required by department policy. The videos below clearly show the violations, which include running through red lights or failing to stop before turning right on a red light.
"If they're going to enforce the law, they should also abide by the law, I mean no on should be above the law no matter if you wear a badge," said Austin driver James Thompson.

Unfortunately we seem to have many people that believe the more authority you have the less you have to be held accountable for. That is the reverse of what is needed for a civil society. You need those with authority to be held to a higher standard not a lower one. Such continued evidence that even on the obvious minor items (that are easily visible) provides good reason to question the underlying corruption of those responsible for regulating society.

These failures extend from police abusing power to try and prevent liberty (taking photos etc.), not enforcing laws against those in power and regulators failing to regulate financial markets. Those responsible for watching society need to do a much better job. As long as the watchmen seem to support those in their ranks that break the law and see questioning of their refusal to practice fair justice when those with authority violate laws the entire profession is tarnished. The solution is not to get mad at those that expect those in authority to behave and be held accountable but to reform the system and stop tolerating corruption.

Just like the media needs to do more reporting like this (where they act as the watcher of the watchmen, performing a valuable service to society) and less of non-news they seem to be partial to in the last few decades.

Related: Watching the Watchmen - Tired of Incompetent Government Harassment - SWAT Raids - Systemic Failures?