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View Diary: Kansas Moves to Legalize Police Retaliation (168 comments)

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  •  most states and the federal (6+ / 0-)

    government already have false swearing laws on the books. The level of crime, misdemeanor or felony, and the punishment varies.

    They usually aren't used much,  because any criminal issue has the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' type standard, and of course, for the police to prove the crime, they carry the burden on the statements being 'false', which may lead to bringing out evidence in court they prefer stays buried. I didn't read the law, but if they wrote it trying to switch the burden of proof, it would eventually fall in court, even our conservative courts aren't ready to go there yet.

    That said,  yes, making a big deal of it, giving it lots of publicity, making it specific to complaints about police behavior is strictly an intimidation tactic that a totalitarian of any stripe would be proud of.

    Nothing is wrong with Kansas if you like to goosestep in jackboots.

    •  Here's what's interesting (7+ / 0-)

      90% of all complaints about misbehavior by New Jersey state troopers were unjustified.  (And the NJ State Police have a long history of, well, complainable behavior.  Not just the racial profiling, but armed robberies of motorists during traffic stops.)

      Then, after a spate of particularly blatant racial incidents and shootings in the 1990s, the resulting court settlement required that all NJSP patrol cars carry video cameras.  This reduced the rate of legitimate complaints, for obvious reasons.  It also eliminated huge numbers of bogus complaints and made it possible to prosecute blatantly false accusations.

      You deal with police brutality by requiring that every moment of a police officer's on duty time be audio and video recorded, with both personal devices and car cams.  Those tapes are made public domain (with a 6- or 12-month blackout period for cases where an investigation might be compromised).  The cops benefit, too.  (Nothing like four camera angles of a drunk driver staggering around to nail down a conviction, even if the driver gets his or her BAC down far enough before the breathalyzer test to avoid an automatic conviction.)

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