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The U.S. Grand Jury System Works!

December 29, 2014

The grand jury system works!  First, District Attorneys don’t bring cases to grand juries unless they believe they can make their case or, in some high profile situations, to get an ”independent opinion” on whether there is reasonable cause to bring a case to trial.  Grand juries are made up of people like us; average citizens who come from a variety of backgrounds.  They are not racists.  They’re given facts to consider, they ask questions, and they make decisions based upon the evidence.

Now consider people like Al Sharpton, others who stir up people’s emotions, and politicians who try to score points with the voters.  Mob rule and making decisions based upon emotions or political considerations is not what we need in our country.  When it comes to evaluating the actions of police officers -- or anyone else for that matter -- it needs to be done based on the evidence not what people who have been emotionally stirred up want.   

Paul Harvey did a piece on Police Officers.  We’d like to paraphrase part of it for you:

A policeman is what all men are, a mingling of saint and sinner… what that really means is that they are exceptional, they are unusual and they’re not commonplace…  The fact is that less than one-half-of-one-percent of policemen misuse that uniform and that’s a better average than you’ll find among the clergy!

What is a police officer?  He is at once the most needed and most wanted;  a strangely nameless creature who is “Sir” to his face or “Pig” or worse behind his back...  if a policeman is neat he is conceited, if he’s careless he’s a bum, if he’s pleasant he’s a flirt, if he’s not he’s a grouch.  He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer…  The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt.  He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being brutal.  If you hit him, he’s a coward, if he hits you, he’s a bully…  And of course, he’ll need to be a genius because he’ll need to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.

In the modern era police officers are under the microscope.  They need to make split second decisions and they don’t always get it right.  Those who don’t should be held accountable.  In Ferguson the grand jury determined that the evidence showed the police officer who shot and killed a suspect did not violate the law and that his actions were warranted.

Should a black man who is honest and minding his own business feel threaten in the presence of a police officer?  Should anybody, regardless of the color of his/her skin?  The answer is NO!  
Now is the time for religious and political leaders to choose for the good and to decide not to incite violence, and not just violence but also hatred toward others.  They need to stop being divisive.  All of us need to take action for the good and decide today that we will not push our own agenda in a way that incites others.  We should not be pushing others to hate police officers or anyone else.  All of us need to decide today not to speak in such a way that it incites others to take actions like the men who murdered three police officers a week ago.

Bill, Mark and John