Time to rein in the police and support Chairman Costello’s reform efforts
by Kevin John Sowyrda
Thursday Feb 26, 2009
So where’s the outrage? In a state which prides itself as the “Athens of America,” not just for cultural reasons but because we claim to cherish civil liberties, barely an eyelid is raised when the cops toss a prominent talk show host in jail because a computer screen in a police cruiser says the subject didn’t pay a lousy car insurance bill in a southern state from which he moved years ago.
How can this lackadaisical attitude toward police excess be so prevalent in the Massachusetts birthed by Sam Adams and governed by a Democratic majority which tells us that the eight years of George Bush and the Patriot Act are dead and buried and constitutional rights are back in fashion?
But I guess I missed the fashion show. Police powers in Massachusetts are completely out of control and each of us has our own, particular horror story to tell about an outrageous cop who seems poised to go postal or whose grasp of the truth is lose at best. And this dilemma is particularly acute given my observation that our elected officials fear the unions representing the constabulary forces more than they respect the voters. Thus, even if conservative gabber Michael Graham is not your cup of tea, you should not find it appetizing that a police officer can throw him or you in jail because the Intel Chips running the registry of motor vehicles in another jurisdiction revoke your driver’s license for a reason of minutia.