Not too long ago, we all heard about the BART officer who shot and killed an unarmed man. Despite the fact that the video clearly shows a frazzled officer who did not seem as though he intended to kill the man, he's been charged with MURDER. It's a politically-motivated overcompensation, in my opinion, solely intended to stave off public unrest.
Now, justapose that with a story like the following (video at the link). On New Year's Eve, Sam Salter was driving his minivan home along St. Paul's I-94 when flashing lights popped up behind him. Uncomfortable with stopping on the freeway, he drove a mile and turned off the freeway, looking for a safe place to pull over. That's when the pursuing officer, Patrol Sgt. Carrie Rindal, rammed Salter's van, causing $1,500 damage. Sam stopped immediately and exited the car to find out why the officer hit him.
Adding insult to injury, the officer arrested Salter at gunpoint for attempting to flee... In front of his three small children in the back seat.
Officer Rindal attempted to pull him over for an "unsafe lane change", stating that she witnessed him swerving within the lane and then changing lanes without a blinker. She also claimed he was going 70 in a 55. Gosh, kinda sounds like a drunk driver, doesn't it? Only problem is, tests showed Sam didn't have a drop of alcohol in his system, and it's highly unlikely that he would have been driving dangerously with his babies in the backseat. After all, this guy doesn't exactly look like a wild man -
He was arrested for fleeing, but those charges were dropped and he was released when the attorney's office found that there was "insufficient evidence to prove that the suspect was knowingly fleeing police."
So, here we've got a cop who severely overreacted, causing property damage and traumatizing children, and probably falsified the initial justification for pulling him over, to boot (happens all the time). To what degree should she be held responsible?
Should we do more to hold police accountable for the damage they cause?