This commentary is by Flora Scott, of Waterbury. She was an actress and writer in New York City and the Washington, D.C., area.
Say, hypothetically speaking, you were in a situation where there was abuse that left you feeling amputated from the only source of protection you knew to turn to for help because the violation had been perpetrated by one of their own.
What if your kid gets pulled over driving your car and your car suddenly belongs to the county because the passenger had some drugs hidden in his pocket?
Remember that time in college you watched your roommate get his drunk butt kicked in by the cop breaking up a barroom brawl? You felt so helpless.
I was once assaulted after an arrest for drunken driving by an officer while in custody.
What if the perpetrator is, in fact, a member of a brotherhood responsible for protecting, defending and preserving your civil liberties? Who do you turn to when the police aren’t an option?
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about defunding the police. And there are some strong cases for demilitarizing our local authorities. But when it comes to protecting and serving, is there a way to counterbalance the men and women who volunteer to step into dangerous situations on our behalf?
Let’s face it: We aren’t computers (yet). There are going to be bad cops, dishonest mechanics, greedy lawyers, pedophile teachers, slumlords and the list goes on and on. But as far as the police go, how can we ensure our safety is not being jeopardized while limiting misconduct?
History gives us many examples of might over rights. Robin Hood is the well known story of a man who fought this trend by protecting the people by fighting the corruption of his officials. Did you know that Robin Hood is a forerunner of our modern-day sheriff, who is the highest elected local law enforcement officer.
A sheriff is not a bureaucratic appointee and does not represent the federal government. Rather, your sheriff is a representative of the people and works for the people of his county. He can be the most powerful defender of your liberty. His duty is to protect the rights of the people from all unlawful acts, even if those acts are carried out under the guise of law by the government itself. The sheriff takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
When elections come around again, elect a sheriff who would have sat down next to Rosa Parks on the bus. When elections come around again, make sure you feel safe in your sheriff’s county, no matter who is holding the highest elected office. That’s right: The president cannot issue any executive order that is constitutionally or legally binding upon your sheriff. His oath is to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the United States only.
It just leaves me wondering why we would want to defund the police and not simply pay more attention to who we elect to the sheriff’s office and utilize our modern-day Robin Hoods.