Painting: "Bob Was in Korea in 1952" 2016. Acrylic on paper 13 x 22"
In June, Senator Patty Ritchie voted "nay" on S 8496, a bill to authorize disclosure of law enforcement disciplinary records. My stepfather was a lieutenant in the Utica Police Department from 1959 to 1990. He told me a story which was meant to be funny how one time he was called into the station at 2:00 a.m. to interrogate a burglary suspect. Angry at being disturbed over his beauty sleep, he sped to the precinct, ran up the stairs, into his office and cold-cocked the suspect right off his chair onto the floor. Turns out the guy he hit was not the suspect, but the business owner who got burglarized.
Senator Ritchie voted against disclosing a suspect or victim's complaint about a police officer that was sent for disciplinary measure.
I shall put this into context for a Democrat, and then for a Republican.
For the Democrat: If George Floyd survived the attempted murder over Memorial Day weekend, 2020, yet was still pressed on the neck until almost dead, then Mr. Floyd, his family, and all of the Minneapolis community would not be able to obtain the report and/or if any internal department action was taken against the officer for attempted murder.
For the Republican: You had just one drink at your nephew’s graduation party, and get pulled over for not signaling a right turn. You roll down the window and the cop punches you in the face. You file a complaint, and the officer gets hand-slapped by the chief, and promises never to do such a thing again.
He does it again. This time he tears someone’s poodle in half, and actually gets fired.
He applies for the same job in another county or state. The potential new employer cannot obtain his disciplinary record from the last job.
The officer punches a dachshund in the face and then tears it in half.
Police serve the public. Senators serve the public. When police and senators work together to deny the public full disclosure of disciplinary records, we have a secret government with its secret police. I should not have to convince two sides of the political aisle on how un-democratic (un-American) this behavior is. Senator Ritchie is on the wrong side of democracy (and human decency too).
Write-in Ron Throop or look up the German word(s) Staatssicherheitsdienst to assess your near future.