Can law enforcement be evil?

Last year, there was a shootout in Shingle Springs (west of Placerville, CA). A young man, with mental problems, had killed his father. Knowing sheriff’s deputies were on their way, he holed up with weapons behind his parent’s house. During a shootout with law enforcement, the young man was killed. Three deputies were injured by gun fire. The state, to this day, has not released the results of their forensics. There are rumors that the deputies may have been hit by friendly fire.

Two of those three deputies, John Yaws and Greg Murphy, who were injured in that gunfight have now filed a lawsuit against the widow of this tragedy. There is a principle in law called the Firefighter’s Rule that law enforcement and firefighters cannot sue those to whom they are called because they knew the dangers involved in their work when they agreed to do these jobs. Yaws’ and Murphy’s attorney believes that the Firefighter’s Rule does not apply to his clients. Most local attorneys disagree.

Despite the legal issues here, there are moral issues. Ms. Mies dealt with the deaths of her husband and son on the same day, both killed violently. Now she is being made a victim by the very people who were sworn to serve and protect her. They are EACH asking for $4 million. Mrs. Mies lives modestly as a hospice nurse. Her house is not worth anything like the money being asked for. On top of all of this, she will need to find the resources to pay for her own attorney. It would be likely that after attorney fees, even if the deputies were successful, there would be nothing left of her finances. In essence, the deputies get nothing either way. The sheriff has even gone on record to denounce their actions.

These two people, one a sheriff’s deputy and the other now an investigator for the district attorney, are evil. So to answer the question above, law enforcement is not evil. But sometimes those wearing a badge may be evil.

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