I have been involved in and watching two cases with great concern here in Boone County, Missouri. Today was a breaking point for me, when I read an article about some statements made by C.P.O.A. Representative Dale Roberts. I have tried real hard to avoid public controversy with my blog, however I feel like the statements by Mr. Dale Roberts need to be addressed as I take personal freedom as one of our most precious rights. Here is a news release by KMIZ to bring the readership up to speed on the statements.made by Mr. Dale Roberts and this situation as it is developing: C.P.O.A. Statements About C.J. Stock
There are two people that the C.P.D. seems to have decided to target as “threats to the community”, Mr. Lawrence Lawhorn and Mr. Cezan Stock. I know both of these men, personally, and I have to say I just don’t get it. Both of these men have been to my house, have spent time with me as friends, and I have had good conversations with. I have never seen anything other than respect from these men. Both of them came to me to make sure I was okay, after a tragic event occurred at my home. They were genuinely concerned about my well-being. I don’t see the picture that is being painted of these two men by certain members of the C.P.D. as accurate. I don’t think these men are threats to the community at all, I think that they just won’t tolerate gross disrespect, which is what they have been getting from certain members of the C.P.D.
Apparently one of the city employees that works as a community liaison representative showed up at a bond/parole hearing for C.J. Stock and advocated on behalf of Mr. Mike Matthes the city manager of Columbia, MO. that C.J. Stock should be granted judicial parole so he could get out of jail. Mr. Dale Roberts took exception to this, and used what I would call some strong language in a press release against Mr. Matthes. Following this Mr. Matthes denied telling the city employee that she could use his name to advocate on behalf of C.J. Stock, and this is where we are currently at.
POINTS TO CONSIDER:
So, I’d like to just make a few points here:
First of all, are we really sure that we want our police department determining who has their freedom and who doesn’t? I mean, sure the police have the power of arrest, but that has only a limited effect on a person’s freedom, if our society thought it was smart to place full control over a person’s freedom in the hands of the police, we’d allow the police to set bond, hold bond hearings, and deny bond. As a society we know that personal freedom is a precious thing, which is why it takes a lot of moving parts, people, and a intense process to take a persons freedom away from them. Ultimately the only person that is allowed by law to fully control a person’s freedom in a criminal case is a Judge. My point here is, when the police plan to fully affect a persons freedom by “keeping them off of the streets”, I think they are overstepping their authority. Mr. Dale Roberts advocated exactly this when he stated that C.J. Stock “does not belong on the streets”. Mr. Dale Roberts also stated that a Judge should make the decision on Mr. Stock’s judicial parole. Well, a Judge DID make that decision, so I must ask what Mr. Dale Roberts is complaining about?
Second of all, who really cares if Mr. Mike Matthes advocated for C.J. Stock to have judicial parole? If Mr.Mike Matthes did indirectly advocate for C.J. Stock, he wasn’t doing anything other than exercising his right to free speech like Mr. Dale Roberts does when he uses strong language and his position to intimidate and bully people that don’t agree with the C.P.O.A.’s agenda. In my opinion Mr. Mike Matthes would have been standing up for a citizen’rights, Mr. Stock has plead guilty to two traffic misdemeanors for which he has already spent more time in jail than most first time low level felonies warrant. At this point, all he is asking for is some type of parole, even if it is house arrest, which 95% of first time convicted felons will get. Because Mr. Stock is a target of the C.P.D. he has been charged with two traffic misdemeanors and has already done eleven months in jail over them. Mr. Stock’s convictions would amount to a fine in any other case, doesn’t this seem a little odd to anyone?
Third of all, does anyone here find it ironic and just a little funny that Mr. Dale Roberts would accuse Mr. Mike Matthes of trying to undermine the C.P.D.’s authority, when all the C.P.O.A. led by Mr. Dale Roberts has been trying to do since the Rob Sanders debacle is undermine Chief Ken Burton’s authority? I mean Mr. Dale Roberts has an edge on him! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Mr. Dale Roberts is a bad man, as a matter of fact I respect him for having the nerve to stand up and speak out on controversial issues that he knows he’ll take a certain amount of flack over. You have to hand it to Mr. Dale Roberts, he is a tough man. I just think he should be a little smarter about picking his battles. This issue with C.J. Stock is one that the C.P.O.A. would have been better off staying out of.
Lastly, I want to put forth a thought here on Mr. Dale Roberts and the C.P.O.A.. While I respect Me. Dale Roberts roughness in standing up and taking on issues on behalf of the people he represents, even if those issues are not popularly in favor of the C.P.D., Mr. Dale Roberts may not be the right person for the job. Mr. Dale Roberts is a blunt object in an operation that requires a scalpel. If you want to win popularity among your community, find a representative that will represent you with intelligence, finesse, and smooth articulation, instead of someone that will represent you with brute force by trying to intimidate with strong offensive language. The scalpel loses some battles but always wins the war, the blunt object may win a few battles, but is never popular enough for the people to allow them to win any of the wars, nobody likes a bully. Mr. Dale Roberts is polarizing our community, and actually doing.more to damage the image.of the C.P.D. that anyone else. Again, it’s not because he is a bad guy, he is just not the tool that is needed in a job where restraint, intelligence, and smooth articulation are necessary in a community where good public relations are paramount.
I understand the need for a police union. I understand that our police officers deserve an organization to look out for them for the very important and dangerous work that they do. That police union should be trying to get our police officers better pay, better equipment, better benefits, and a better work environment. These are the core issues that the police union should be tackling for our police officers. The police union should not be veering over into judicial process issues, those are matters that should be left to our courts. Our police officers deserve to have a police union that will focus on a good quality work environment, better pay, and good benefits, not deviate into the politics of our judicial process. Because when a police union deviates into this type of politics, it takes away from the police officers it is supposed to be serving. The enforcement of the law should never be personal,not should be fair and impartial, with an eye towards not violating citizen’s rights. Anytime a law enforcement agency and/or it’s representatives choose to take on the role of Judge, Jury, and Incarcerator at the very least this gives an appearance of there is a personal bias, that the boundaries of fair play are being disregarded, and that law enforcement is targeting certain citizen’s. I can’t see any upside to Mr. Dale Roberts or the C.P.O.A. garnering a reputation like this.