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In An Age Of Universal Deceit, Telling The Truth Is A Revolutionary Act.......George Orwell

Friday, August 21, 2015

Facebook Strikes Again

A Flint, Michigan police officer by the name of Rob Garceau was recently fired because of something he posted on Facebook. The statement he made relates to the investigation of two homicides, and what he wrote is, "Keep purging society of the maggots. 2 less welfare, food stamp people. Keep it up."

Garceau's attorney is running a media campaign against the police department in Flint because he is convinced that Garceau has the right, via the First Amendment, to post such statements as long as he is not on duty. There are several problems with that, beginning with the fact that Garceau is a cop, and cops are trusted to enforce the law. Murder is against the law, yet the police department in Flint had an officer whose public statements technically encourage murder. He may not have meant it literally, but the words still set a terrible example: Garceau essentially told anyone who happens to read his post that murder is behaviorally acceptable. Next, it appears, from Garceau's Facebook post that he believes that anyone who receives public assistance or charity should not have the same protections from law enforcement as the rest of the population. Is a child who qualifies for reduced lunches at school in more danger when Garceau is on duty? Most food stamp recipients are, after all, children. If policemen really think that it is sufficient to allow anyone who might be receiving government assistance to become victims of crime, how can they possibly discourage and fight crime? There is also the reality that a police officer, unless clairvoyant, is not likely to have the ability to determine who is on welfare and who isn't, while on duty. Are we to assume that anyone who the cops think is needy enough for charity will not merit protection from law enforcement? So much for public trust! I do not blame the police department one bit for giving Garceau his walking papers.

Something else Garceau's attorney should think about is the murder case, itself. If the case is still under investigation, chances are quite strong that the prosecutor does not need public comments made about it by a police officer. Not only is there an outside chance of influencing or intimidating witnesses, thereby perverting justice; it shows an officer who does not work well with the court system. I think getting Garceau off the force was a good idea.

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