Recently, four deputies from Greenville, South Carolina shot and killed a man who charged him with a knife, they said. Now, thanks to some new guidelines laid out by 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins, the public will never know their names. Under the new guidelines, unless charged with a crime, the names of killer cops will be kept top secret.
Sadly, we have seen it time, and again, especially when the shooting involves a person of color, killer cops are rarely charged with a crime.
Criminal law experts say that this new policy is deeply concerning because it removes a layer of transparency that should exist for law enforcement agencies that are funded by taxpayer dollars.
“While a case is under review and no charges are made, we’re not going to identify a particular officer who had just had to use his service weapon. … We’re not going to subject him to scrutiny by the public until a case has been vetted and completed. They still have the same rights as everybody else.”
There are times the identity of a killer cop could end up being released. For example, if a citizen should record the incident, that footage would identify the officers involved.
Taylor Smith, an attorney with S.C. Press Association, said that investigations involving officers are “fundamentally different” than cases involving civilians.
“When a law enforcement officer walks into the world with a badge, a gun and typically a name tag pinned to their chest, they waive any expectation of privacy they would have in their whereabouts and actions they would have during their shift. These individuals are public officials who have made it their job to protect South Carolina residents, and they don’t enjoy any privacy protections in what they do by fulfilling those admirable duties.”
According to The Root, since 2007, there have been approximately 10,000 police shootings. Out of those, only five white police officers served time for killing someone black.
If killer cops are never charged with a crime, then they are quite literally getting away with murder. And now, in the state of South Carolina at least, their identities will be forever protected by law, so they will be able to do it over and over again at will.
If this is what it means the Make America Great, I think everyone should seriously consider the merits of mediocrity.
Featured Image Via Pixabay/Public Domain.