Reason.com published an article on October 19, 2012 addressing the issue of the “Officers’ Bill of Rights.” I’ve discussed this issue previously, but is important enough to bear repetition. As discussed in the article, many states, including Florida, have adopted the special rights afforded only to LEOs. In Florida it is titled “Law Enforcement Officers’ and Correctional Officers’ Rights” and is codified in Section 112.532 of the Florida Statutes.
These laws generally afford officers ridiculously generous rights while they are under investigation. For example, a LEO may not be questioned without first having the opportunity to review all evidence in the case (making it much easier to tailor one’s story); only one person may speak during an interrogation; an officer may only be questioned at reasonable hours of the day; the officer must be given regular breaks during an interrogation; no one may use profanity during the interrogation, etc.
A reasonable person would have to wonder why LEOs think it’s okay to use these very same tactics (prolonged interrogations, use of profanity and threats) against regular folks but not against themselves. Do they understand that such tactics often illicit false confessions? The idea that anyone should have special rights while under investigation should offend the sensibilities of all fair-minded people.
LEOs like to claim that they are held to a “higher standard.” That’s ironic when you consider that it was LEOs who demanded special treatment in the first place. The fact is LEOs are held to a much lower standard than regular folks and they know it. After all, LEOs lobbied to make it that way.