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Politically Speaking – August 29, 2023


Please allow me to introduce you to Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard. I have known the Sheriff for some time, and before that I knew of him. He is not only very professional, but is also very devoted to all citizens. He is extremely dedicated to the responsibility he has and knows the laws of Illinois inside and out. I asked my friend to write Politically Speaking this week and he graciously stepped in. Thank you, Sheriff and dear friend.

The Continued Attack On Our Peace Officers

By Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard

Anyone paying attention can see the attack against peace officers and the criminal justice system in our state and nation. Many attacks come from elected and appointed members of our own government. How did it get this way? How can things improve? I believe we first must see the methods and motives behind the attacks, then we can develop a strategy for improvement.

I believe it started when President Obama was in office. Early in his administration he stated publicly that Cambridge Police Department Sergeant James Crowley ‘acted stupidly’ in the arrest of black Harvard Law Professor Henry Louis Gates. He tried recanting his statement, without apologizing, and set up the ‘beer summit’. Both Gates and Crowley met with the President and Vice President, but the media was invited as well. Time Magazine and BBC News both later reported it had little to no impact.

Later in his administration, President Obama stated publicly he feared that if he had a son he would be treated like Travon Martin was in Florida when he was shot and killed by a citizen. The Martin case caused such a frenzy, advocates continually confused it as a police shooting. Ken Zimmerman was not a peace officer. I believe President Obama began a modern day emotional ‘knee jerk’ system of response by reformist groups wanting to tear down the criminal justice system, and those who serve in it.

Political strategists in these police reform groups saw how powerful their lobby with elected leaders was during each emotional event, regardless of what the truth was. A clear strategy became used, each time a new event happened they could use, to push politically the reform ideas they wanted. Law enforcement shooting events involving people like Michael Brown, George Floyd, and others, saw quick protests turning into violent rioting, before the officer-involved shooting investigation could even be completed.

So, the modern problem starts there, with leadership. President Obama in the Gates-Crowley case should have told the media it was a local matter to be handled by state and local authorities, and that the federal government would only be involved if a civil rights violation was filed. He should have stated the matter needed to be investigated fully and all public comments held until the full findings were available. To trust the system to do its job.

President Obama should have again waited with the Martin-Zimmerman case, but clarified publicly that Zimmerman was not a police officer. He again should have told the public to wait until the investigation was completed. Further, he should have educated himself on use of force laws in Florida, to see that Zimmerman’s use of lethal force in the encounter, even though he initially was the provoker, was indeed lawful, to save him from having his head repeatedly bashed in by Martin.

For more information visit https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/16/us/police-shootings-outcomes-controversies/index.html

Feel free to contact me at sheriffjeffbullard@gmail.com. Thank you and stay safe everyone.

The Shoppers Weekly

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Cathy Stuehmeier

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