It may be easy for people in Massachusetts to automatically assume that anyone who draws the attention of law enforcement authorities deserves to face criminal scrutiny. At the same time, however, the criminal justice system depends on one who faces such scrutiny having the chance to have their case heard by a fair and impartial audience.
These seemingly conflicting points make it even more important that law enforcement authorities as well as those involved in the prosecution of people facing criminal charges (which ultimately can be anyone) exercise their roles responsibly. That includes using sound judgment in the exercise of that responsibility.
Political rally devolves into violence
The circumstances of a recent political rally in Natick illustrates this point. Per the Metro West Daily News, the pro-President Donald Trump rally prompted many protesters to come out. Tensions escalated as both sides interacted, and a number of skirmishes eventually broke out amongst them. Law enforcement officials eventually responded to 911 calls indicating that one altercation resulted in the destruction of a participant’s cell phone. They reported that a protestor confronted one of the Trump supporters, grabbed the man’s cell phone and threw it to the ground. Authorities eventually found and arrested him, charging him with destruction of property.
Ensuring fairness in a criminal case
One might look at such a case and say that the actions of the person detained by authorities justify their arrest (despite the emotion of the moment). Yet while extenuating circumstances such as the tensions described in the case above do not excuse criminal activity, they deserve consideration when scrutinizing one’s motives for any alleged unlawful action. Having experienced legal assistance during the investigation and prosecution of a criminal case may ensure that this happens.