Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Prosecutor Regrets Arrest Warrant For Nine Year Old" Yah. Really.

First there was this:

then this:

This is my comment to McHugh:

"Dear Mr. McHugh,

I read about the arrest of the 9 year old Kootenai county boy over his theft of a pack of gum and failure to appear in court.

I also read your apology about it and that it was a "mistake."  I don't believe it was mistake.  Not really.  Of course, the genie is out of the bottle and this child is and will remain in the school to prison pipeline from now on.  Even upon him reaching the age of 18 and having his "records sealed" in the event that there are no further offenses will not protect him from having his childhood record exposed by anyone who chooses to do it -- not  in this era of cradle to grave surveillance and data mining and the increasing loss of our privacy rights via legislation and court judgements working hand in glove groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council. 

The combined law enforcement actions against this child also lend great support the narrative in this nation that the poorest among us will always be made examples of in the eyes the general public. The long arm of the law falls heaviest upon them no matter what. Your collective actions work to fulfills the social narrative of the moneyed classes that the poor don't deserve any thought, that there may be circumstances beyond their control, that their poverty IS a moral and character failing.  You, the judge who signed the warrant and the police all played your roles in backing up that narrative. 

You hewed to the letter of the law every step of the way. I'm sure you did. There are people who will applaud you for it. But others, like me, are also aware that not one of you showed any shred of genuine interest in the boy or his long term welfare.  You showed that service to justice was untempered by mercy or compassion.  Your public apology which has gone nationwide cannot undo the damage that has been set in motion and which will be played out over that boy's lifespan on levels you cannot begin to calculate. 

Each of you adults in your official capacities had opportunities to do better.  I'm sorry you didn't.  Even though I'm an ordinary person of ordinary means, I am a citizen of this nation and I can't be silent about this.  Sometimes a person has to speak up about the little things that, however well intentioned on the surface, work to undermine people's faith in honest, just government.  

As a courtesy, I should let you know that I am putting up the text of this comment to you on my blog at:  

Morgan Sheridan"

Update:  I did receive a boilerplate reply from Mr. McHugh.   It a reiteration of the press release apology sent out to the media.  In other words, he had nothing to say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well put