I’m not going to spend any time here addressing excessive use of force. There’s enough attention given to that lately. I suppose in a split second decision, some officers get carried away and lose themselves in that situation.
But in case you missed it, I’m here to talk about an officer who committed a sexual assault on a distressed citizen? That’s what former Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Donnelly is accused of doing recently. What makes this case so egregious is the victim was drunk and was in and out of consciousness. Now, before anyone tries it and says she shouldn’t have consumed so much alcohol, let me say that fact is irrelevant, even though she acknowledges she over indulged and has taken full responsibility for her own actions. The officer is a public servant who was hired to protect the citizens and uphold the laws of the State of Florida. This is one reason why there’s such widespread distrust of police.
Donnelly apparently made the advances when he stopped the woman and her male companion on suspicion of drunk driving. As the story goes, he offered to let them go if the woman would please him, and he began to fondle her. The agency quickly responded and brought charges on the deputy. That’s good. He was convicted late last month and is scheduled for sentencing later this summer. I can’t help but wonder if he’s done this before. The ironic thing is, when he made the stop, he turned off his dash cam, no doubt to try and cover up what he knew he was about to do. That’s another topic for another day, but officers ought to be sanctioned for disabling their cameras. I can think of only one reason to turn it off: to hide your bad behavior.
I’m glad to see the agency did the right thing up front to hold this officer accountable. If officers see their fellow officers getting punished, we should begin to (presumably) see a decrease in their bad behavior.