*Why does it seem the most prejudiced people in our society are in positions of authority where they can do the most damage?
There was the (now imprisoned) Pennsylvania juvenile court judge who sentenced first time offenders to jail time in exchange for kickbacks, the Massachusetts lab technician who tainted evidence bound for criminal court to increase convictions because she wanted the approval of her supervisors and the LAPD with a history of racism against other police officers and against the people they are sworn to protect simply because they can.
Now a Utah state trooper has been fired for arresting thousands of motorists for drunk driving without probable cause. On the job since 2002, Lisa Steed was named trooper of the year in 2009, the first woman to reach that status. And she became a member of the state’s special DUI unit because of her high arrest record. Why Steed’s DUI arrests – which amounted to more than double the amount for any other trooper in Utah – didn’t seem too good to be true and signal her supervisors that something was amiss sooner is now the subject of a possible class action lawsuit against Steed and the state. Maybe she did it to prove her strength in the tough world of law enforcement. Maybe probable cause meant nothing to her.
These are just four examples of why nobody should think that just because you’re innocent there’s nothing to fear and justice always will prevail.
If you find yourself being bullied by a law officer, convicted by tainted evidence or sentenced for a crime you didn’t commit you’re probably not the only victim. One thing Steed and the other law enforcement offenders have in common is they overestimate their power and underestimate the courage of some of the people they victimize.
From crooked cops to greedy judges and lazy employees, justice is only as blind as the people in charge of it. Even when you’ve done nothing wrong, you might find yourself at the mercy of people who don’t want to see you succeed and consider it their mission to see you fail. Put the odds in your favor and don’t tempt the crooked, greedy or the lazy, because justice is rarely – if ever – blind.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send comments, questions and speaking requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utah student Isabel Rios, 11, was threatened by another classmate with a gun after the Sandy Hook massacre.
*The Sandy Hook elementary tragedy has affected everyone throughout the world differently.
Some people, like Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) that we reported on Monday, want to fight guns with guns. But that way of thinking has caused a reaction no one would have ever expected.
According to the Daily Mail, on Monday, a Utah sixth grader pulled a gun on a classmate at West Kearns Elementary outside Salt Lake City, and placed it at her head.
dge returns 18-month-old Teleah to her biological dad, Terry Achane, after his wife put her up for adoption without his consent.
*For once! The fathers get their fair shake in court.
Normally, fathers for one reason or another, are not successful in family cases where they try to sue for custody of their children.
But women and men alike are unsuccessful in having their children returned once they’ve chosen to put them up for adoption.
In an outrageous adoption case in Utah, Judge Darold McDade of Provo, Utah, ruled that Terry Achane have his daughter returned to him by adoptive parents Jared and Kristi Frei within 60 days because of an illegal adoption that is normal for Utah.
Little 18-month-old Leah Frei or Teleah, as her daddy calls her, was put up for adoption by Achane’s wife while he was stationed in South Carolina to work as a drill instructor at Fort Jackson. He thought he would be returning in time to see his daughter born, but instead found his wife, Tira Bland, had fled to Utah
*Even in death, actor Gary Coleman is involved in a messy situation.
Since Coleman’s estate is still unsettled, his ex-wife has asked the judge to award her his fortune.
According to the Associated Press, Shannon Price testified Monday in district court in Provo, Utah, that even though the two divorced in 2008 they continued to live together and presented themselves in public as married.
But another woman, Anna Gray, says she is the rightful executor of his estate.
In 2005, the late child star allegedly named her as beneficiary. She happened to manage Coleman’s affairs and was his ex-girlfriend.
The “Diff’rent Strokes” actor died of a brain hemorrhage in 2010.
*Atlanta or HOTlanta, as some like to call it, is taking it down a notch in its sizzle.
At least, the “fabulous” gay community seems to be diminishing in 2012. The city has been home to a more welcoming African American community around the issue of homosexuality for some time.
It’s no wonder that in 2010, counting all ethnicities, Atlanta was the #1 gayest city in America. But what does being the “gayest city” mean? (more…)
Cathy and Jeff Hayes
*Buffalo (or Bison) seem to be docile, quiet and/or peaceful. They respond, similar to bulls, when they’re provoked. Well, it seems that one group needed to live on the wildside.
CBS News sat with a couple and their brother while they attempted to explain how such a thing could occur… in Yellowstone National Park. (more…)