A coworker was relating some of the things he learned while attending a CCW training class.
He said that the instructor had mentioned some footage from a police dash cam which went viral a few years ago. A police officer in Canton, Ohio had gone berserk when he encountered a law abiding citizen during a traffic stop who was legally carrying a concealed handgun. Although the private citizen was doing nothing wrong, and never offered the slightest resistance, the officer still arrested the hapless motorist. Not only that, but he repeatedly and graphically threatened the life of his prisoner!
The instructor went on to reassure the class that they had little to worry about, two years after the fact. The officer in question had been put on trial, and was now serving a long sentence!
A police officer went to jail for verbally abusing someone? Color me astounded! I had never heard of such a thing! So I decided to check it out.
It seems that the officer in question, a Daniel Harless, has had a long history of threatening unresisting suspects with death. Any reasonable person who views the dash cam video taken on the night in question might very well recoil in horror at the violence Mr. Harless promises to bring down on the heads of peaceful citizens, but he obviously thought of such behavior as business as usual.
Any private citizen who was so quick to threaten the lives of others would, of course, be sent up the river at warp speed. But that didn’t happen to Mr. Harless, even though his guilt was recorded for all to see.
According to this news article, Mr. Harless was fired by the city for his outrageous behavior. But a variety of lawsuits brought by Mr. Harless caused him to be reinstated. He was finally worn down by the courtroom wrangling, and both he and the city government agreed to drop all lawsuits as long as he never works for the city of Canton ever again.
So no jail time, and the city even tossed in $40,000 in back pay to get rid of him. This is hardly what I would consider to be justice.
What really bothers me, however, is that part of the settlement between Harless and the city is that he will be issued a retired police officer ID. This means he will still be able to carry concealed firearms for his defense, just like the poor citizen he so enthusiastically abused. The big difference being that Harless won’t have to bother enrolling in any safety classes like an innocent man would have to.