From the Department of Bad Ideas

Monday, February 11th, 2008

I’m looking at you, Utah State Sen. Chris Buttars…

SB260, sponsored by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, would among other things, classify information about charges or disciplinary action taken against police officers as private, unless officers grant written consent to make the data public. The bill was introduced in the Senate Rules Committee meeting on Friday and is already raising eyebrows among those who support liberal open records laws.

Such limitations on police disciplinary records may mean journalists won’t have access to information on police punished for using deadly force, involved in sexual misconduct or other questionable behavior, said Joel Campbell, a Brigham Young University professor and member of the Freedom of Information Committee for the national Society of Professional Journalists.

Hey, let’s make the government even less accountable!

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17 Responses to “From the Department of Bad Ideas”

  1. #1 |  Josh | 

    Thanks, Utah, for attempting to legally sanction “secret police.” Such a proud legacy that term has.

  2. #2 |  B. West | 

    They keep and publish records of doctors who have been charged with malpractice, incompetence, and negligence. What’s so special about police officers that the public can’t be made aware of who the bad ones are?

  3. #3 |  TC | 

    Josh, it’s not Utah, it’s a few idiots in positions of power that probably should be the stone yard.

    This guy makes Hitler appear to be a boy scout.

  4. #4 |  Nick Gallias | 

    Never. No way.

  5. #5 |  Observant Bystander | 

    Utah law enforcement really likes this guy. According to his official bio, he has been Law Enforcement Legislator of the Year three times since his first year in office in 2001. It will be interesting to see if he can pull out a 4th victory after this proposal.

    http://www.utahsenate.org/perl/spage/distbio2007.pl?dist10

  6. #6 |  Laconic | 

    And why wouldn’t they like him?

    As long as he can couch the idea in terms of security (“If cops are less safe, you’re less safe, too” or some such) then the public will probably get behind it, too.

  7. #7 |  Sycanman | 

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. if the reader comments on the SLC Tribune web site are any indication, this Buttars (such an appropriate name ;) jerk is about as popular as a chapped ass at a chili feed.

  8. #8 |  TC | 

    “…popular as a chapped ass at a chili feed.”

    I’m even trying to work this through my system… coming up lame.

    Webster was of no help at all. Feel free. PLEASE!!

  9. #9 |  dmoynihan | 

    Um, Chapped ass is a raw, painful condition in a certain region, rapid consumption of chili, such as occurs at a chili feed, implies greater-than-usual passage of material through that region, hence the lack of popularity of chapping.

  10. #10 |  Frank | 

    “…popular as a chapped ass at a chili feed.”

    Nice visual. Can we pull a Santorum on this asshat?

  11. #11 |  Nando | 

    But it’s, you know, for the children!

  12. #12 |  David | 

    Nice visual. Can we pull a Santorum on this asshat?

    We can certainly try.

    Main Entry:
    But·tar
    Pronunciation:
    \?b?-tarred\

    1: verbTo strech corners of the mouth to the point of splitting as a result of repeatedly fellating law enforcement.
    2: noun The freshly churned semen and saliva foam around the mouth of someone who has been buttaring.

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    And soon after they pass that they will probably make it a crime to photograph a cop in the performance of his duties.

    And eventually it will be a crime to report about cops in a disparaging or offensive way.

  14. #14 |  Whim | 

    In more than just a few states, the police are agitating against the citizenry “tape recording” encounters between police and the citizenry.

    They are collaborating with compliant Prosecuting Attorneys, using old “wiretapping” laws related to electronic eavesdropping, to try and intimidate the citizenry, even an innocent bystander, from electronically recording these encounters using a personal video camcorder or cell phone.

    With the advent of new technology such as the video cell phone and light, compact video cameras, the police “gold standard” of DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is starting to erode.

    Next, expect the police agitate for Cell Phone JAMMERS so that the citizenry then cannot record and transmit a police encounter.

    They’ll claim the Jammers are for “their protection”.

    From what?

    IED’s??

    No, ….. lawsuits.

  15. #15 |  Hannah | 

    “They are collaborating with compliant Prosecuting Attorneys, using old “wiretapping” laws related to electronic eavesdropping, to try and intimidate the citizenry, even an innocent bystander, from electronically recording these encounters using a personal video camcorder or cell phone.

    And things like this make me wish that we could get our legislators to go through the books and get ride of the old laws that no longer apply or need to be updated. I once pointed this need out to a friend who’s husband is an officer using a piece of junk law on the books in WV that says its ok to beat your wife, so long as its done on a Sunday and on the court steps. She told me that there was no need since the new laws would supersede the old ones. I asked her if that she really thought that would apply if it was an Officer who was doing the beating and she had to pause for a moment and admit that they probably wouldn’t be charged.

  16. #16 |  Gino Sesto | 

    I am sad to say that I was the facilitator of this obnoxious legistlaion. My company, ratemycop.com, sent out open records requests to departments all around the country. We simply asked for Names and IDs of officers (no undercovers) This Senator chose to use this as a political football and completely misrepresent our intentions for some quack legistlation. I only hope the citizens of Utah vote him out.

  17. #17 |  Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-02-18 – Cops are here to protect you. | 

    […] tips to Lew, Balko, Anthony Gregory #1, Anthony Gregory #2, Bill Anderson, Anthony Gregory #3, Anthony Gregory […]

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