It’s not surprising that Officer Steven Westfall was found not guilty, and here is why.
From the Rodney King case, to the Eric Garner case, guilty police officers often get the “not guilty” verdict. It not hard to wonder why. If we go back in history and watch these cases play out in court, you will see that the prosecutors who are trying the case, often do a shabby job, and do not always ask the hard questions that need to be asked. I don’t know if that is the case with Steven Westfall. But we can see that was clearly the case in the Rodney King and Eric Garner cases.
There is a “thin blue line” that divides the prosecutors office from the police, and often that line is very blurry. The reason being, that these prosectutors rely on police to help them win cases. If prosecutors are not winning cases, they lose their job. So they tend to give the police special treatment in court, so that the police will later be as helpful and cooperative as possible.
This is a sad case. Clearly there was no reason for James Rutheford to be searched, as he was not suspected of a crime. Having a knife is not a crime, and that is what they premise for the search was. But not only is it not a crime to have a knife, it is also a fact that James Rutherford did not have a knife anyway.
James Rutherford stood up for his rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, and in defending the 4th Amendment, paid the price. He’s lucky that he didn’t pay the ultimate price. But that blow to the head could have killed him. If you pound someone in the temple like that, there is a good chance for brain injury, and swelling. He is very lucky, and at the same time, based on the charges, not-so-lucky.
These police officers, while they turned in Steven Westfall, and I have to praise them for that. They did not abide by their oath to defend the constitution. The 4th Amendment was violated by these officers, and they should be ashamed.