Yesterday, after 8 days of deliberations, five former drug squad officers were convicted of perjury and/or obstruct justice. The National Post has a headline of them being acquitted of most charges. An interesting headline, to say the least. I query whether it would read the same if a lay person was convicted of the same charges. I doubt it. It’s all in the delivery. The Jury spent 8 days apart from their families and their jobs. They are deserving of praise for their dedication to the administration of justice. They sacrificed their own freedom for the greater good: serving as a juror. What they also should be commended for is their bravery: They convicted police officers. I am certain that they struggled with the potential ramifications of their decision.
If anyone uses these convictions as a basis to criticize the police force in general he/she is both ignorant and filled with prejudice. This was a distinct incident(s). Not all police officers are corrupt. I have always said that there is nothing better than a good police officer. They risk their lives to protect its citizens. But as the expression goes, there are bad apples in every bunch. What the Jury did was recognize that just because you are a police officer, doesnt presuppose that you are immune from prosecution. The same applies to anyone.
The jury’s decision can be seen as symbolic: A jury will judge the evidence, regardless of the accused’s stature, occupation or background. I hope that this becomes a trend in our system: That it is the evidence that will guide their decision and not their prejudices or biases.