Even though temperatures have been moderate, this is turning into a long, hot summer for police officers. Cops seem to be headlining the news everywhere. These headlines include a local officer slain in the line of duty, as well as the community anger following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the Department of Justice is currently subjecting police tactics to a sweeping review. Here in the Ramsey County vicinity we are seeing everything from a community mourning a fallen officer to an officer under scrutiny for allegedly running a red light last spring.
No question that law enforcement is a tough dangerous job that every safe and thriving community depends upon. Citizens owe it to their communities, however, to be aware of police practices and to report cases of law enforcement gone awry. Also, being pulled over and ticketed is an experience that happens to many summer motorists this time of year. If you have recently received a traffic ticket that you feel was undeserved, read information about contesting your ticket in Ramsey County, or come up to the Law Library to see Beat your Ticket (Nolo 2013). For more extensive research into the legal aspects of police misconduct, come up to the Library and peruse Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation (Thompson Reuters 3rd). If you have witnessed or experienced a case of local law enforcement going beyond the scope of its authority, you may choose to file a complaint with the City of St. Paul, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, or even the U.S. Department of Justice.