October 18, 2012 by williamsjustliving
I grew up in a neighborhood that was a little bit of everything. It was a little bit rough, a little bit polished, a little bit run-down, a little bit upscale. Against this backdrop, police officers always seemed to be a part of the community. Officers were never a huge presence, but it was not odd to see a cruiser sliding down the street. People got pulled over for speeding; small time drug dealers were pulled in; check point charlie was set up to trap drunk drivers. I never had first- or second-hand knowledge of police brutality. Officers were friendly, dignified citizens who had a sense of street smarts, a huge portion of bravery, and usually a decent sense of humor.
A serious dent was put in that image recently. It hurt my heart, but it was good for my professional passion. I saw an officer on the stand take some liberties with the truth. It’s much better that I see that now because I get the chance to walk into my career with my eyes open. I now know that I cannot rely on my own perceptions of a person to help me judge that person’s ability to tell the truth on the stand. I have to assume that each person who takes the stand might lie if given the opportunity. I have to be prepared for that possibility, and I cannot be rattled when lying happens.