Pubdate: Thu, 01 Jun 2000
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Orange County Register
Contact:  P.O. Box 11626, Santa Ana, CA 92711
Fax: (714) 565-3657
Author: Lionel De Leon


When the police "play by the rules" the criminals have the advantage,because
criminals, by their very nature, disregard the rules. In order to tip the
advantage toward law enforcement, we have allowed the police to become
criminals in order to catch them. Our streets are indeed safer, as
statistics demonstrate. Our prisons are also crowded and we have the
distinction of having the largest per-capita prison population in the world.
The danger in allowing police the freedom to use any means to catch crooks
is that the police become above the law and may justify even murder to
achieve their means. Police empowerment reduces civil liberties, and we have
to be careful not to be too zealous in our quest for criminal eradication.
Otherwise we may become a police state with regulations for every aspect of

Lionel De Leon, Garden Grove
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