Ms Richardson is the 22 year old female who was arrested by the Los Angles Sheriff's department for skipping out on a $89 diner tab in Malibu California. The sheriff's department released her on September 17, 2009. She was released in this remote part of the area without any apparent means of transportation home. The disagreement comes from what happened to her after being released. The activists are driving for new government regulation on the police, dictating the conditions of how they are to release people from custody. I have serious questions about what they are proposing. My views come from the facts as written in "The Final Call" 9/7/2010 edition.
The proposed "Mitrice Richardson Custodial Law" states:
- No one can be released at night from custody
- No one can be released without their belongings
- The law applies to police agencies and hospitals
- Any agency with custodial rights over an individual is LIABLE to release them to a licensed, insured driver that signs an affidavit for their responsibility
Imagine the unintended consequences of this last element. I can imagine that this will trigger far more "unlawful detention" lawsuits against police agencies and hospitals from people who where otherwise free to leave but for the lack of a qualifying "custodian" to accept them. No one knows the scenario surrounding the release of Mitrice Richards but she was a fully emancipated adult having reached the age of 22. If this law was applied to a minor I would be in full support. Since this law appears to apply to everyone I see serious problems.
It would take no stretch of the imagination to understand that there was a high level of emotional conflict that night between Mitrice Richardson and the restaurant, the sheriff's deputy that detained her and the sheriff's deputy that released her. If she was free to be released at night I think that it is reasonable for the sheriff's department to gather information as to where she lives and the means of transportation that she has lined up prior to allowing her to go. The choice to take her out of the holding cell and having her wait in a public waiting area should be based upon her temperament at the time. In the context of events that have occurred it would be safe to assume that Ms Richards was angry and departed the facility without fully considering the remote location and the hazards of departing on foot. The activists seek to make certain common sense actions into a "one-size-fits all" law.
A poll of the activists indicates that 87% believe that it was a Sheriff's department agent that murdered Mitrice Richardson. A review of the entire scenario by the "Office Of Independent Review" has been rejected by the audience.
We should not allow the heightened emotions around one case to be the source of a law that will no doubt lead to a larger stack of "illegal detention" cases, many of the very same people now protesting for the law in the future standing against the police for following this same law as they detain prisoners who should have been released by their poverty stemming from "structural racism" leaves them with no custodians with a drivers license and insurance by which they can be released to.