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Crime Under The Color of Authority and Uniform

Updated on June 10, 2020

Anyone who wears a uniform is held to a higher level in accountability because of the built-in public trust. The general public assumes the person in the uniform will not do bad things and has a fair judgement between individuals. For a fireman, you don't expect them will loot a house in ruins or take anything at all. For medical, you always expect them to do what is best for you, not what is best for the hospital's financial situation or their own personal gain. For the military, you expect them to be warriors to defend America from outside enemy states when called for and honest civil servants when not. Any uniform demands some respect for the person wearing it, but as recent police actions have proven, the person wearing a uniform may not always have your best interest at heart, may not be counted on to do the right thing even against one of their own, may take opportunity to be racially aggressive because of bias from within and use excessive force, may use the situation to gain financial gain when a more cheaper method was available, or just use their uniform to bully others for whatever reason.

Those who served in the military are automatically presumed to be warriors and willing to die for America, that they volunteered because they were patriotic, and all deserve respect, even down to the person who just did little in the service and just went in for a paycheck for himself because of a dead-end life. Of course, only some of that is true. People go into uniform professions for a wide variety of reasons and not all are "for the public or nation's good". Many in the military have gone in not to defend America but for to learn a a trade or job skill and paycheck. Some are forced to enter the service by a judge or go to jail. Others want to see the world and join. For these, sacrificing their lives for the American way is not a core reason.

The same can be said for other uniformed professions. The recent horrible videos showing police brutality simply reinforces this as they are breaking the law while under the color of authority and destroying public trust. It only takes a few to ruin the whole lot. Many of these officers possessed racial or other biases that in a moment of crisis were revealed and went unchecked by training. For them, wearing a uniform made them superior in some way and under the color of authority, their biases surfaced. Few will challenge others wearing a uniform.

When one goes to a doctor for surgery, is the doctor telling you all of the options available or just those ones that help himself financially, his office, or the hospital where the surgery is? Can the surgery be done in a less expensive way? As a patient, because you trust the professional wearing a uniform, you are intimidated and assume the person in the uniform is not a compromised person with more unsavory goals.

But, crimes committed while wearing a uniform and involve public trust are usually aggravated during sentencing because it is a disloyalty to those suffering and a warning to other professionals to do the right thing while in that uniform.


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