Oath of Office

A 2009 publication written by Jonathan L. Rudd, J.D., an FBI Academy Legal Instructor:

Oath of Office: A Solemn Promise

every aspect of an officer’s job touches that area where the authority of government and the liberty of the individual meet. Arrests, searches and seizures, investigative detentions, eyewitness identification, interrogations—all of these everyday law enforcement tasks, and more, are governed by the Federal Constitution. Under their own constitutions, the States may provide greater protections to their people; but by virtue of the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment, they cannot provide less.

 

The Oath:

I [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

 

This oath isn’t just for Presidents, heads of office, or law enforcement.  It’s also what every member of the military has to take at the conclusion of their basic training.  It’s an oath *I* took when I completed basic training in the Army in January 1980.


 

It is obvious, judging by the plethora of unjust and blatantly illegal behaviors performed by all members of law enforcement, including the FBI, that law enforcement academies of instruction no longer teach their recruits the rule of law.

Example:  A kidnapping/rape victim was re-assaulted repeatedly by law enforcement when she was kidnapped (held against her will; she wasn’t arrested) and forced to occupy a cell next to her rapist and sit next to him during transports to court.  Why?  Law enforcement’s excuse was that she became “combative” during her “prep” for court and they feared she’d refuse to show up for court.

It is not required of her to show up for court.  She can be video-conferenced in order to fulfill the requirement that the accused can face their accuser.  She can sign affidavits.  She can request to appear separately on the grounds that she fears for her life.

She doesn’t need to be Pollyanna.  She doesn’t need to act like a “good girl”.  She’s justifiably upset and has the right to behave however she sees fit as long as she’s not breaking any laws.  During “Prep” for court, attorneys or law enforcement (it should be attorneys only) will “grill” the plaintiff, preparing her for cross-examination.  During this “Prep”, the victim will get upset and angry.  The officers who said she was “combative” deliberately ignored the fact that “Practice” cross-examinations are hard on witnesses/victims, knowing full well that the “practice” is intended to get the witness/victim used to the adversarial attack-dog style of questioning by defense lawyers.  Many rape victims suffer from PTSD and verbal attacks can trigger emotional defensiveness and an emergency desire to protect yourself.  They often become “combative”.  It’s *normal*.

Police and Prosecutors involved in this case were either willfully ignorant of the rights of the witness/victim, did not care about the emotional stability of the witness/victim, or both.  They failed this woman by not supplying her with an attorney who has her back and will step in when prosecutorial “prep” ignores her emotional stability.  Hell, when they simply lack common decency.

Examples:  100s of instances of people of color have been shot by police for invalid reasons.

Example:  100s of instances where people of Latino heritage have had their 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendment protections violated by city/county/state/federal police as well as law enforcement members of Immigration and “Customs” Enforcement.

In order to carry out the law, police must abide by their oaths, but even after this “reminder” publication was released in 2009, they have frequently violated this oath.  Indeed, police academies across the country seem to have dropped the requirements for teaching recruits about the Constitution and how law enforcement must abide by it.  Instead, they have become lawless vigilantes and bullies.

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