March 1, 2012

DA Wolfson won't file charges against Henderson officer filmed in beating

From the Review-Journal:

The Henderson police sergeant caught on video repeatedly kicking a man in the head during a traffic stop in 2010 will not be charged criminally for his actions, newly appointed Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Monday.

Wolfson said that although he and other attorneys in his office seriously considered charging Henderson police Sgt. Brett Seekatz, who is at the center of the controversial video, too much time has passed since the incident was recorded Oct. 29, 2010.

Wolfson goes on to say bringing charges against Sgt. Seekatz is not in the "community's best interest."

Wolfson's decision gives officers and their supervisors a perverse set of choices when it comes to  owning up to official misconduct. In the future, the choice will be 1) immediately make public any misconduct and likely face charges or 2) keep everything under wraps and out of the public's eye for as long as possible in the hope enough time will pass that the District Attorney will pass on filing charges.  Which option do you think will be more popular?