Last night, investigative reporter Mike Deeson provided the public with his findings concerning the police training program at St. Petersburg College. During his report, he uncovered three other trainees who suffered injuries similar to my client Kathleen DeNardi. The report didn’t prove anything one way or the other in a conclusive fashion. However, I’ve been a trial attorney long enough to know that where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Deeson interviewed three other former trainees who had similar experiences with police trainer Rick Tapia. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the police training school and will undoubtedly interview many former and current trainees.
While the majority of responses I have received concerning this issue have been very positive, some have expressed a negative opinion of what I am doing and they believe that these exercises are a part of the police training curriculum.
At the end of the day, this is exactly how it should be in a democratic society. No one or no organization should be above the law. Our Founding Fathers made sure of that when they instituted a system of government based on checks and balances. This system is necessarily adversarial and that’s a good thing. No group, whether it be Boy Scouts, priests, police, elected officials, or the wealthy should be above the law. That’s one of the things that makes this country so great.
Let the judicial system with its discovery process run its course and determine its own conclusions. This is how freedom is preserved. Yes, it can be messy and difficult at times but it works. Sir Winston Churchill once noted, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
The separation of powers along with checks and balances are our only guarantees against tyranny and afford every person a right to seek justice. We should celebrate this and be thankful for it.