A man in Parker, Colorado, recently requested an apology from Parker Police for releasing his name and photograph to the news media connected to charges of Soliciting a Child for Prostitution. The Parker Police Department said “no”. It is interesting that the Parker Police Department felt compelled to contact the news media with the names and pictures of the nine men accused of committing this crime.
The Parker Police Department Owes More Than One Apology
We disagree with the Parker Police Department and think they owe this man an apology. They also owe the other eight men arrested and accused of Soliciting a Child for Prostitution an apology. These men have not been convicted of anything, just arrested. This means that as of now, they are “presumed innocent”. Many police departments, like the Parker PD, ignore this presumption of innocence. It is very possible any one or more of these men will be found innocent, yet will have had their reputations severely damaged by the publicity.
Why Do Police Departments Contact the News Media and Release Names and Photographs?
Police Departments in Adams County, Douglas County and Weld County contact news media outlets and advertise their arrests because they are hungry for attention and a pat on the back. Much like a child who gets a good grade on a test, many police agencies are starved for attention and when they make a big arrest they want everyone to know. They don’t care that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It is foolish when a police representative like Parker P.D. Sgt. Andrew Coleman says, as he did in this case, that their press release did not say the man was guilty, so no apology is due. The damage is done to a person’s reputation once a name and the sex offense allegations are released to the news media. All that harm occurs, just to make a group of police officers feel good about themselves. You would think we were dealing with elementary school students. Fortunately, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office looked at this man’s case and made the decision to not file charges.
Not an Isolated Case of Police Misconduct
I wish this were an isolated example, but we see police in Denver County, Arapahoe County and Jefferson County do the same thing. Looking for attention and a pat on the back, they make an arrest and then send out a “press release” to the news media. In other cases, like one recently from Larimer County, we saw a Fort Collins Police detective go far beyond police work by trying to convince the mother of a child that our client was guilty. This detective even went further, and revealed sensitive evidence in the case to the mother before trial (a witness at trial) in an effort to bias the mother against our client. Finally, at trial she misquoted our client in an effort to see him convicted. Never have I seen a police detective this zealous to change a witness’ perspective on a case, and get a conviction at all costs. In my opinion, the detective’s conduct bordered on witness tampering. Fortunately, the jury saw through this detective’s efforts and found our client not guilty of Attempted Sexual Assault on a Child and Promotion of Obscenity to a Minor.
We are always ready to go to bat for our clients when they are accused of a crime, so keep our number handy: 303-731-0719. Next, never answer police questions, since they are always trying to build a case against you. Together, we can protect your future.