By Lee Harville
A Caddo Parish Assistant District Attorney asked me the other day, “Who is more powerful in Caddo Parish: the Caddo Parish District Attorney or the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office?” He gave a compelling argument for why the District Attorney was more powerful than Sheriff Steve Prator.
I think this entire thought process is symbolic of the problem. There is no more team in Caddo Parish, there is no more we. There is only us versus them.
Prosecutors brag about their power and their accomplishments. I have sent this many people to jail. I have tried this many cases. I have . . . ; I have . . . ; I have . . . .
What of the work done by the police officers that built the cases? What of the risks taken by the police officers, while prosecutors work in a building guarded by armed deputies and metal detectors? What of the victims whose trust was broken and whose person or property was violated?
What of the crimes prevented by caring fathers and mothers and involved community members? What of the crimes stopped by vigilant and proactive policing?
Nope; it is just look at me, look what I have done, and look at what I will do. And, of course, we all feel safer, right?
Police officers are respected in our society and feel safe on the streets? Citizens feel safe in their homes, while shopping, and while traveling through our parish?
The many convictions have deterred criminals? There are not massive public shootouts with no arrests? Police are not shot at with impunity? All segments of society feel they are treated with respect in and out of the courtroom?
Sure, and the Emperor’s New Clothes fit just so. There is no need for change. We should keep the same groups in power. We should join in as the Courthouse Crowd gives us a “choice” of the one on the left or the one on the right to elect, to continue the job well done. We should simply choose whether we like the Emperor’s Summer Suit or his Winter Dress.
Or, should we try something new? We can tell the Emperor the truth: that he and we have been had. We can take hold of our future and write our own truth. We can take charge of the criminal justice system. We can put the team back together. We can lead, not just follow.
This is part of a continuing educational series of articles allowing all candidates space to explain their reasons for running for office as well as addressing questions voters should find valuable. This link will appear at the bottom of all articles in this series and allow easy access to previous articles. Limited to ONE (1) article per week per candidate.