From Officer to Prisoner and back again. . .

"I can’t imagine how hard it is for someone who doesn’t have the support that I had," said Mette. "If you make an arrest, you better believe you’re making it for the right reasons."

This was one of the statements given by Michael Mette, a former Chicago police officer who went to prison and was later acquitted and released.  Read the story of about Mette’s case here.

But, what I wanted to focus on was the latter part of Mette’s statement about making an arrest.  I wonder what he means by " making it for the right reasons." Aren’t all arrests made when an officer believes they have probable cause to establish that an offense has occurred? At least, that is what most officers and lawyers will tell you on paper.

I’m reading a bit more into this statement, however, and think that Mette may think more about arrests he makes in the future (if he is re-hired), having been on the other side of the prison walls… where he has undoubtedly sent some people.  I’m hoping that is what he means. 

In other words, I just hope that officers out there will really think about what they are doing and not make arrests that are not completely solid.  Afterall, it is far better to let someone guilty go free than to arrest someone that is not guilty.

Mr. Mette — I wish you the best in your continued career and I would really appreciate talking to you if you are ever so inclined.