Vindictive, Homophobic Cops Out Air Force Sergeant

Officer.com reports on an the revelation to the USAF about one of its own supervisor’s sexual orientation, and the excuse given by law enforcement was as follows regarding the NON-SUSPECT, innocent party:

The Rapid City Police Department says Newsome, an aircraft armament system craftsman who spent nine years in the Air Force, was not cooperative when they showed up at her home in November with an arrest warrant for her partner, who was wanted on theft charges in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Newsome was at work at the base at the time and refused to immediately come home and assist the officers in finding her partner, whom she married in Iowa, where gay marriage is legal, in October.

Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome’s home, alerted the base, Police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP.

When I read this, I was immediately angered by the officers’ actions.  I completely support their action in serving a warrant, peering through a window (if you don’t want this done close your blinds), etc… I have not issue with that.  However, the mere suggestion that they expected the non-suspect to leave work and come home is totally ridiculous.  That request is beyond any level of common-sense or daily comprehension….

And the Chief’s response was even more offensive and goes to show the lack of sensitivity or professionalism used by his officers:

It was a part of the case, part of the report, and the Air Force was privileged to the information." "It was a part of the case, part of the report, and the Air Force was privileged to the information.

The person named on the license was not the suspect and was not the named party on the warrant.  Thus, she had absolutely no reason to share her business with the Air Force.  They were not privileged to obtain that information. 

At least the Sergeant was honorably discharged, but regardless, a career was ended when there was no reason to do that.  I could rant for many pages on this point but have elected not to do so in order to keep my opinion focused and on point. 

Rather, I just want to summarize that every person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and this is just another example of why we need to protect it as much as we can.  While there could be reason to fear retaliation from cops who do not receive the level of cooperation they think they are entitled to, I suggest you always exercise your right to remain silent, and if you believe you must answer a question or provide them with something, do as little as possible, and always be polite… in the end, I think even retalitation for lack of cooperation will fall to the polite truth…this sergeant will recover from a job lost in a thankless organization, and she’ll be stronger and better off in the long run.