Letters to the Editor

McCall ordering an arrest? Way out of line

Mayor Curtis McCall of Cahokia is an elected official, not the King of Cahokia. If you add-up his conduct with his constituents at the city meetings; the fiasco over firing city workers and the impending lawsuits and legal rulings against the city — and now using the police department as his Centurions — is a bit much.

As an experienced military chief of police and former member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and working with sworn officers in California, and with graduate work in policing, I’m pretty sure a mayor cannot “order” a sworn police officer to “make an arrest.” An arrest is based on a sworn officer having probable cause evidence or direct eyewitness of a crime.

Most state laws allow officers to make misdemeanor arrests without observing the crime themselves. In the case of the cut lock, the police had the option of investigating the case based on a compliant and, for such a minor crime, they could have filed a case with the appropriate prosecutor. To arrest and then book someone at the mayor’s direct order seems way out of line and an abuse of authority.

This needs to stop now. Is there any wonder many citizens of Cahokia and most of us are just fed up with business as usual in this county?

Phil Henning, Smithton

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