District Attorney Police

Last week, we discussed how inappropriate it is for a local district attorney all by himself to file criminal complaints, to investigate, seek an indictment, and to prosecute citizens because of the danger of abuse. To protect against such abuse, most counties require that the district attorney to act only on cases brought to him or her by law enforcement.
So how about if the district attorney also has his own armed SWAT team? This sounds like a combination Stalin would approve of.
Former district attorney Judge John Roach did just this. He spent $25,306 of the taxpayers’ money (he said it was his money) on four rifles, 10 helmets, two shields, two gun safes and up to 6,000 rounds of ammunition for training over the objections of the commissioners’ court. Just what we need: another amateur armed group running around among the citizenry.
Apparently, he felt he was more qualified to lead this SWAT team than the county sheriff, the multiple local police, the national guard, and the Army. As near as anyone could tell, his primary qualification to do this was that he wore freshly laundered suits to work. So, now there was a district attorney who initiated his own complaints, sought indictments, investigated the complaints, had his own private police force answerable to him, and prosecuted the cases. His police wore vests which said “District Attorney Police”. So what were the checks and balances?

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