Cop kills two young girls, gets probation

by Wendy McElroy
Apr. 20, 2010

In case you have forgotten the double standard by which law is applied in North America, here's a reminder. The elites of society (e.g. law enforcement agents) are held to a far lower standard than the average person; cops routinely get "a pass" or a slap on the wrist on criminal activities for which non-elites serve hard, long time.

The Illinois state trooper who killed two sisters will not have to spend a day behind bars. A judge gave Matt Mitchell a plea deal for ten years (30 months each for four counts) probation. Since Mitchell plead guilty to felony charges he will never be allowed to be a police officer again. Mitchell will serve his sentence in Clinton County where he resides. In 2007 Mitchell's car wrecked with Jessica and Kelli Uhl killing them. Mitchell's attorney says his client was justified when he was driving 126 miles an hour just moments before the crash. Prosecutors say Mitchell was sending emails and talking on his phone. Illinois State Police released a statement Friday afternoon regarding Mitchell's guilty plea: "Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who were victims in this tragic incident. Now that the criminal proceedings have concluded, the Illinois State Police will move forward with the internal administrative process as expeditiously as possible, and will take the appropriate action that is warranted."

Additional details:

---The two dead girls were 18 and 13 years old.

---Mitchell was "on duty" at the time he drove across a median and killed the teenagers.

---He was not only driving full throttle, he was also "sending and receiving e-mails just 2.5 seconds before the impact....he also had been talking (with his girlfriend) on his cell phone moments before."

---He had been told approx. 6 minutes before the accident that he was no longer needed at another accident scene, which means he wasn't speeding in response to an emergency.

---He had a prior record of reckless driving; this is his 3rd major accident, one of which required a $1.7 million settlement. And, yet, he was back in the driver's seat of a cop car.

---A witness (Navy Chief Petty Officer J.W. James) claims that Mitchell had no siren on while speeding.

---This was on Black Friday, one of the most congested traffic days, during you would think a cop would be more careful than usual.

---At first, the police blamed a car that cut Mitchell off. The car was not found and the police refused to release a description. When witnesses contradicted this account, the police said 'well, may there wasn't another car. Mitchell's video recorder was either not on or not working. Another version said his car was without a Dash Camera, which is standard issue these days.

---It took over two and 1/2 years to work out the probation deal for Mitchell. Nevertheless, this is the first felony conviction in Illinois against a law officer in "a pursuit" that killed somebody. (I know the word "pursuit" is inaccurate but it is the word being used.)

---Two other people, including a pregnant woman, were injured in a separate vehicle.

---The victims' parents agreed to a plea deal on the charge of 'reckless homicide' because "there was no assurance of a conviction at trial" -- that is how difficult it is to convict a cop of anything. ---Part of the family's motive may be a civil suit for $24 million that they have brought against Mitchell and the police department; a guilty plea on his part facilitates a large settlement.

---The prosecuting attorney stated that Mitchell "will likely lose his job with the State Police"; he had relieved him of duty pending trial but continued to receive a salary. That's how they punish a recklessly homicidal cop? -- they give him a paid vacation?

---Why is his dismissal only likely. A guilty plea on a felony is not automatic grounds for dismissal?

What do you think would happen to an average Joe or Jill who killed two policemen or the children of policemen because they were texting while speeding? I suspect it would more than the 30-months probation Mitchell received. And what happens if he breaks probation? Does anyone seriously believe he would be arrested by a fellow-cop, a member of the brotherhood who saw him swig a beer?

Always remember that the police -- and not conventional criminals -- are the main threat to the safety of the average peaceful person. The police are there "to serve and protect" themselves and their employers -- the judicial system.

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