EDITORIAL: An Argument In Defense Of Officer Pickett

Why The Public Is Better Served In The Retention Of South Daytona Police Officer John Pickett

May 23, 2015
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Winston Churchill

VolusiaExposed Supports
The Retention Of Officer Pickett

According to a recent email VolusiaExposed.Com received from South Daytona Police Chief Ron Wright, Officer John Z. Pickett will be facing a pre-disciplinary hearing this May 26th, regarding a January (2015) incident, whereas he slapped a handcuffed suspect.

Little is in doubt regarding the January incident, due to the fact, that it was memorialized by the patrol car's video surveillance equipment.

What is in doubt, is Officer Pickett's law enforcement career.

According to other media reports, Officer Pickett's personnel file has several accolades, including a letter from Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson, regarding Pickett's involvement in an intelligence gathering task force during Biketoberfest 2014.

Further, Chief Wright describes Pickett, a decade plus veteran of SDPD, as a dedicated and meticulous officer. VolusiaExposed invites our readers, to review several available internet articles that will support, that absent the January 2015 incident, Officer Pickett's service to the community exceeded standards.

In order to dispel any questions of bias - it is important for us (VolusiaExposed) to state, that no one here at VolusiaExposed.Com, either professionally or personally, knows Officer Pickett.

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In Support Of Our Retention Argument

While it is true, that the above video, provides solid evidence in support of Officer Pickett's misconduct, the video does not provide the complete picture. And the complete picture must be seen to fully appreciate what is transpiring.

While Officer Pickett's misconduct was a "fail" for himself, and his department. It is our (VolusiaExposed) opinion, that the manner in which the department handled this matter, brings redemption to both the department, and by proxy, to Officer Pickett.

After all, police officers are human too - therefore, they have the same human flaws as the rest of us. Many of us, pulled over for speeding, or some other minor violation, can appreciate the term "officer discretion". Maybe, we, the public, owe officers and police departments, like Pickett and the SDPD, some public discretion.

While police misconduct is currently a hyper-sensitive topic, both nationally and locally, the misconduct of Officer Pickett is somewhat unique. The uniqueness of the Pickett incident can be found in the police department's willingness to openly address the misconduct.

Recently, the City of North Charleston, South Carolina took a similar proactive approach to their officer's misconduct, and avoided the civil unrest visited upon less transparent cities.

While there is little discretion regarding the North Charleston's officer's murder charges, we (VolusiaExposed) submit that public discretion is available, and is appropriate, regarding the Pickett matter.

There needs to be more trust between the public and their police departments. The public need to understand that their officers will make mistakes, and at the same time, police administrators need to trust the public's discretion regarding their understanding of appropriate levels of disciplinary action for minor to moderate offenses.

Yes, obviously, Officer Pickett must resolve both his criminal charges, and any internal disciplinary action taken by the SDPD, but from where we (VolusiaExposed) are sitting, South Daytona Police Chief, Ron Wright has taken the necessary initial leap of faith. Hopefully, Wright's faith in the citizens of South Daytona is well placed, and they (citizens) will not fail to appreciate the use of proper discretion, when determining the future of Officer Pickett's law enforcement career.

Hopefully, other police administrators will follow Chief Wright's lead - and take that leap of faith.
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Charging Affidavit



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