By Guy Page
Back in June – the ‘crime is rising and where are the cops?!” of June of 2022, not the ‘Defund the Cops because George Floyd’ June of 2020 – a Winooski cop stood before a group of local residents desperately unhappy about the ‘catch and release’ of drug criminals.
Some brave person fearful that their child would be the next victim of the drug dealer next door calls the cops. The cops arrive. The perps leaves in cuffs but returns hours later….armed, unhappy, and still very much in business.
This is State’s Attorney Sarah George’s Chittenden County. Just don’t say so out loud.
“There’s a lot of crack houses in Winooski,” Officer Owen Dugan reportedly said, as captured on body camera and reported in VTDigger. “Unfortunately this is kind of the product of Sarah George’s super-progressive, soft-on-crime approach, where we arrest the same people daily and they get out the same day…..“Come August, Ted Kenney is running against her. I would implore you to vote for him because he actually wants a sea change as far as putting career criminals in jail.”
Now Winooski legislator Taylor Small says the cop said The Wrong Thing.
“I’m disgusted and disappointed in @winooskivt Police Department for offering this political commentary in the line of duty,” the first-term Progressive/Democrat lawmaker who is running for re-election said. “This accusation is abhorrent and unacceptable, especially for public servants.”
The way Small and George see it, cops have no business sticking their noses into politics, especially on the job.
The way others see it, Dugan is a cop who is powerless to fix what’s broken and is begging for his community’s support. Maybe Dugan knows the rules about talking elections on the job but he’s tired of seeing people die – Vermont had 210 fatal overdoses in 2021, leading the nation per capita in 2021. Maybe he wonders why he’s sending cases to a prosecutor who has publicly announced she wants to end incarceration.
Maybe – like scores of Vermont cops have already done – he’s decided the heck with it, I’m gonna say what I’m gonna say and if they don’t like it, I’ll find a job where they actually care more about stopping crime than punishing cops who Say the Wrong Thing.
But Dugan’s not sounding desperate. Which is more than you can say for Small, George, and their media pundit friends, as more business, police, and first responder organizations say no to George and yes to Democratic challenger Ted Kenney. They’ve seen other George Soros’ backed prosecutors Chesa Boudin (San Francisco) and Marilyn Mosby (Baltimore) get the boot from liberal Democratic voters likewise fed up with growing violence, retail theft and homelessness.
Predictably, Sarah George harrumphed about Dugan’s use of the word ‘crack house.’
“Her approach to prosecution has ‘absolutely nothing to do with the number of quote unquote crack houses in Winooski,’ she said, calling the use of such language a concern,” VTDigger reported.
Ah, yes. “The use of such language.” Pull up a chair and see how it’s done by George-backing media pundits like William Schubart, a successful businessman and author and former chair of the Vermont Journalism Trust, the parent organization for VTDigger. (His website bio says Schubart lives in the Chittenden County exurb of Hinesburg, a safe remove from Malletts Bay Avenue in Winooski.)
In yesterday’s VT Digger op-ed, Schubart bashes the “lock ‘em up crowd advocates for tougher, faster prosecution and sentencing based on Old Testament punishment doctrine and an imagined public safety.”
Pay attention now: you’ve only been imagining that Greater Burlington’s drug dealers are shooting people at an unprecedented rate. Send them to jail and keep them there? You might as well be gouging out their eyes.
Tomorrow, many of the longsuffering, law-abiding residents of Malletts Bay Avenue, the wealthy shop owners of Burlington, the suburban soccer moms of the new City of Essex, and frustrated first responders – but not the county’s college students, who are still on summer break – will deliver a referendum on the future of criminal justice in Chittenden County.
George Soros, are you paying attention?
Categories: News Analysis