A Florida Cop Killed Tony McDade. Now He’s Hiding Behind a Law Meant to Protect Victims. – Mother Jones

Of course, the Trump administration has done its best to roll back police accountability measures. The administration has been unwilling to investigate police departments, and in 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gutted the federal government’s ability to enter into and enforce consent decrees—contracts that give Department of Justice watchdogs strict oversight of ailing police departments. Without any kind of federal control, attempts by police to shield themselves behind vague privacy claims and public records exemptions deserve more scrutiny now than ever.

Lyon told me that when police invoke Marsy’s Law, it tips the scales of justice even further to the disadvantage of a defendant. In her more-than-40-year career Lyon has defended hundreds of clients, including some who have survived police shootings, only to be charged with attempted murder of an officer. “It’s really quite common,” she said. When police claim victimhood, it makes it incredibly difficult for the defendant to claim self-defense. And without access to an officer’s personnel reports, it’s almost impossible to prove a pattern of brutality—it becomes a defendant’s word against law enforcement’s. And who do people usually believe?

A Florida Cop Killed Tony McDade. Now He’s Hiding Behind a Law Meant to Protect Victims. – Mother Jones