Thursday, May 18, 2006

To Mask or Not to Mask

That is the question. Should law enforcement officers be allowed to wear face concealing masks when on security sweeps? I'm representing the "uh, yeah," side over on A La Gauche.

Or, does law enforcement wearing of face concealing masks violate someone's civil rights or erode officer accountability?

I checked the Pop's website and it doesn't say anything. I guess I'll have to ask Lawman later on.


Dante said...

So what if instead of just wearing a mask, they have reconstructive surgery and are therefore not recognized by the crime family they are trying to bring down? Oh wait, that was a Chuck Norris movie.

Back to the topic at hand, just my two cents but it seems to me like as long as they identify themselves as police officers and provide something like a badge number to verify their identity, then concealment of their bodies shouldn't be an issue. If they've done something improperly and need to be investigated for it, a badge number will be sufficient for the appropriate channels to know who to investigate.

As a more serious example, what if the people in that picture spend a good bit of time undercover? They may need to protect their identity. Masks aren't just for the Lone Ranger and Batman.

petallic said...

Only the good guys should get to wear masks.

GP said...

I'm not entirely opposed to law enforcement officers wearing masks in certain situations. It does, however, make me uneasy. As far as masks go, black ski masks seem like a poor choice. If someone knocks on my door wearing a black ski mask, I'm runnin' to get my firearms. It doesn't matter if they identify themselves as a police officer or not.

I don't know if it applies in this situation, but experiments have shown that people in authority roles behave badly when they are in a position of anonymity.

Patrick Armstrong said...

I asked the lawman at dinner. He said wearing masks has a lot to do with undercover work some of these guys do in other parts of their job.

He did relate a story though, one night when he & some of the other agents raided a home, some masked and some not - the masked ones did undercover work elsewhere - and he said that just having the guy in the mask in the same room as one of the suspects just kept rilin' the suspect up making the guy more and more irate. All because of the mask.