Is there really such a thing as a cloud of secrecy involving law enforcement misconduct. Does it really happen or is it a perception fostered under false pretenses?
You bet there is.
I don’t think it was founded based on any ill intent but has naturally evolved from the “we – they” perception. You are either a part of the cure or part of the problem captures much of the basis for this attitude.
I do not think this is a pervasive problem that encompasses all of law enforcement. There are, however, pockets of misconduct that need attention.
Most of these problems are related to misuse of force, abusive behavior, and misconduct brought on and aggravated by attitudes presented by organizations like Antifa and BLM. Those organizations somehow are allowed to break the law and do anything they want to disrupt everyday life in America but police are being held to a higher (and somewhat arbitrary) standard.
To a great degree, much of the attitude of defunding police and watchdog agencies looking at and second-guessing every action by the police is, in itself, detrimental to good law enforcement efforts.
Ignorant statements by people like Joe Biden saying that police should be trained to shoot someone in the leg rather than shooting to protect their lives or the lives of someone else only help to foster resentment of the police. Organizations that believe they are defending virtuous cycles of reform to assist in lifting the shroud of secrecy by the police aren’t helping things either. There are those people that are ignorant of the law who condemn the police for taking long periods of time to investigate crimes and not releasing all their investigative efforts while accusing police of withholding information that ‘the public deserves to know’.
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is launching the Full Disclosure Project (https://www.nacdl.org/Landing/FullDisclosureProject) for the purpose of disrupting the culture of secrecy that shields police misconduct (The Champion, NACDL publication, Sept/Oct 2020 issue) and are providing training and resources for defense attorneys who might become involved in incidents alleging police abuse.