[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We all want to see reductions in crime in our communities. While too often, the conversation degenerates to an either/or proposition of allowing crime and terrorism to go undetected or cracking-down on civil liberties, the truth is that our nation has long sought a balance to these two concepts and that balance is codified in the Fourth Amendment.
[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]To better-protect the citizens of his state, Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal exercised his veto power to veto Senate and House-passed legislation that would allow license plate readers for police officers.
The Blaze reports on Jindal’s bold move:
Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed a state senate bill that would have authorized this type of surveillance, which includes location tracking, for purposes such as use in criminal investigations and to find uninsured drivers. In a letter to Secretary of the Senate Glenn Koepp, he wrote against the data being stored not only for law enforcement use but also for “other specified private entities for a period of time regardless of whether or not the system detects that a person is in violation of vehicle insurance requirements.”
“Camera programs such as these that make private information readily available beyond the scope of law enforcement, pose a fundamental risk to personal privacy and create large pools of information belonging to law abiding citizens that unfortunately can be extremely vulnerable to theft or misuse,” Jindal wrote.
Privacy advocates and civil liberties groups have long blasted license plate readers for similar reasons.
However, the bill’s author, Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier, appeared embittered by the governor’s actions, saying,
“With this governor, I have found that every factor that he considers in whether to support or oppose something is based on whether or not it is politically good for him. That’s very disappointing because that shows a very significant lack of leadership,” he said.
“This gives the officer a slight advantage in that if that license plate reacts, that officer knows he’s approaching a vehicle maybe with dangerous people in it,” DeRosier continued.
“For the governor to turn around and veto this is sort of a slap in the face, not only to law enforcement, but to everybody in that Legislature that voted for this bill,” DeRosier stated.
It’s understandable that lawmakers would want to offer the benefits of technology to police to make apprehending criminals easier. However, this power must be balanced against the need for privacy and the protection of rights of citizens and Gov. Jindal is absolutely warranted in having exercised his executive power to protect the citizens of Louisiana from the threat of Fourth Amendment violations.
If we wish to avoid living in a police state, we must seek to halt these encroachments upon our civil liberties as they try and take hold.
What Gov. Jindal did is not only a responsible move for today’s Louisianans, but for future Louisiana citizens as well.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]