Due process is one of the most basic and fundamental human rights in our society. The ability to defend yourself from accusations, to present evidence in your defense, to question the evidence against you, and being considered innocent before proven guilty are all hallmarks of the legal system.
For the past decade, however, those constitutional rights have been under attack, and those attacks have now resulted in someone being fired simply for suggesting someone else be entitled to due process before decisions about them be made.
Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey was fired on Monday, just hours after he suggested the police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright in Minneapolis should receive due process before being fired. As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported, Boganey’s comments Monday evening contradicted Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, who demanded the police officer be fired immediately. After firing Boganey, the Brooklyn Center city council expressed fears that Boganey’s comments about due process might cause the city to further descend into violence.
After the city council voted to fire Boganey, Council Member Kris Lawrence-Anderson admitted that Boganey was doing a “great job” but she feared that the violent mob would personally attack her if she didn’t vote to fire him, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“He was doing a great job. I respect him dearly,” she said. “I didn’t want repercussions at a personal level.”
That’s where we seem to be in society: Suggesting someone be allowed to defend themselves before being punished is now a fireable offense. Further, the defense for Boganey’s firing is that informing people of their due process rights might lead others to break the law. That’s a terrible take for society, one that rewards the violent behavior we’re seeing in Minneapolis and other cities across the country.
Also, the vote didn’t matter, Zanotti noted, because the riots occurred even though Boganey was fired. So far 40 arrests have been made, including arrests for rioting. I’m sure Lawrence-Anderson and Mayor Elliott and everyone else who didn’t want due process for the police officer are very concerned about the due process rights of the rioters – which they should be.
Sadly, Boganey’s firing was utterly predictable. It was only a matter of time before declaring one’s support for due process made them unfit for employment. The move against due process has been happening for the past decades, particularly in the military and on college campuses.
The idea that due process is actually a bad thing has often cropped up during moral panics, as was the case during the Satanic Daycare Panic of the 1980s and ’90s. Then, the notion that anyone would question someone – at the time, a child – claiming they were sexually abused amounted to abuse itself. Back then, Neil McClanahan, under-sheriff for Thurston County in Washington State at the time, explained what would eventually become the given attack against due process. “Our survivors are very traumatized. To question their credibility would cause them to be re-traumatized. They’re so fragile,” McClanahan said.
In the past decade, Democrats and their media supporters have worked overtime to convince people that due process hurts victims of crimes, or at least, people they deem to be victims before it has been established that a crime was committed. We’ve seen it everywhere, statements similar to McClanahan’s, where politicians and activists claim that questioning someone’s accusations will traumatize them. The clear implication: Believe accusers, never question them, and punish the accused immediately.
Of course, this all goes out the window when one of the same Democrats pushing policies that support these damaging notions gets accused themselves.
We’re seeing this mentality play out on the national stage thanks to the #MeToo movement, which has good intentions but in practice aims to punish anyone accused whether they have been convicted of a crime or not. Some of the allegations against those caught up in the movement aren’t even crimes in the first place, merely jerk behavior (and even some of that has been exaggerated and falsified).
We’re living in a society where due process has become the enemy. Questioning an accuser amounts to retraumatizing them. Providing the accused any chance to defend themselves from potentially false accusations is tantamount to abuse. Curt Boganey is simply a casualty of the war on due process, fired because he simply stated that someone has a right to due process before their life is upended.
This is not the beginning of the war, but it is a serious escalation. How much longer until others are fired or forced out for making such statements? How much longer until it fully infects our legal system? How much longer until you are the one being punished?
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.