When Cops Get Arrested

Should law enforcement officials be held to a higher standard? Or is it still human to err?

by Heather King

A man who worked for the Winterville Police Department resigned on Monday after getting charged with breaking the law.

Jon Michael Willis is on house arrest, facing charges of making obscene or harassing phone calls, false imprisonment and assaulting a woman.  Winterville Police Chief Billy Wilkes says Willis resigned after his arrest. 

Wilkes also told WITN News, "Officers are just like everybody else, they make mistakes, too."

When officers make "mistakes," or are accused of committing a crime,
it makes headlines.  It might stun us to know how many people are accused of assault, though it is not reported regularly.  Assaults make the news in special circumstances. For instance, when the accused abuser is a police officer.

Should we report when officers or deputies are arrested?  Does it matter how serious the charges against them are?  Ultimately, the real question is whether law enforcement should be held to a higher standard.  We're curious to see what you have to say about this.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Whoever Location: Greenville on May 29, 2008 at 07:46 PM
    We all know that cops know the law better than normal people and we expect them not to break them. Yes good people make mistakes, ones they have to live with forever. Lets not forget that cops have lives too. They have families to support and bills to pay just like the rest of us. A cop should know better than to commit a crime. They know how much they have to lose and what kind of publicity comes from it. People around the world love to see people mess up expecially cops. It makes them feel like better people or something. As if it isnt bad enough that a cop breaks the law and loses everthing. Then their face gets thrown all over the news for everone in the world to see. You never know who's watching the news. Maybe the kids of the cop that got arrested for something minor. I honestly believe that cops are and should be held to a higher standard but is it fair to put their faces all over the news when you wouldn't if it were anyone else. The answer to that is NO.
  • by where are the good cops? Location: Eastern NC on May 24, 2008 at 09:34 PM
    It's not just cops that are corrupt any more,we have judges and DA's that are in it just to make a better name for themselves.whether it is justice or not!! I was in Green County court yesterday and heard with my own ears how this young man had been overcharged.the DA admitted it in open court!!Then on top of that the judge said this was a travesty.But did he do anything about it? No.Who looks over these people? They run over people that cant stand for themselves!!Why dont the news ever investigate the wrong doing of the courts? Or are the news only interested in the lies that the courts cover up. There are some good cops out there but they are few and far between.
  • by Hugh Location: Eastern NC also on May 24, 2008 at 05:44 AM
    It sure seems that we are quick to judge others, without walking in their shoes. Law Enforcement Officers put their lives on the line every day so YOU! don't have to, so you are safe!!!, however, should one show "human" qualities and make a mistake...everyone is very very quick to judge. I am really tired of the conspiracy Nuts ALWAYS SAYING ITS THE MONEY! You should thank GOD for those human beings known as "Law Enforcement Offices" who are out there at night working, keeping you and your property safe while you sleep. I am sure you will not change your opinion, but know others do not feel the same as you...Oh by the way have you had a "Run In" with the "law" lately...it sure reads like it. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
  • by CONCERNED Location: EASTERN NC on May 22, 2008 at 10:00 PM
    I AM VERY CONCERNED WHEN LAW INFORCEMENT CAN WEAR THEIR BADGES LIKE A CROWN,THEY THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW.SOMEONE HIGHER IN GOVERMENT NEEDS TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK INTO THE GREEN COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPT!! THEY ACT AS IF THEY CAN CHARGE AND CONVICT SOMEONE WITHOUT A TRIAL.WHO CONTROLS THESE PEOPLE?IN A SMALL TOWN LIKE THIS, WHO MAKES SURE THE LITTLE PEOPLE DONT GET STEPED ON? I THINK THEY HAVE BLOWN THE CASE OF THE YOUNG MAN THAT ACCIDENTLY DROPED HIS CHILD WAY OUT OF PROPORTION THIS IS A TRAVISTY OF JUSTICE.WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE ARE THEY SENDING TO PARENTS? I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT A PERSON WAS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY BY A JURY OF THEIR PEERS, NOT IN GREEN COUNTY EVIDENTLY!!!OUR FOREFATHERS ARE ROLLING IN THEIR GRAVES ON THIS ONE!!! BUT WE ALL KNOW ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!WHERE IS TRUTH AND GOD GONE IN THIS COUNTRY? I KNOW WHERE IT'S NOT,GREEN COUNTY!!!!SOMEONE NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS BEFORE MORE LITTLE PEOPLE HAVE TO SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF THESE UNJUST COPS!!!!

    Editor's Note: Please use upper and lower case when typing posts.

  • by Mike Location: Eastern NC on May 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM
    Officers are people too. In a perfect world everyone is equal and entitled to mistakes. In the real world "dirty laundry sells". In a sensitive situation like a police officer being acussed of assualt and harassment, all the facts should be heard first before the smearing begins. Not doing this only underminds our legal system and the authority of law enforcement.
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