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This morning a Phoenix police officer, conducting a routine traffic stop, was shot multiple times by the vehicle’s driver. Fortunately, it appears that his bullet proof vest may have saved the officer’s life, and we at Robbins & Curtin wish this officer a speedy and complete recovery.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  In August alone, at least seven officers were killed in the line of duty.  Some, such as Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth, appear to have been targeted solely because of his uniform.

The law firm of Robbins & Curtin specializes in civil rights cases, including cases involving claims of excessive force by police officers. However, our firm’s specialization does not diminish our respect for the vast majority of officers who, every day, brave the dangers of the job to protect and serve. In our decades of civil rights experience, we have gained a respect for the issues and the dangers that confront police officers on a daily basis.

Our firm believes in personal responsibility. A police officer’s job is to hold others accountable for their wrongs, and a police officer should not be exempt from this fundamental principle. Thus, when an officer unjustifiably injures a person or takes another’s life, the officer, like everyone else, should be held accountable. Notably, in my experience, most police officers have no issue with this mantra. In fact, it has been my honor to represent numerous police officers in my career, many of whom have been the victim of the few officers who abuse their authority.

Nonetheless, today we honor those officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. To honor those brave officers, our firm has today made a donation to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Charities, whose purpose is, among other things, to assist the families of fallen officers.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank these officers, and to express our complete and total condemnation of the cowards who target these brave men and women. Finally, we wanted to take this opportunity to look on the other side of the badge.

We demand a level of professionalism and respect from police officers. As long as they are acting within their bounds, we as citizens should act within ours. The same respect that we demand from police officers is owed to them. Cursing and rudeness should not be condoned on either side of the badge. It may not justify an officer using excessive or deadly force, but it also may cause an officer to be rude in response. Take a moment next time you encounter a police officer to show them the respect and courtesy they deserve. Wave at an officer just to let them know that you support their service and their badge. From all of us at Robbins & Curtin, thank you for your service.

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