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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Council votes not to review officer's personnel file

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Marcus Jackson is accused of doing some horrible things that betrayed the public trust. But let's remember one of the main tenets of our society: Innocent until proven guilty.

Last night, the Charlotte City Council voted against reviewing Jackson's personnel file. And, I think, rightfully so. While I agree the police department needs to conduct a thorough review of their hiring practices, to ensure nothing like this ever happens again, the personal information contained in the ousted officer's personnel file isn't any of their business. They can demand the department be more vigilant without sorting through one officer's past -- that's a job for human resources professionals, not our elected officials.

In case you're curious, there is no Constitutional right to privacy though expecting private information to remain private has become a societal norm. One of those norms is that a person's personnel file is usually off limits. Personally, I feel it should stay that way.

City leaders Monday voted not to discuss the personnel record of a former police officer who is accused of sexually assaulting six women.

Marcus Jackson, who had worked as a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer since May 2008, was fired last month following his arrest on multiple charges, including sexual battery and extortion.

Some council members have suggested Jackson's personnel record could shed some light into the police department's oversight.

But in a 6-4 vote Monday evening, council members decided not to hold a closed-door meeting in which the private file would be discussed.

Read the rest of this MSNBC/ NewsChannel 36 article, by Mark Boone, here.

The Twitterverse tunes into the City Council meetings. Follow that Tweet stream here.

Here's more about the so-called "right to privacy" that doesn't exist:

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