Back the Blue Act guts drive for police reform

civil liability limits

photo of 2015 protest of police brutality by Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Back the Blue Act guts incentives to improve policing

In the past two years we’ve seen example after example of excessive force by police officers. Although they too often result in serious injury and death, these assaults rarely result in convictions or even prosecutions for the officers. In some cases, however, victims or families bring successful lawsuits. These serve, as personal injury lawsuits usually do, to bring changes to business as usual. Lawsuits for police abuse and excessive force are an important part of the drive to reform training and policies in police forces.

Tamir Rice murder: No indictment, $6 million settlement

A good example of these system failures is the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, OH, just five days before Thanksgiving. The prosecutor failed to prosecute. Yet, 17 months later the City of Cleveland reached a $6 million settlement with Tamir’s family. It is too early to see what changes might result in policing in Cleveland.

The new U.S. Senate “Back the Blue” Act seeks to remove civil penalties as a tool to reform police departments.

The “Back the Blue Act” has been offered in the Senate in reaction to the recent fatal attacks on police. The Act increases penalties for harming a police officers, no matter how minor.

Robust civil penalties, a tool for change

This blog has made the point often that personal injury lawsuits help improve safety for all of us. Limits on compensation undercuts the ability to hold law enforcement accountable for horrible harm it sometimes inflicts.

Robust civil penalties for police misconduct and excessive force are particularly important. It is much more difficult to prosecute a law enforcement officer for assault or murder than to prosecute a civilian. Separate criminal laws for law enforcement personnel give them wide latitude in the use of deadly force. Although these laws, along with improved training, are currently under review, right now criminal law offers little help to end police attacks. Right now civil lawsuits remain the key tool available.

Back the Blue in its entirety is a gross overreach to address assaults on police officers. Federal law already addresses assaults on law officers. If the law passes, police officers who use excessive force  will continue to escape prison and there will be little access to the courts for victims. The best way to address the recent problems with assaults on police is to quickly move to reform.

John Groseclose, Partner, GSJones Law Group, P.S.

GSJones Law Group, P.S.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

Zealous criminal defense for traffic, misdemeanor, felony and courts martial

criminal defense attorneyGSJones Law Group, P.S., offers zealous criminal defense in state and federal courts.  Our criminal defense attorney, Michele Taylor, is a former prosecutor. In addition, she served as a military lawyer. Expect a respectful, honest and aggressive defense at GSJones Law Group, P.S.

Contact Michele Taylor at once if you have been cited, apprehended, charged, arrested or investigated on allegations of any of the following offenses:

  • DWI/DUI (driving while impaired by alcohol or other drugs)
  • Traffic tickets
  • Underage drinking and driving
  • Violent crimes such as murder
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Sex offenses
  • Assault and battery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Property crimes, including theft and vandalism
  • Breaking and entering
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Drug offenses (possession, possession with intent to distribute, or manufacture of banned substances)
  • Military crimes
  • Courts martial

Two key rules

  • Speak only with your attorney about your case.
  • Tell the police that you will wait for your attorney before answering questions.

You cannot talk your way out of an arrest. Use your right to remain silent! Following these two rules are particularly true, if you believe you have broken no law.

Mitigate the Harm of a Criminal Arrest With Aggressive Defense

When you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, you want the best outcome possible. Without a doubt, your future is worth fighting for. A vigorous defense from the very beginning is your best hedge against negative outcomes. Fines, penalties, jail time, a damaging criminal record or sex offender registration are on the line. Depending on the facts, a better outcome may range anywhere from dismissal of your case to reduced charges or reduced penalties.

Kitsap County DUI/DWI Attorney

Contact Michele Taylor to schedule an initial consultation with a zealous and knowledgeable Port Orchard criminal defense attorney at GSJones Law Group, P.S.

Michele Taylor, representing the accused, immigration lawyer

GSJones Law Group, P.S.

Who We Are

GSJones Law Group, P.S., the law firm that meets all your legal needs.

8 lawyers                    150 years experience

The GS Jones team

A team approach with a 360° look at your legal concerns

  • Stressful Family Times? Divorce, custody, adoption, separation plus.
    Our family law attorneys will guide you to meet your needs with the least distress possible so you can move on with your life.
  • Think Estate Planning is only for the wealthy and elderly? Our Estate Planning lawyers work with many ages and income levels to help you protect your family through all the surprises that life and death can bring.
    Living Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Irrevocable Trusts, and Charitable Gifting Strategies. W
    e help you find just the right the instruments for you. In addition, we guide probate administrators.
  • Have a business or want to start one or have issues to resolve as an employee? Our business attorneys and employment lawyer are here to help you every step of the way.
    Beginning with your business formation and taxation we guide you as you set your business on a safer and firmer footing. We draft basic contracts and forms. In addition, we review or draft personnel manuals and policies. Our lawyers make startups easier and keep you on a winning path.
  • Injured? Our experienced Personal Injury attorneys will fight for you
    We stand ready to guide you through the process and fight fiercely for what you need. Call us for a free case evaluation.
  • Need help with tax penalties, traffic or criminal charges? You won’t find more effective representation than our tax attorney (25 years dealing with IRS) or our criminal defense attorney (former prosecutor).

Life is not always simple. Your legal needs may be complex. Our lawyers work together to meet whatever life throws at you.

Our experience and regular practices encompass 15 major areas of law. Due to this diversity of experience, we can view your case from many angles. A divorce or custody matter may involve changing a trust. One of our estate planning attorneys can work with your family law attorney. Or work on a Visa may require experience in transnational adoption to advise our immigration attorney. An injury may also involve the expertise of our employment attorney to ensure that injuries don’t result in problems with employment.

GSJones Law Group Partners

Our Partners, David Jones, Norman Short and John Groseclose,
bring 60 years experience in
personal injury, family law, tax, business and estate planning law

Clients  appreciate the GSJones Law Group team approach

Your legal concerns are of great significance. Critical issues may include

  • property loss
  • large sums of money
  • jail versus freedom
  • strengthening or weakening of family ties
  • debt oppression versus debt relief
  • health or demise of a business
  • approved or denied immigration status
  • timely versus delayed administration of an estate.

Our extensive trial experience is critical for our clients. Yet the vast majority of our clients’ goals are accomplished without a need to go to trial. When it becomes necessary, we are prepared — and we work hard to ensure that our clients are prepared as well. We guide you through some of your most challenging times and help you plan for a better future. We are experienced in your world – the world we find in Kitsap County of families, work and small businesses.

Clients appreciate our commitment to our community

Lawyers and staff at GSJones Law Group are active members of our communities. We work to ensure that folks here have access to the courts regardless of their means. In 2019 the Kitsap Bar Association recognized the 400 hours of volunteer services our lawyers and other staff provided in 2018 with the Humanitarian Award. Many serve on the board and as volunteers with Kitsap Legal Services.  Recently, one partner began working with non-profits that help immigrant children with legal needs. In addition, our criminal law attorney takes court appointments. Two of our partners serve the legal community through serving as Judge Pro Tem, commissioner for settlement conferences, Continuing Legal Education leaders, and guardian ad litem. Some are also active in the community services Rotary Clubs provide.

From church choirs that perform at prisons to organizing popular marathons and working for food availability our lawyers and staff volunteer work to make a difference.

Contact GSJones Law Group, your Kitsap County Law Firm

Call or message us to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Port Orchard and Bainbridge Island, we provide full service to Kitsap County and surrounding communities including Bremerton, Silverdale,  Seabeck, Gig Harbor, and the area Naval facilities.

We specialize in you.