24 Jul In-the-News Update [Issue: Civil-Safe Society]
As the country has witnessed public sentiment toward law enforcement dwindle, the effects of ideological movements like “defund the police” and “ACAB” have yet again resulted in significant and tangible effects on the officers that work to keep the public safe. In this case, a sheriff’s deputy who was assaulted and nearly killed for simply doing her job must now live with the consequences of these movements; to include the acquittal of her assailant.
The attack occurred in 2019 when McCarthy responded to a 9-1-1 call from suspect Ari Young’s mother. Young violently beat McCarthy and attempted to shoot her with her own weapon, but the gun jammed. Despite video evidence showing the attack, the jury acquitted Young of attempted murder and assaulting a peace officer, convicting him only of negligent discharge of a firearm and failing to reach a verdict on other charges. Former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy Meagan McCarthy attributed her assailant’s acquittal to anti-law enforcement bias among jurors.
McCarthy blames recent reforms in California’s jury selection process, which allows jurors with expressed bias against law enforcement to participate. She laments that jurors with anti-law enforcement sentiments were allowed to decide the suspect’s guilt or innocence. California Assembly Bill 3070, focusing on “unfair exclusion” of potential jurors, went into effect in 2022, limiting peremptory challenges based on negative experiences with law enforcement or beliefs about racial profiling.