Target: Randall Fontana
Goal: Thank Randall Fontana for holding the Federal Way police accountable for their abusive police tactics
When someone is tragically murdered everyone wants to find justice for the victim. It is an honorable search, but it is not one that should be undertaken recklessly and at the cost of violating innocent bystanders’ personal liberties. Unfortunately, a 2008 incident in Washington State resulted in exactly that type of situation. In pursuit of the a murderer, the Federal Way police severely abused the rights of Randall Fontana.
In the search of the murderer of Jane Britt, a 75-year-old woman who was found murdered outside of her husband’s nursing home, the Federal Way police were unnecessarily violent with Randall Fontana. In addition to handcuffing Fontana to a park bench, police also physically hurt him and caused damage to his body. The police claimed that they never arrested Randall, but he was detained for hours, handcuffed to a bench, and his home was violated on the premise of a warrant based on falsified evidence.
Not everyone would have the courage to stand up to the police, especially after receiving such treatment. It can be hard to demand justice and personal respect after you have experienced what it is like not to have them. Randall Fontana found the courage to file a civil rights lawsuit over his treatment. It has been a long case, but he was recently awarded a payment to cover his injuries. This small award is a start, but you can do your part by joining together and thanking Randall Fontana for holding the police accountable. Because of his efforts, we are all safer.
Dear Randall Fontana,
On behalf of everyone who has ever been abused by the police, or known someone who was abused, and had neither the courage nor the resources to stand up for themselves, thank you for standing up against the abusive police tactics used by the Federal Way police department. It is a tragic incident whenever someone is murdered, but that does not give police the right to use excessive force when investigating potential suspects.
It is critical that police departments nationwide, not just in Washington State, hear stories like yours. There is a huge problem in this country with excessive police force and other incorrect or unethical police behavior. Cases like yours are, tragically, all too common. Falsified evidence, excessive force, and unlawful detentions all undermine the effectiveness of the police force and the willingness of citizens to assist police in catching criminals.
Not everyone has the courage to do what you did. What you experienced was terrifying: being illegally detained and handcuffed to a bench while your belongings and home were searched. Police who abuse their power do not make it easy to seek justice. By standing up for yourself, you stood up for everyone who has been in your same position. We cannot thank you enough. By holding the Federal Way police accountable, you hold all police accountable.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: v1ctor Casale via Flickr