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Does Simon Drobik deserve what he gave others? A perp walk?

By Dan Klein

Now that the Albuquerque Police Department has basically accused its former spokesman, Simon Drobik, of being a crook, the question that comes up is does Drobik deserve what he dished out to so many others when he was the department's PIO? That is, does he deserve to be judged guilty, by way of the perp walk, before he even been charged with a crime, let alone tried in a court of law?

Will APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos do what Drobik did to so many people, that is, provide the local TV reporters the opportunity to shout disgusting, idiotic and accusatory questions at Drobik while he is being paraded from police headquarters, in front of a gaggle of reporters, to a police vehicle?

Live at 10! Will we get to witness young female reporters screaming into Simon’s face, “Why did you steal money from the public?” To be followed up by Gallegos providing a sound bite exclaiming how disgusted he is at Simon's crimes.

For years Drobik and APD orchestrated perp walks for the local TV media, forcing people accused of a crime, but not convicted, to be paraded in handcuffs in front of screaming TV reporters. By creating this carnival scene where reporters scream into the face of handcuffed prisoners, Drobik, APD, and the TV media played the role of judge, jury and executioner while defaming people who are considered innocent until proven guilty. The reporters and news directors at KOB, KRQE and KOAT were all too happy to play along. Who cares if the person ended up being innocent? It was ratings that they wanted, and Drobik, with the permission of those in charge at APD, gave it to them in the form of sleazy perp walks.

Now Drobik may find himself on the other side of the line. APD is accusing Drobik of multiple violations of police policy and possibly criminal acts in connection with his massive overtime pay claims. Sad, how once again APD is made to look foolish in the eyes of the public they serve. How much inept management of APD can the citizens allow before they demand real change? Mayor Keller may find out soon.

Will Simon get the same sleazy perp walk treatment that he has given to others? I hope not, because making people who are presumed innocent participate in a perp walk, where the police allow the media to scream their guilt at them, is sick and not what a professional American police department does.

But Simon, who was a cop, did it time after time to people who were presumed innocent. Does he deserve the same treatment?


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