Law Enforcers Get Bad Rap For Actions Of One Of Their Own

As part of the national police week observation, the annual ceremony at the Gulfport Police Department salutes law enforcement officers. But lingering questions and the lengthy investigation about the beating death of Harrison County jail inmate Jessie Williams have cast a suspicious public cloud over the law enforcement profession.

"I know people try to group us into the same kettle, so to speak. If one law enforcement officer makes a mistake or does something wrong, then they perceive us all that way," says Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Virgil Moore.

Officers say they shouldn't be judged by the actions of one - especially when no one's been charged in Williams death.

Leonard Papania of the Gulfport Police Department says, "Upon the conclusion and the determination of that case, the public is going to make some decisions about how they view law enforcement."

Until the case is closed, officers say people have the wrong idea and need to keep an open mind.

"Sometimes we make mistakes and as long as we own up to what we do and try to handle things in a professional manner, I think we're good. I think to lump everybody together based on one action would be the wrong thing to do in any situation," says Gulfport Officer David Waltman.