Why Due Process is Important in Red Flag Laws

Oct 3, 2023 | Red Flag Laws

“A married Pennsylvania state trooper was arrested after allegedly falsely committing his ex-girlfriend to a mental health facility and assaulting the woman, prosecutors announced.”

Emma Colton, “State trooper abused power after forcing ex-girlfriend into mental hospital: DA,” Fox News, September 26, 2023

Prosecutors agreed, alleging Davis intentionally misrepresented the texts Perfanov had sent him to exert control over her. . . .

Reuven Fenton and Alex Oliveira, “Ex-mistress of cop seen violently ‘detaining’ her over mental health says video ‘speaks for itself’,” New York Post, September 27, 2023.

This woman was involuntarily held for 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation. Because a police officer misleadingly doctored her text messages, without a hearing, this woman was committed as a danger to herself. At least under the civil commitment law in Pennsylvania, protections eventually allowed the woman to be released. Under Red Flag laws, it could be a month before someone like this woman could confront false claims.

Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Dauphin County District Attorney is prosecuting state trooper Ronald Davis, but people who lie to courts are very rarely held responsible for those lies. The officer selectively edited her text messages to make her appear to have mental health problems. These texts were sufficient to get her committed. The first video above is from the Pennsylvania Dauphin County District Attorney. Unfortunately for Davis, he recorded it.