Who watches the watchmen?: KC cop sentenced to probation for Tumblr child porn

Who watches the watchmen?: KC cop sentenced to probation for Tumblr child porn
Vincent A. Spilker

30-year-old Vincent A. Spilker was a Kansas City cop when he posted child porn to microblogging site Tumblr in 2018. Part of Spilker’s username made reference to ‘billy jean’ because he was a Michael Jackson fan. Draw your own parallels there. Tumblr themselves came across the images that Spilker posted and reported it to the NCMEC. The NCMEC in turn reported the images to the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

In September 2019, Spilker was indicted on five counts of child pornography, which could have seen him imprisoned for 15 years for each offense. Back in February, Spilker pleaded guilty to two counts of child porn. Instead of receiving a 30-year prison sentence, he was only sentenced to five years probation. To be fair, Spilker also has to register as a sex offender, not be alone with children, and can never work as a police officer again, anywhere. Is this enough, though?

If Spilker had been a civilian, would he have received such a light sentence? I do believe that police should be held to a higher standard since they’re entrusted with protecting the public. That means if they betray that trust, their punishment should be more severe, especially when it comes to crimes against children. Some people may argue that he ‘just’ shared child porn and didn’t harm an actual child. Except when you share child porn, you are actually harming a child. The children in those images are being exploited and abused. To share such images not only means that you enjoy the abuse these children endured, but you want to share that abuse with others. How is that not harmful?

Spilker took a test that supposedly showed he’s a low-risk offender, but who would know better how to pass such a test than a police officer?

Again, I’m not an ACAB type of guy. I think there are plenty of good police officers out there. However, absolute power corrupts absolutely and those who betray their badge need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Furthermore, anyone who protects them or gives them preferential treatment in their prosecution are, in my eyes, just as culpable in their crimes.

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