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The Logic of the Police State
People Are Waking Up to the Darkness in American Policing, and the Police Don’t Like It One Bit
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If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming — and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do.

Indeed, a closer look at law enforcement arguments against commonsense reforms like independently investigating police violence, demilitarizing police forces, or ending “for-profit policing” reveals a striking disregard for concerns of just about any sort when it comes to brutality and abuse. What this “debate” has revealed, in fact, is a mainstream policing mindset ready to manufacture fear without evidence and promote the belief that American civil rights and liberties are actually an impediment to public safety. In the end, such law enforcement arguments subvert the very idea that the police are there to serve the community and should be under civilian control.

And that, when you come right down to it, is the logic of the police state.

Due Process Plus

It’s no mystery why so few police officers are investigated and prosecuted for using excessive force and violating someone’s rights. “Local prosecutors rely on local police departments to gather the evidence and testimony they need to successfully prosecute criminals,” according to Campaign Zero . “This makes it hard for them to investigate and prosecute the same police officers in cases of police violence.”

Since 2005, according to an analysis by the Washington Post and Bowling Green State University, only 54 officers have been prosecuted nationwide, despite the thousands of fatal shootings by police. As Philip M. Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green, puts it, “To charge an officer in a fatal shooting, it takes something so egregious, so over the top that it cannot be explained in any rational way. It also has to be a case that prosecutors are willing to hang their reputation on.”

For many in law enforcement, however, none of this should concern any of us. When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order appointing a special prosecutor to investigate police killings, for instance, Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, insisted: “Given the many levels of oversight that already exist, both internally in the NYPD [New York Police Department] and externally in many forms, the appointment of a special prosecutor is unnecessary.” Even before Cuomo’s decision, the chairman of New York’s District Attorneys Association called plans to appoint a special prosecutor for police killings “deeply insulting.”

Such pushback against the very idea of independently investigating police actions has, post-Ferguson, become everyday fare, and some law enforcement leaders have staked out a position significantly beyond that. The police, they clearly believe, should get special treatment.

“By virtue of our dangerous vocation, we should expect to receive the benefit of the doubt in controversial incidents,” wrote Ed Mullins, the president of New York City’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, in the organization’s magazine, Frontline. As if to drive home the point, its cover depicts Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby under the ominous headline “The Wolf That Lurks.” In May, Mosby had announced indictments of six officers in the case of Freddie Gray, who died in Baltimore police custody the previous month. The message being sent to a prosecutor willing to indict cops was hardly subtle: you’re a traitor.

Mullins put forward a legal standard for officers accused of wrongdoing that he would never support for the average citizen — and in a situation in which cops already get what former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson calls “a super presumption of innocence.” In addition, police unions in many states have aggressively pushed for their own bills of rights, which make it nearly impossible for police officers to be fired, much less charged with crimes when they violate an individual’s civil rights and liberties.

In 14 states, versions of a Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR) have already been passed, while in 11 others they are under consideration. These provide an “extra layer of due process” in cases of alleged police misconduct, according to Samuel Walker, an expert on police accountability. In many of the states without a LEOBR, the Marshall Project has discovered, police unions have directly negotiated the same rights and privileges with state governments.

LEOBRs are, in fact, amazingly un-American documents in the protections they afford officers accused of misconduct during internal investigations, rights that those officers are never required to extend to their suspects. Though the specific language of these laws varies from state to state, notes Mike Riggs in Reason, they are remarkably similar in their special considerations for the police.

“Unlike a member of the public, the officer gets a ‘cooling off’ period before he has to respond to any questions. Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation is privy to the names of his complainants and their testimony against him before he is ever interrogated. Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation is to be interrogated ‘at a reasonable hour,’ with a union member present. Unlike a member of the public, the officer can only be questioned by one person during his interrogation. Unlike a member of the public, the officer can be interrogated only ‘for reasonable periods,’ which ‘shall be timed to allow for such personal necessities and rest periods as are reasonably necessary.’ Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation cannot be ‘threatened with disciplinary action’ at any point during his interrogation. If he is threatened with punishment, whatever he says following the threat cannot be used against him.”

The Marshall Project refers to these laws as the “Blue Shield” and “the original Bill of Rights with an upgrade.’’ Police associations, naturally, don’t agree. “All this does is provide a very basic level of constitutional protections for our officers, so that they can make statements that will stand up later in court,” says Vince Canales, the president of Maryland’s Fraternal Order of Police.

Put another way, there are two kinds of due process in America — one for cops and another for the rest of us. This is the reason why the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights and civil liberties organizations regularly call on states to create a special prosecutor’s office to launch independent investigations when police seriously injure or kill someone.

The Demilitarized Blues

Since Americans first took in those images from Ferguson of police units outfitted like soldiers, riding in military vehicles, and pointing assault rifles at protesters, the militarization of the police and the way the Pentagon has been supplying them with equipment directly off this country’s distant battlefields have been top concerns for police reformers. In May, the Obama administration suggested modest changes to the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which, since 1990, has been redistributing weaponry and equipment to police departments nationwide — urban, suburban, and rural — in the name of fighting the war on drugs and protecting Americans from terrorism.

Even the idea that the police shouldn’t sport the look of an occupying army in local communities has, however, been met with fierce resistance. Read, for example, the online petition started by the National Sheriffs’ Association and you could be excused for thinking that the Obama administration was aggressively moving to stop the flow of military-grade equipment to local and state police agencies. (It isn’t.) The message that tops the petition is as simple as it is misleading: “Don’t strip law enforcement of the gear they need to keep us safe.”

The Obama administration has done no such thing. In May, the president announced that he was prohibiting certain military-grade equipment from being transferred to state and local law enforcement. “Some equipment made for the battlefield is not appropriate for local police departments,” he said. The list included tracked armored vehicles (essentially tanks), bayonets, grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms, and guns and ammo of .50 caliber or higher. In reality, what use could a local police department have for bayonets, grenade launchers, or the kinds of bullets that resemble small missiles, pierce armor, and can blow people’s limbs off?

Yet the sheriffs’ association has no problem complaining that “the White House announced the government would no longer provide equipment like helicopters and MRAPs [mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles] to local law enforcement.” And it’s not even true. Police departments can still obtain both helicopters and MRAPs if they establish community policing practices, institute training protocols, and get community approval before the equipment transfer occurs.

“Helicopters rescue runaways and natural disaster victims,” the sheriff’s association adds gravely, “and MRAPs are used to respond to shooters who barricade themselves in neighborhoods and are one of the few vehicles able to navigate hurricane, snowstorm, and tornado-strewn areas to save survivors.”

As with our wars abroad, think mission creep at home. A program started to wage the war on drugs, and strengthened after 9/11, is now being justified on the grounds that certain equipment is useful during disasters or emergencies. In reality, the police have clearly become hooked on a militarized look. Many departments are ever more attached to their weapons of war and evidently don’t mind the appearance of being an occupying force in their communities, which leaves groups like the sheriffs’ association fighting fiercely for a militarized future.

Legal Plunder

In July, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona sued law enforcement in Pinal County, Arizona, on behalf of Rhonda Cox. Two years before, her son had stolen some truck accessories and, without her knowledge, fitted them on her truck. When the county sheriff’s department arrested him, it also seized the truck.

Arriving on the scene of her son’s arrest, Cox asked a deputy about getting her truck back. No way, he told her. After she protested, explaining that she had nothing to do with her son’s alleged crimes, he responded “too bad.” Under Arizona law, the truck could indeed be taken into custody and kept or sold off by the sheriff’s department even though she was never charged with a crime. It was guilty even if she wasn’t.

Welcome to America’s civil asset forfeiture laws, another product of law enforcement’s failed war on drugs, updated for the twenty-first century. Originally designed to deprive suspected real-life Scarfaces of the spoils of their illicit trade — houses, cars, boats — it now regularly deprives people unconnected to the war on drugs of their property without due process of law and in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Not surprisingly, corruption follows.

Federal and state law enforcement can now often keep property seized or sell it and retain a portion of the revenue generated. Some of this, in turn, can be repurposed and distributed as bonuses in police and other law enforcement departments. The only way the dispossessed stand a chance of getting such “forfeited” property back is if they are willing to take on the government in a process where the deck is stacked against them.

In such cases, for instance, property owners have no right to an attorney to defend them, which means that they must either pony up additional cash for a lawyer or contest the seizure themselves in court. “It is an upside-down world where,” says the libertarian Institute for Justice, “the government holds all the cards and has the financial incentive to play them to the hilt.”

In this century, civil asset forfeiture has mutated into what’s now called “for-profit policing” in which police departments and state and federal law enforcement agencies indiscriminately seize the property of citizens who aren’t drug kingpins. Sometimes, for instance, distinctly ordinary citizens suspected of driving drunk or soliciting prostitutes get their cars confiscated. Sometimes they simply get cash taken from them on suspicion of low-level drug dealing.

Like most criminal justice issues, race matters in civil asset forfeiture. This summer, the ACLU of Pennsylvania issued a report, Guilty Property, documenting how the Philadelphia Police Department and district attorney’s office abused state civil asset forfeiture by taking at least $1 million from innocent people within the city limits. Approximately 70% of the time, those people were black, even though the city’s population is almost evenly divided between whites and African-Americans.

Currently, only one state, New Mexico, has done away with civil asset forfeiture entirely, while also severely restricting state and local law enforcement from profiting off similar national laws when they work with the feds. (The police in Albuquerque are, however, actively defying the new law, demonstrating yet again the way in which police departments believe the rules don’t apply to them.) That no other state has done so is hardly surprising. Police departments have become so reliant on civil asset forfeiture to pad their budgets and acquire “little goodies” that reforming, much less repealing, such laws are a tough sell.

As with militarization, when police defend such policies, you sense their urgent desire to maintain what many of them now clearly think of as police rights. In August, for instance, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu sent a fundraising email to his supporters using the imagined peril of the ACLU lawsuit as clickbait. In justifying civil forfeiture, he failed to mention that a huge portion of the money goes to enrich his own department, but praised the program in this fashion:

“[O]ver the past seven years, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has donated $1.2 million of seized criminal money to support youth programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, YMCA, high school graduation night lock-in events, youth sports as well as veterans groups, local food banks, victims assistance programs, and Home of Home in Casa Grande.”

Under this logic, police officers can steal from people who haven’t even been charged with a crime as long as they share the wealth with community organizations — though, in fact, neither in Pinal County or elsewhere is that where most of the confiscated loot appears to go. Think of this as the development of a culture of thievery masquerading as Robin Hood in blue.

Contempt for Civilian Control

Post-Ferguson developments in policing are essentially a struggle over whether the police deserve special treatment and exceptions from the rules the rest of us must follow. For too long, they have avoided accountability for brutal misconduct, while in this century arming themselves for war on America’s streets and misusing laws to profit off the public trust, largely in secret. The events of the past two years have offered graphic evidence that police culture is dysfunctional and in need of a democratic reformation.

There are, of course, still examples of law enforcement leaders who see the police as part of American society, not exempt from it. But even then, the reformers face stiff resistance from the law enforcement communities they lead. In Minneapolis, for instance, Police Chief Janeé Harteau attempted to have state investigators look into incidents when her officers seriously hurt or killed someone in the line of duty. Police union opposition killed her plan. In Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey ordered his department to publicly release the names of officers involved in shootings within 72 hours of any incident. The city’s police union promptly challenged his policy, while the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill in November to stop the release of the names of officers who fire their weapon or use force when on the job unless criminal charges are filed. Not surprisingly, three powerful police unions in the state supported the legislation.

In the present atmosphere, many in the law enforcement community see the Harteaus and Ramseys of their profession as figures who don’t speak for them, and groups or individuals wanting even the most modest of police reforms as so many police haters. As former New York Police Department Commissioner Howard Safir told Fox News in May, “Similar to athletes on the playing field, sometimes it’s difficult to tune out the boos from the no-talents sipping their drinks, sitting comfortably in their seats. It’s demoralizing to read about the misguided anti-cop gibberish spewing from those who take their freedoms for granted.”

The disdain in such imagery, increasingly common in the world of policing, is striking. It smacks of a police-state, bunker mentality that sees democratic values and just about any limits on the power of law enforcement as threats. In other words, the Safirs want the public — particularly in communities of color and poor neighborhoods — to shut up and do as it’s told when a police officer says so. If the cops give the orders, compliance — so this line of thinking goes — isn’t optional, no matter how egregious the misconduct or how sensible the reforms. Obey or else.

The post-Ferguson public clamor demanding better policing continues to get louder, and yet too many police departments have this to say in response: Welcome to Cop Land. We make the rules around here.

Matthew Harwood is senior writer/editor of the ACLU. His work has appeared at Al Jazeera America , the American Conservative , the Guardian ,Guernica , Salon , War is Boring , and the Washington Monthly . He is aTomDispatch regular.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Militarized police, Police State 
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  1. Kiza says:

    Just like in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, everyone is equal, but some are more equal than the others:

    1) Unlike a member of the public, the officer gets a ‘cooling off’ period before he has to respond to any questions.
    2) Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation is privy to the names of his complainants and their testimony against him before he is ever interrogated.
    3) Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation is to be interrogated ‘at a reasonable hour,’ with a union member present.
    4) Unlike a member of the public, the officer can only be questioned by one person during his interrogation.
    5) Unlike a member of the public, the officer can be interrogated only ‘for reasonable periods,’ which ‘shall be timed to allow for such personal necessities and rest periods as are reasonably necessary.’
    6) Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation cannot be ‘threatened with disciplinary action’ at any point during his interrogation. If he is threatened with punishment, whatever he says following the threat cannot be used against him.

    Just imagine the rules which apply to the privileged, if these are the rules for their servants – the police.

  2. JackOH says:

    Thanks, Matthew. Back in the 1930s, my Dad was a police cadet before making a first career of the military. I have his law ‘n’ order genes. But, in late middle age, I discovered a sub-species of law enforcement officer–the crooked cop.

    One of them gave me a very minor rough-up after I’d published stuff that appeared to offend a local Mr. Big. His reward, I can only guess, was a cushy government job in an institution in which Mr. Big enjoys significant influence. I kept on writing and publishing, but I was pretty damned scared for a long while. I could forget about pursuing legal action against this piece-of-dung cop. A criminal complaint would have me up against the thin blue line, and a civil action would have been a money proposition.

    Another very senior cop I knew to a certainty was on two full-time government payrolls at the same time. He pretty much admitted to me in a joking way he’d been scolded by a local judge for attempted jury tampering, although he didn’t phrase it that way, and he was too dim or arrogant to care that I knew his actions were probably illegal.

    Do we need cops? Sure. Are most cops okay? Sure. We need guys willing to do traffic stops at 3:00 A. M. But, I still haven’t got the stink of crooked cop out of my nostrils.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Michelle
  3. Rumpole57 says:

    As is the case for bad conduct by members of other protected groups, whose outrageous acts have here-to-fore been covered up or under reported, Youtube and cell phone cameras are changing everything. A few posts by disgusted witnesses, and the pattern becomes undeniable.

  4. Art says:

    If I were a policeman I would want the TV program “Cops” taken of the air. It shown cops lording it over the bad guys. That is the purpose of the program. Among a very small segment of the populate this is red meat for cop hating that leads to confrontations that lead to someone dying, sometimes cops. We can be sure that there are dead cops because of that program.

    Like it or not there is a significant segment of the police population who come to work with a Seal Team 6 wannabe attitude. No question, there are cops that crave the action that leads to death. They must be weeded out.

  5. Rehmat says:

    The correct heading should had been “Living Under Israelized Police”.

    American journalist, Max Blumenthal has claimed that American internal securities have long been Israelized. The pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups ADL, AJC, and others are on record of sending police and military officials to Israel for “counter-mob” training. Israeli military officials are also sponsored by Pentagon and FBI to provide training for the so-called “counter-terrorism” – because who else would know to fight terrorism than a terrorist.

    On March 11, 2003, American Muslim civil liberties groups issued report on violation of constitutional rights of Muslims. It listed how pro-Israel police officials’ illegal activities are harming the Muslim community at religious and social level. After conducting spying operation Muslim preachers at dozens of mosques, both Bloomberg and Kelly admitted that NYPD could not find a single proof that American Muslims were involved in terrorist activities against fellow Americans. The illegal spying operations against Muslim were first revealed in 2011.

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/06/19/civil-rights-groups-sue-jewish-mayor-and-nypd/

  6. Chopper says:

    As a cop ,I take pride in the fact you find cop haters on all sides of the political spectrum. There’s a kind of nobility to it. I won’t bother to argue the usual social justice-y anti cop rhetoric in this article, it’s identical to the bilge turned out weekly in Salon et al. I’ll just make one point, policing is essentially a dirty job that people are more than willing to pay someone else to do. No one is forcing police on the public, the vast majority of police are hired and payed for by the most local of governments, citys and counties. Even in the mists of the most anti cop rhetoric there is always a demand for more cops.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Kiza
    , @Linda
  7. KA [AKA "Carthage"] says:

    In America ,everything has been turned on its head . Cops or , religious figures , neurosurgeons or the small town bankers or the academic – none are immune,none are safe,none feel the same loyalty or owe same responsiblity that one generations ago,their members used to feel or embody Cops are the product of post 911 zeitgeist actively promoted,encouraged,and anointed to move in one particular direction . America, today,there is only one virtue that it allows- hatred ,vile,anti,south,and entitlement Trump can’t go wrong by hating . So is MCCain or Bohener or Cheney or Boykin .
    Language and emotions are same . Target is different . Context is altered but the essence of the context is same – America is always fighting bad people . Every force in its arsenal has to join including cop,public,students,teachers,traders and consumers.
    . Everybody is supposed to do according to what the empire wants.
    A new situation one newly constructed reality out of haze,anger,fog,uncertainty,and temptations of revenge following decades of honing an harping of good vs evil ,democracy vs nazi/ communism,good vs terrorism and open vs closed economy or societies are also creating virtual world of evil forces inside and within America.
    Are we supposed to be surprised!

  8. Mr. Anon says:
    @Chopper

    “I won’t bother to argue the usual social justice-y anti cop rhetoric in this article, it’s identical to the bilge turned out weekly in Salon et al.”

    Yeah, why grapple with facts you cannot dispute.

    “Even in the mists of the most anti cop rhetoric there is always a demand for more cops.”

    No there isn’t. That demand is drummed up by politicians who are seeking the support of police unions.

    People are really beginning to despise cops because so many of them prove to be corrupt, arrogant pricks, like you.

    • Replies: @chopper
    , @in the middle
  9. Mr. Anon says:

    “In August, for instance, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu sent a fundraising email to his supporters using the imagined peril of the ACLU lawsuit as clickbait. In justifying civil forfeiture, he failed to mention that a huge portion of the money goes to enrich his own department, but praised the program in this fashion:”

    Babeu, a (formerly closeted) homosexual, may also have abused his power by threatening to have his former lover deported.

    Deportation threat

  10. Mr. Anon says:

    “As a cop ,I take pride in the fact you find cop haters on all sides of the political spectrum.”

    Cop haters? That’s funny. A lot of the rest of us refer to you cops as “citizen haters”.

    By the way, care to try to justify the cop-riot that took place in Newtown, after the Boston Marathon bombing? Columns of armored vehicles rolling down the street, cops rousting people out of their homes at gunpoint and conducting warrantless searches, cops pointing guns at people looking at them from windows. Was all that a “public service”?

    • Replies: @JustJeff
  11. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @JackOH

    But, I still haven’t got the stink of crooked cop out of my nostrils.

    Back in the old days, 60’s and before, the police in Chicago were notoriously crooked. Bars had to pay monthly ‘protection’ based on estimated income to police bagmen who came around to collect. Other businesses were also shook down. The police district commanders would get the money and then distribute it amongst the district police. They would vie to become a district commander for the purpose of getting all that graft. Things aren’t like that anymore but it shows what happens when there’s inadequate oversight and control. Of course nowadays they still have the ‘no snitching’ practice among themselves.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  12. The Police State is here to stay. The time to do something about it was waaaay back at the beginning of the War On Drugs. What once was our constitution is stone cold dead. Our political class at the federal level (dirt bag traitors) have refused and are refusing to enforce the law (the constitution). The Democratic and Republican political parties are a front for the criminal gang (Oligarchy – Deep State – Moneyed Interests) that finds the rule of law inconvenient. If you are still supporting these legacy parties you are supporting the Police State.

    I often hear references to the abject political ignorance of the American electorate. The 40% who don’t vote (see link) are relatively blameless. It’s the 60% who continuously endorse and return to power the traitorous D’s and R’s who need to learn the first rule of holes.

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/voting-statistics/

  13. chopper says:
    @Mr. Anon

    “Demand is drummed up by politicians who are seeking the support of police unions” makes my point. Its been my experience that politicians like to get reelected. They never promise less cops. Maybe all you cop despise-rs can get together and elect someone to run on the platform of ridding society of police, see where that gets you.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  14. joe webb says:

    ACLU is a criminal organization run by jews and hostile to the majority of of whites in our country.

    When you need a cop, call a liberal, or a hippie, or a beatnik, or a girl.

    What is overlooked here is that the criminal element is Black and to a lesser degree, Brown.

    My own experience with local cops is that they have not done right by me and my anti-immigrant actions. They are scared of anybody who disrupts the lies of our times. And the brass wants retirement income that usually is right around the corner.

    So because I am smart and rational, I recognize the bind that cops are in.
    And I love the cops. They know about racial realities, and they know what the ACLU is, a bunch of commies, lberals, jews, and other Haters of Whites.

    Joe Webb

    • Replies: @in the middle
  15. JackOH says:
    @anonymous

    Yeah, I learned more than I ever wanted to about a local zillionaire who has his hooks into just about every institution and every political player in my area. They’re dumb enough to think they haven’t had their balls snipped off. They don’t care that their balls have been snipped off.

    In my area we’ve had numerous prosecutions of local law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, and other officials. FBI transcripts of wiretaps have been published in my local paper. Justice for sale, pay to play, cops working for the Mob and drug-dealing black gangsters. There’s no nuance.

    Thanks for your reply.

  16. Kiza says:
    @Chopper

    I like your nick: Chopper, a kind of says it all. Accordingly, you could not tell the difference between the anti-bad-cop rhetoric and anti-cop rhetoric. Did the article say anywhere that all cops are bad? Is it not understandable that the citizens want good cops only, especially considering the extreme imbalance in power between the cops and the citizens? You wrote that the cop job is dirty, I think everyone would agree. But so is garbage collection, with only a small difference that a garbage collector will not shoot me in the back for running away from him. Considering the authorization to use deadly force on ordinary citizens (legalized killers), the cops should be regulated even more than ordinary citizens, not less. Any society which enables impunity of the police, is a police state, and will eventually collapse no matter how much violence the police dishes out on citizenry. Therefore, this is not really your problem, then the problem of the whole society.

    But I know I would be running around in circles trying to explain these things to you. Soldiers and cops are told what to think and no heresy allowed.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  17. JustJeff says:

    This touches on whether or not public employees should be allowed to unionize. But that’s of course something Mr. ACLU won’t touch with a ten foot pole.

  18. Things have changed in the last 60 years, not for the better and a lot of it due to organizations like ACLU. The police used to feel they were part of the local community whose job it was to protect the community from anti-social types. They treated the anti-socials pretty roughly as an outgroup, as law keepers been wont to do for as long as they have existed.

    Humans being humans, there were always lawbreakers who otherwise conformed with visible social norms, and law-abiding people who just didn’t conform to social norms. This created a kind of social dissonance that was vulnerable to attack. The ACLU would have us believe that their interest in attacking the bond between police and the dominant social structure has been justice. There are others who believe that their interest has been the breakdown of that dominant social structure.

    Arguments about motives aside, what is clear to me is that the police have been transformed. They no longer see themselves as part of law-abiding society, but as a separate entity, and essentially ALL civilians as outsiders. This is another of the many things that are eroding our consensual society.

    Not hard to predict where it is going.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

  19. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Combine stagnant wages a tough job market with aggressive policing and excessively high fines for petty infractions, you get a boiling seething resentment. Government has nobody to blame but themselves.

  20. One aspect of police bonapartism that is almost always ignored is the cops’ prerogative to lie to the public. Why are so few citizens bothered?

    See “Authorized Police Prevarication as a Clue to the Nature of the State” – http://juridicalcoherence.blogspot.com/2014/11/250-authorized-police-prevarication-as.html

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  21. JustJeff says:
    @Mr. Anon

    The most ridiculous part of that affair was that the cops didn’t even find the bomber. Some guy found him in his backyard completely by accident after the cops were finished searching door-to-door and having the city locked down for 24 hours. Didn’t stop people from shaking their hands when it was all done. When I saw that I knew things had changed. The American people don’t give a damn about freedom anymore, liberals or conservatives.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  22. Mr. Anon says:
    @chopper

    “They never promise less cops.”

    Hey, you even write like a cop.

    “Maybe all you cop despise-rs can get together and elect someone to run on the platform of ridding society of police, see where that gets you.”

    Nobody (who isn’t an anarchist anyway) wants to get rid of the police. We just don’t want them to have extraordinary powers they ought not to have (like special interrogation protocols, living off booty from their arrests, etc.) and to abide by the Constitution they have sworn to defend. Also, we want them to not act like dicks.

    Your casual contempt of the citizenry bespeaks well of what a valuable public servant you undoubtedly are.

    • Replies: @Chopper
  23. Mr. Anon says:
    @JustJeff

    “Didn’t stop people from shaking their hands when it was all done. When I saw that I knew things had changed. The American people don’t give a damn about freedom anymore, liberals or conservatives.”

    Yeah, that was an eye opener. And it all happened in Boston, almost on the anniversary of Lexington and Concord. As disgusted as I was by the actions of the gestapo police, I was even more disgusted by those idiots fist-pumping and honking at the police in triumph afterwards. Americans seem to have lost that instinctive taste for liberty that used to be considered characteristic of this country.

  24. Mr. Anon says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    “One aspect of police bonapartism that is almost always ignored is the cops’ prerogative to lie to the public. Why are so few citizens bothered?”

    Lying to a federal investigator or even to someone who isn’t, in a matter subject to federal jurisdiction, can get you convicted of a crime and thrown in stir. Of course, those federal investigators reserve the right to lie to you.

  25. Mr. Anon says:
    @Kiza

    “But I know I would be running around in circles trying to explain these things to you. Soldiers and cops are told what to think and no heresy allowed.”

    Apparently, a lot of police departments nowadays actually don’t hire applicants who test out as too intelligent. They don’t necessarily want people who think for themselves; they want people who follow orders.

  26. In North America the police are overpaid, mollycoddled, unionized public sector workers with military pretensions; they embody the worst excesses of both sides of the political spectrum.

  27. Chopper says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Once again you make my point. Get rid of, or even reduce the number of police? Heavens no! I mean your certainly no anarchist , that’s just crazy!.You seem to just want to vent, well have at it anonymous tough guy.

  28. WJ says:

    Cops are bad, blah, blah, blah….. Tiresome twaddle here.

    I have been handcuffed unjustly (working late doing field work in a neighborhood with a serial rapist) and I was released after 30 minutes. Of course it outraged me and I disliked cops for it but the pure, un-arguable fact is that we have to have cops. That is a self evident truth.

    Those cops are a reflection of society , good and bad. I will not belabor those obvious truths.

    I would prefer the cross section of cops to the cross section of the hysterical, un-informed Black Lives Matter movement. Those fools would have us believe that 90 percent of blacks are murdered by cops when in fact it is 90 percent of blacks are murdered by other blacks.

    It’s a lousy job. Try pulling a car over at 3 am night after night and not get some kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  29. Gort says:

    Boston was disgusting! The trampling of the Constitution by the Morlocks and, worse yet, the Eloi’s clapping and cheering response to their a** rape. Made me sick.

    Cops are not first-responders out there to serve and protect. They are paid revenue-generating-law enforcement goons who give two sh**s about your safety, and are all about keeping a brainless job for 25 years (where their sadistic slant is an asset) until they get their golden pension at an age when most in the private sector still have to look forward to 15-plus more year of work before they could ever consider to retire.

  30. Mr. Anon says:
    @Chopper

    “Once again you make my point. Get rid of, or even reduce the number of police? Heavens no! I mean your certainly no anarchist , that’s just crazy!.You seem to just want to vent, well have at it anonymous tough guy.”

    If you think I make your point, it’s only because you’re a stupid bullet-head (why do you guys always seem to go for the byzantine eunuch look anyway?) The only anonymous tough guy here is you.

    Get rid of the police? No. Reduce their numbers? Hell yes. We are over-policed.
    Also, you lazy cops need to work longer to earn your cushy pensions. Who gets to work twenty years and retire on full pension? Your kind always make lots of noise about how dangerous your job is, which is largely a crock. Taxi drivers and pizza delivery men likely have more dangerous jobs than most cops. To the extent that it is dangerous, you often make it so by being stupid – like pulling people over in such a way as to create a traffic hazard.

    But then everyone knows that a lot of cops just aren’t that bright. You’ve given ample evidence of that here.

  31. Mr. Anon says:
    @WJ

    “Cops are bad, blah, blah, blah….. Tiresome twaddle here.”

    Cops are necessary, we must support them no matter what they do, blah, blah, blah.

    Now that’s tiresome twaddle.

    “…………the pure, un-arguable fact is that we have to have cops. That is a self evident truth.”

    And one that nobody here is denying, as far as I can tell. Despite the willful misreading of the article and the replies by people like you, and by that nitwit “Chopper”.

    “Those cops are a reflection of society , good and bad. I will not belabor those obvious truths.”

    Bad cops help to make for a bad society. Or should we just not bother to fix problems? Are you cool with the fact that police departments have been legally empowered to act like privateers: that they can collect booty, even booty that has nothing to do with any crimes that may have been committed?

  32. woodNfish says:

    I used to support cops and believed the lies about how tough the job was. Fortunately, my eyes have been opened. I now know why people most often kill cops – self defense.

    https://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/12/los-angeles-deputy-shoots-partner-blames-suspect-both-kill-suspect-in-retaliation/

  33. Lupa says:

    Maybe it’s because I have a criminal past myself, but I’ve grown an immense respect for policemen. The single most important job in society, for the salary of barber, with a general attitude among the populace that you’re a dumb pig, a meat-head, a cowardly loser… and all the other stereotypes of cops out there. Top that off with a glorification/victimization of criminals in media.
    And I wonder how many people here speak from first-hand experience. My experience is that if you behave like an adult, and show basic respect, officers will do the same in return. Out of the million plus (?) police in America, of course there are bound to be some bad apples – but most critique against police is just the same old “stick it to the man”, completely ignoring WHY police officers are on edge, or carry firearms to begin with.
    Maybe I would feel differently if there were moral criminals, or some sort of honor among thieves. But anyone who’s been there can testify that no such thing exist. I’m not American, but in a country where people can buy assault rifles in supermarkets – how exactly should the police be equipped to guarantee monopoly on violence?
    (Sorry for my bad English, and I’m not American myself so perhaps my analysis would be different if I lived there)

  34. @Mr. Anon

    Mr. Anon:

    You are correct. I was in law enforcement for 11 years, and I got out after seeing so much anti people cops. The public who pay their salaries, is viewed as the ‘enemy’. Man I hated so many cops who were my fellow officers! They talked like they could shot any one, and get away with it. And don’t they? look at all the shootings of unarmed people and you get the conclusion that it is the case, where cops kill and get away with murder. I only pulled my gun twice in those eleven years, and did not shoot at all. I was trained to use other than deadly force, including the batton, pepper spray, etc. and using deadly force as a last resort, not the first resort as several incidents have shown lately. Also, we were reminded of the Consequences in case of using deadly force unnecessarily. I am glad I got out, because how the police how days looks more like the special forces attacking a foreign adversary rather than the public personnel ‘protecting’ the public. After leaving law enforcement, I worked in Information Technology, and it was the best decision I had taken in my life.

    |p.s. Don’t get me wrong, Law Enforcement is a necessary evil in our society; however, police unions should not cover for the bad apples, but rather remove them as soon as possible, to show to their ‘boss’ the people, that they are serious and competent in the delicate position we have placed them in.

  35. @joe webb

    Joe:

    In the big picture, you might be right. However, statistics demonstrate that minorities receive the end of the police stick more often than you, whitey boy. I don’t disagree that it might be right that a segment of society is more ‘prone’ to crime, if you want to believe that. However, police brutality is uncalled for most of the time, and it aggravates the race issue. I am neutral in race issues, and only dislike evil people regardless of who they are, evil is evil. However, you filling ostracized because you believe that the jews are after whites is your personal opinion. If you notice, most cops are white, at least in my neighborhood any ways. They don’t bother me, and also I was a cop for 11 yrs, and KNOW how cops target minorities more than whities, believe me. Its just a hush hush thing that as one commentator wrote, ‘cops don’t tell on cops’ so it stay that way, with the John Wayne syndrome, if you know what that means.

  36. The purpose of government is the looting of the governed.
    The Filth are merely the thugs who enforce this rule.

    Bunch of corrupt quavering cowards.

    • Agree: Kiza
  37. @Chopper

    well have at it anonymous tough guy.

    Haha!! From a semi-literate thug hiding behind a badge that’s rich. You’re a coward in a gang. Nothing more.

    • Replies: @Chopper
  38. Canute says:

    What most people fail to recognize is that the Sheriff’s Department are the police elected by the citizens and can be dispatched by the same. However, the standard city, county or State police departments are the police hired by and beholding to a government body of civil servants. Consequently, their actions are vigorously protected and defended by a government apparatus that is far more difficult to reach through the ballot box. Police are becoming the American Stasi and worse yet – they believe themselves to be an extension of the Federal Government. +Local and State officials should be questioned in detail as to how they feel about police powers and be forced to indicate if they prefer the rights of the citizens or defined limitations on policing powers. This should be performed during election campaigns and those who cannot express a coherent answer, need to be shown the door.

  39. joe webb says:
    @in the middle

    cops ‘target’ blacks cuz blacks do the crime, about 8 times more than whites. Also, the FBI/Justice Dept keeps records of victims’s statements on the race of their attacker. The witness statements correlate at almost 100% with arrests, etc. Probably fewer arrests and convictions of blacks goes on cuz of the shakedowns by black destroyers, and the attacks on the probity of police. etc.

    The only thing a black respects on the street is a shotgun in the hands of a cop. .12 gauge.

    Better go to American Renaissance (Jared Taylor ) and look for the stats. Mexers are doing about 3 times the crime that whites do, but they are not as violent as the blacks. Mexers will do molestation but blacks rape, and blacks do robbery while mexers do burglary.

    All you have to do is go to your own state’s Dept of Justice and look up the crime stats, or go to US Dept of Justice . one problem is that the FBI has traditionally lumped mexer crimes with whites. They have apparently just corrected that within the last year.

    Also, low IQ correlates highly with crime. Black at 85 and mexer at 90 do not help matters. Then, temperament of blacks is much nastier than mexers.

    If you go to international stats of homicide, etc. the browns and blacks are the highest .

    The blacks are particularly bad, which is why cops used to, anyway, just beat the hell out of them to keep them corralled in their own territory. Sunset laws in the South…same thing. Out of town by sunset Willie or you are in trouble.

    It is that simple, will never get better, etc. We have spent 15 trillion on black uplift since 1965. That is about one year’s GDP of the US, or how many year’s GDP of Africa?

    If yu were a cop, you must not have had many blacks around. Joe Webb

  40. joe webb says:

    kev, rereading your above comment to another member, you could not have been a cop and around the feral inner-city criminal blacks. I know ex cops from SF and Oakland, and they are decent family guys who nevertheless knew how to deal with blacks… you have not had experience with them, that is clear. Joe Webb

  41. joe webb says:

    police etiquette here. When you are stopped by the police in your car. Keep your hands on the steering wheel where they can be seen. Do not get out of the car.

    Say hello officer (proper mode of address ) and say something like what did I do wrong? Have your ID available and do not give him , or especially her, any shit.

    The gals are always way more nervous. never should have been there in the first place. male cops call them me-tooers.

    Imagine what it is like these days for a cop to approach a car never knowing what the hell can happen. Put yourself in their shoes.

    Joe Webb

  42. Chopper says:
    @Stan D Mute

    Well, your quite an angry little fellow. I’m sure there’s a story behind that kind of spring loaded hostility.

    • Agree: Stan D Mute
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  43. Mr. Anon says:
    @Chopper

    “Well, your quite an angry little fellow. I’m sure there’s a story behind that kind of spring loaded hostility.”

    What’s the story behind your arrogant disregard of the rights and will of the people whom you (ostensibly) protect? Cops like you are the reason that people increasingly don’t like cops. And they increasingly don’t. Even middle-aged, middle-class white guys are starting to dislike cops. Even women are beginning to. You may be confused by the cop-licking you see on FOX News and all that bullshit about “first-responders”. The primary FOX News demographic are old people. They live in a past that no longer exists. They’re here today, but they’ll be gone tomorrow. Younger people aren’t going to want to pay pensions to corrupt tax-eaters like you.

    • Agree: Kiza
  44. Mr. Anon says:
    @joe webb

    “Say hello officer (proper mode of address ) and say something like what did I do wrong? Have your ID available and do not give him , or especially her, any shit.”

    And what ettiquete are they obligrf to show us?

    “Imagine what it is like these days for a cop to approach a car never knowing what the hell can happen. Put yourself in their shoes.”

    Imagine what it’s like these days to be sitting in a car and wondering if the cop who approaches you is this guy:


    Former Culpeper cop who killed unarmed woman released from jail

    And he ended up serving less than three years for murdering a woman.

  45. Dr. X says:

    Wow… it was VERY ironic for the author to cite Gov. Cuomo’s “special prosecutor” as an example of how to rein in the cops. No state in the union is a bigger police state than New York, and no state is more corrupt — the leaders of BOTH legislative houses were both convicted of felony corruption within the past month.

    New York was ranked the “least free” of the 50 states for good reason: nearly EVERYTHING is illegal, and cops have complete power.

    For practical purposes, Cuomo’s gun control laws have invalidated the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. Cuomo’s government has created police databases of nearly everyone and everything, and the law requires that doctors and nurses violate the Federal HIPAA law to send medical information secretly to the State Police for immediate gun confiscation.

    New York City’s “stop and frisk” has pretty much invalidated the Fourth Amendment as well. Mayor Bloomberg publicly called the NYPD his own “private army.” Sadly, he was probably right. Cuomo’s “special prosecutor” for police is merely a political dog-and-pony show to appease the black mobs who went to the streets after the Er9ic Garner death in New York City. That’s all it is.

  46. Michelle says:
    @JackOH

    When I was 15, I went to live with my uncle in Kansas City. His girlfriend at the time was an exquisitely beautiful woman of 28 years. She had a 15 year old daughter. She used to joke that although she had given birth to her daughter when she was 13, she was married at the time. To a Kansas City Police Officer. The cop had pretty much convinced her parents to give her to him when she was 12. He later disappeared and it was believed that he had been the victim of a mob hit. He was known to be as corrupt and dirty as they come. My uncle’s girlfriend was waiting the 7 years required to declare him dead before collecting on his insurance.

  47. JackOH says:

    Thanks for your story, Michelle.

    I once asked two colleagues of the law enforcement officer who’d been on two government payrolls simultaneously: “Would it be a big surprise if Captain X were indicted for something tomorrow?” They laughed and shot me with how’d-you-know looks.

    I don’t like being a bit obsessive-compulsive, or whatever it is, about a particular bad life experience. The reality is it’s taken me a long while to “work through” having been the target, and a very minor target, of a crooked cop and his goon-boy zillionaire patron. Thanks again.

  48. @Kiza

    What are you talking about? A member of the public does not have to answer any questions at all or participate in an interrogation.

  49. @in the middle

    Cops are supposed to go after criminals, so it’s only natural that they’re going to target blacks and mestizos. Blacks especially have to be put under the thumb, as they are incapable of controlling their behavior, and their behavior is psychopathic.

  50. @joe webb

    When a cop stops me, I put my hands on the steering wheel, and if it’s nighttime, I turn on the interior light. When I reach into the glove box for my insurance crap, I’ll do it calmly and where they can see what I’m doing.

    I do all this because I don’t want to get shot.

    But I do not not address them, and I will certainly not call them “Officer.”

    I have the most minimal interaction with them as possible, and if they start asking me bullshit questions such as, “Where are you going so fast?”, I ignore them.

    Every semi-free citizen that cares about his rights should video record (or at least audio record) all interactions with cops or any governmental agency.

    Know your rights, and know the law.

  51. Linda says:
    @Chopper

    Anti-cop? How about pro-accountability? I would think, as a cop (IF you are a “good” cop, which I think is a mythical creature) … you would WANT your colleagues held accountable. After all, they are giving you a bad name.

  52. rumcrook says:
    @Chopper

    You didn’t address even one of the honest concerns, there was nothing extreme or anti cop in this statement.
    “Nobody (who isn’t an anarchist anyway) wants to get rid of the police. We just don’t want them to have extraordinary powers they ought not to have (like special interrogation protocols, living off booty from their arrests, etc.) and to abide by the Constitution they have sworn to defend. Also, we want them to not act like dicks”

    All that I see here is a desire from the community that police act like neighbors and part of the community as apposed to acting as a class and caste above and uncountable to the people with special priveleges that allow them to harm citizens with impunity. And I am not a anti police lefty. In fact I think Michael browns killing in Ferguson was justified.

  53. JoeF says:

    When radicalized african americans constantly complain and demand a race war when they do not get their way, when this country has been bending over backwards to satisfy their grievances (both real and imagined) for the last 50 years, we condemn the police instead. Why ? Because it is politically correct to do so. Yeah Yeah Yeah we all know there are some bad cops out there, but is that an excuse to shut them all down! Who suffers when crime goes back up: everyone including the black on black crime. ALSO when activist say we must stop black on black crime, what does that mean: black on whites/asians/hispanics do not matter. The ACLU accomplishments seldom protect the working man, instead they tend to protect the criminal. Thus I do not believe that any article from the ACLU rep can be objective. Just more leftist obfuscations.

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