A few things first. I am probably as anti-government as anyone, both intellectually and emotionally. That being said, I’m from a military family which has been fighting American wars since the Revolution, and being a weightlifter, I have several friends who are cops. Some are old school, some are new school; I consider them good people, but both sorts have told me stories of their own behavior that crosses the legal line.
I understand why they have done as they did. The frustration of arresting the same drunk loser for the 20th time at the same bar and knowing that he’ll get charged with nothing is tremendous. Better to give him a backseat “warning” then turn him loose with a few bruises, as that at least has a chance of penetrating said loser’s thick consciousness. It’s understandable, but it still isn’t right. This is the old school evil, and it really doesn’t do much harm.
If things were as bad as Sierra Times implies, the citizens would have revolted against the evil police long ago.
DD, I don’t think you understand the fear and contempt that the average person has developed for the police. Blame must fall mainly on the politicians, of course, as this sort of attitude is only developed by forcing the police to enforce bad law. The average person has violated numerous traffic and drug laws, for starters, and therefore has developed a criminal mentality with regards to the police, viewing them as the enemy. I think the above statement is faulty logic, too, as things have been a lot worse in many police states, and no one has revolted.
I’m only staying up past my bedtime tonite, chatting with you folks, because I’m so amazed at the level of anti-law enforcement rhetoric….
I know the feeling…. And I think you should not only be amazed at the level of anti-law enforcement rhetoric, but also deeply concerned, especially given the sources. The readers here are mostly intelligent, law-abiding folk, the sort who were good conservative Republicans a generation ago. What has changed? More than anything, it is the law itself that has changed. I firmly believe that many of the police in the most notorious police states in history were the same sort of good people who simply did their job and did as they were told. Every policeman who enforces the drug war, who steals money under the guise of arresting it, is a likely candidate for a future police state policeman who will see no evil in what we would all see to be blatantly wrong.
Furthermore, there is corruption endemic within the police departments, in that they are largely not held accountable for their own violations of the law. Here in St. Paul, there was evidence that three senior officials conspired to withhold facts about a recent fatal police shooting. Not only was the policeman cleared of all wrongdoing – they inevitably are in Minnesota – but so were the conspiring officials. It defies reason to believe that all policeman everywhere are innocent of all wrongdoing; this sort of whitewashing is why even those whose natural bent is to support law-enforcement have become extremely dubious of it.
Finally, law enforcement has been corrupted by the revenue services, which make them accomplices in their illegal actions. I know of one very clear case of fraud by the state revenue services which led to an illegal seizure. Calling the county sheriff wasn’t going to help, though, since the sheriff had sent a few cars along to help the seizing agents. Now the state courts are conspiring in a desperate attempt to deny the man the jury trial that is his explicit right under the state constitution since the state has already admitted in court that it violated its own laws. Having followed this case from the early going, I can say that I have ZERO respect for the law, law enforcement or the courts in the state of Minnesota.
Good people obediently doing evil still amounts to evil being done.