Yesterday a local radio personality here in St. Louis (Dave Glover) asked the question “why do so many people in our audience hate the police?” It’s a fair question; there are many good and noble police officers and they are enforcing our laws. But many people are quite unhappy with the police, and there are good reasons for that.
Here are three:
1. A policeman in Louisiana forced his way into a man’s home and arrested him, refusing to tell him why he was being arrested. The man was later charged with – drumroll please – resisting arrest .
2. Georgia police pulled guns on some little kids building a tree house, forcing them to the ground at the peril of their young lives.
3. San Antonio police harassed 19-year-old youth who witnesses say was doing nothing wrong. After twenty minutes of haranguing the man they told him he was free to go – then tasered him as he walked away.
There are many more such stories that can be told. I know of several such myself.
For instance, an old friend was accosted by an out-of-uniform police officer on the highway. Now, this particular friend was not one this officer should have been messing with; he was a past national champion of hand-to-hand combat in the Marines. The officer (who never identified himself as such) began playing a game of cutting my friend off as he drove, and the two wound up stopping on the side of the highway. This cop took a swing at my friend who finished matters in short order. Unfortunately the cop fell and hit his head, and went into a coma. My friend was facing murder charges should this policeman die. Luckily he didn’t, and my friend’s attorney produced enough witnesses that all charges were dropped.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. a year later this same officer pulled the same stunt, and the fellow who he picked a fight with punched him – and the officer collapsed, went into a coma, and died. This poor guy was vilified by the local press, and went to jail – although I think he was eventually released because of testimony by my friend and others.
The point is, lives were ruined because of a bad cop. And this cop would never be kicked off the Force because police have a code of Omerta and protect each-other.
I have a lot of these kinds of stories. Take the cop who kept pulling my wife over because he liked her, and I had to go to city hall to get my alderman and the mayor to lay the law down with this guy.
And I am hardly alone.
Police have been militarized
What has happened is the police have been militarized. No longer do they consider themselves civilian police but rather officers, above the rabble they protect. Police used to be encouraged to live among the citizenry (hence residency requirements) and were asked to walk a beat or mingle in some other fashion with the citizenry. No more. Now they are in squad cars, comfortably isolated from the citizens. They are discouraged from “fraternizing” with the citizenry, because that makes them sympathetic to the people and willing to overlook minor infractions – the types of infractions that make money for the municipality employing the police.
Traffic laws were a huge part of the problem; because communities could make money from ridiculous things like 20-mph speed limits or whatnot; they started using the police as a revenue collection agency, and to do that they had to make the police more callous to the people they protect. And, of course, these laws gave the public regular interaction with the legal system, thus prepping them (consciously or not) for ever intrusive laws.
Then, too, many police departments have purposely hired less intelligent officers.
The reason is, ostensibly, that smarter people would grow bored and move on. But is it not perhaps also because smarter people might question some of the things they are being asked to do? Thugs are usually stupid, and a stupid cop is apt to be thuggish.
In any case, the less intelligent policeman will follow the rulebook exactly, enforcing any law rather than using his judgment or common sense. It is a major change in America’s law enforcement because our laws were always tempered with judgment. That is the basis of English Common Law, after all, and that is why juries may “nullify” a law if it is trampling someone’s rights. The police were supposed to use good sense. For instance, if a man runs a red light to avoid getting rear-ended (and does it safely) a sensible policeman would not give him a ticket. But if we are to follow the modern thinking, the officer WOULD give him a ticket and leave the sorting process to the courts.
Selwyn Duke, writing at The Aviary, illustrates this modern police mindset perfectly. Here is a policeman who thinks his job is to enforce whatever law is on the books – no matter what. Morality, decency, sensibility, none of that matters. He is but a vessel, a tool in the hands of The Law. One wonders; would he kill an innocent for that law? Would he drag a Jew to a death camp? Where is the line? Is there a line?
This goes to the fundamental difference between Left and Right; liberals want a world that works like a machine, that runs entirely without thought on the part of the masses. Only they are allowed to think in their system of things. Everything else should be automated, and if it were possible to use robots to enforce laws they would be quite happy. Actually they do; they are called red light cameras.
Liberals want to place guardrails of law everywhere, while at the same time making men “free” by removing any need for thought, for reflection, for conscience, for common sense. All burdens will be eased, all struggles ended. This new type of freedom comes from accepting a yoke of law which acts as guardrail, restricting behavior to the safe, approved, planned behaviors that the intelligentsia have prescribed. You are free to be an animal, indulge your lusts, do as you please and the law will guarantee your safety. The liberals will tell you in no uncertain terms where the lines are drawn. Instead of individual responsibility the Law will act as the guardian of social order.
And this has been entrusted to the police, who were never equipped for this type of power. Police were intended to SERVE, to come when the need arose. They were not supposed to be our nannies. But, as with everything, the Left has perverted their purpose, co-opting them from protection and service to enforcer of their Will. And in doing this the police have grown increasingly despotic.
Again, I am not saying anything bad against the many wonderful police officers who risk their lives to protect the citizens – and there are a great many. What I am saying is that police departments – especially in big cities – are growing increasingly out of touch with the citizenry, and are being used to impose state power and not protect. This is a corrupting influence, and so people like that cop who attacked my friend find fertile ground to exercise their lust for domination over others.
It becomes very hard for the good ones to hold the line.
This will only get worse as power is centralized, as law becomes ever more intimately involved with the citizen, as government grows ever more fearful of a restive citizenry. If it should ever come to the final exercise of Natural Law, should Americans be forced to assert their authority and remove the government of the United States, it will not be the military leading the defense of the oppressive regime, it will be the civilian police. The Left knows this, which is why they have been taking steps to militarize and isolate the law enforcement professionals. And many average citizens intuitively understand this as well, which leads to fear of and disgust for these same enforcers.
In the end it comes down to a simple yet profound choice; where do you stand? Over and above the strangling legal code imposed by Progressives there is the Constitution, and above that the Law of God Himself. We all must ask ourselves whose side are we on?