Creative Destruction

December 11, 2007

Bullying Cops (Diatribe from Comments)

Filed under: Criminal Justice,Politics — Brutus @ 12:41 am

A visitor to this blog posted a short diatribe in the comments to a post unrelated to his concerns, which understandably has gotten no reaction. I thought I’d pull it forward into the body of a regular post and offer anyone the chance to respond. I’ve edited slightly for grammar and spelling.

Mike says:

I’ve been looking to post this somewhere. I do apologize if this seems like I’m hijacking this thread. I just needed to write about the way I feel. Anyway, here goes…

Look, cops are bullying fascist scum across the board. The real reason someone would join the [police] force is that they like manhandling people, wielding authority, and inspiring fear. These people otherwise would be excellent for running the electric chair. Or the gas chamber. I can’t believe that anyone who is “progressive” would support them. If you are a “leftie” who does, please leave and go join the right wing. I don’t want you in my ideology. A peace activist was arrested for riding a bike on the street. An unarmed immigrant was shot by the cops when they thought he was reaching for a gun. There are so many more stories like these I can tell you about. This is not a case of a few bad apples. This is more commonplace every day. Don’t fall for the “protect and serve” crap. More things are becoming illegal every day, so more and more average people can get shafted, and the injustice system can economically profit. Wake up, America. You are living in a corporate police state, where eventually the only truly legal you can do is shop. You could be turned in by a neighbor who doesn’t like you even if you did nothing bad. Oh, wait, sorry, I think we are there already. What is wrong with some of you liberals who support taking guns away from citizens, but you still want the government to have guns so that they can “protect” you. Those who believe that “safety” is more important than freedom! I’m not saying this to be mean, but I’m saddened and scared by the direction this country is taken. We all deserve better than that.

Please respond to my post. I haven’t been able to get any responses, positive or negative. I want to get a sense of where people are on this. Thanks.

Notwithstanding Mike’s own attempt to bully folks into awareness, I agree with his general thrust. I support the notion of law and order, but I don’t think we’re getting it from law enforcement agencies in the fashion we should. The recent spate of unnecessary tasering people is a good snapshot of how police respond to citizens who pose little real threat.

We have also given up a lot of civic responsibility and personal rights in the process of becoming fat and happy Americans. Many of us have considerably more fear in the last, say, 15 years about being in the wrong place or saying the wrong thing and suffering the wrath of law enforcement, which is ostensibly intended to serve and protect us (as the slogan goes). Authorized users of state violence (police, FBI, CIA, and branches of the military) are often no longer trustworthy with the use of lethal force or even more mundane things like investigating suspects, which now routinely involves illegal surveillance. Over time, law enforcement has gotten to be paranoid about internal threats, so it resorts to questionable crowd management techniques and propaganda campaigns to quell dissent, among other things. It’s a sad state we’re in. But before we develop a consensus that the citizenry needs to act (by voting, or perhaps something more direct) to stem the tide of creeping fascism, there is no solution. We get the government we deserve.

Anyone else with an opinion?

4 Comments »

  1. As someone who fears the police terribly, and possibly because my fear is obvious, am susceptible to what I consider mistreatment, though always in terms of verbal threats and fines, not beatings or arrest (I’m a white, middle-class, middle-aged woman, random but definite advantages), I worry about the absolute stance here. True, I feel under constant surveillance, and worry that my luck won’t hold up. Not only am I afraid, but if I don’t watch myself, that fear makes me sarcastic. Having taken court-ordered re-education programs, which were ridiculous, I found myself among hard-working, financially doomed women, who were the opposite of criminal in every way.
    That said, some people become law enforcers because it’s part of their heritage. The few police officers I’ve known socially entered the field out of admiration for fathers or grandfathers.
    Every now and then the people you least expect to do good–do it. And since the system certainly won’t commend them–it’s set up against them as well as us–we especially should reserve for them the possibility that they exist. Not every law enforcer is reprehensible; there are exceptions.

    Comment by grasshopperkm — December 11, 2007 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  2. i have an opinion, but i’m afraid to post ‘cuz i don’t want to be flogged by the cultural police.

    Comment by obie1993 — December 11, 2007 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  3. Stumbled on your blog randomly (love the title), thought I’d chime in.

    I have mixed feelings about the police. As an activist, I’m wary of being beaten down in the street, surveiled, or attacked in other ways. As a recent graduate, I hate how police officers in college towns too often go after partying students as if they were threats to the very existence of society. It is disturbing to watch your friends illegally arrested, pepper-sprayed, and unfairly charged with resisting arrest, without any mention of their offense.

    That said, I live in a neighborhood where armed teens kill each other and innocents around them every summer. I live in a city (Boston) where the homicide solution rate is around 30%. Suspicion of police, and fear of gang reprisal / refusal to testify allow this to continue.

    Without police, we would be dependent on private and family militia, or personal vendettae, for justice. Iraq is an example of this ‘system’ in action.

    Finally, some specific comments on Mike’s screed.
    1) Guns don’t protect you from government. The inhabitants of Ruby Ridge, or Waco, Texas, were heavily armed. They were slaughtered by superior gov’t firepower. You hoard weapons, they drop a bomb on you. Indeed, the proliferation of armed groups helps to destabilize a liberal society to begin with. A historical example is Germany’s Weimar Republic (1920’s), where the Nazis and the Communists fought on the streets. The chaos bred dissatisfaction with the government, and led middle-class people to look for a strong leader to “restore order.” This paved the way for the rise of Hitler.

    2) Not all cops / soldiers are Fascists. I know some very liberal soldiers (Iraq Veterans Against the War) and refuse to believe all police are Fascist. Moreover, if left-leaning people uniformly refuse to serve in the military or police (as you suggest), then those institutions will be completely dominated by conservatives.

    Comment by Andrew — December 21, 2007 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  4. I still want average citizens to have bombs and guns, to try and protect themselves from police and government, 2nd amendment style, which calls for an armed militia. That is not a perfect system, I know. However, The 2nd amendment was supposed to be used by citizens, to protect themselves, and maybe other throw a corrupt government, if needed. Today, too many people want to bow down to authority, and have their 4-car garage, mansion, and other material goods, so they won’t take on the system. Historically, It was not always that way.

    Comment by Tom — November 30, 2008 @ 11:19 pm | Reply


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