Tag Archives: Police

Fewer than Half of Violent Crimes Are Solved in America, by Ryan McMaken

Read the above statistic and doesn’t it just make you want to hand your guns over to the government, knowing it will protect you? From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

One of the central arguments in favor of the government’s monopoly on police powers is that government police are essential in “keeping us safe.” Without this “thin blue line” between chaos and order, we are told, society will descend into chaos.

How exactly this order is maintained by police, however, is less clear. In recent years, police agencies have insisted they have no legal obligation to directly intervene to protect people from threats posed by criminals. The courts have agreed.

[RELATED: “Police Have No Duty to Protect You, Federal Court Affirms Yet Again” by Ryan McMaken]

Having abandoned the “protect” part of “to serve and protect,” the police have retreated to the claim that their real role is simply to “enforce the law.” This “enforcement” presumably would include investigation of crimes and arrests of suspects.

So how is that going for them?

According to the most recent FBI “Crime in the United States” report, only 45 percent of violent crime lead to arrest and prosecution. That is, less than half of violent crimes result in what is known as a “clearance” of the crime. Property crime clearances are much worse. Only 17 percent of burglaries, arsons, and car thefts are “cleared.”

Among violent crimes, homicides experience the highest clearance rate by far, at 61 percent. Aggravated assault comes in at 53 percent, and rape at 34 percent.

But these are just cases where arrests are made and prosecutions are initiated. A smaller number of cases actually lead to convictions. A crime may be cleared even when the suspect is later exonerated.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the nationwide conviction rate for murders is 70 percent.

So, we may be looking at a situation in which for every 100 homicides, 61 percent are cleared, and then 70 percent of those — 43 cases — lead to conviction. And this assumes that the correct person is convicted. According to some estimates, four percent of inmates on death row are innocent. Wrongful conviction rates are assumed to be higher for lesser crimes since officials are less rigorous in establishing guilt when capital punishment is not on the table.

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You’re Under Arrest: How the Police State Muzzles Our Right to Speak Truth to Power, by John W. Whitehead

In many cases our free speech rights are not decided by courts and laws, but by police who have no particular respect for the Constitution. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“History shows that governments sometimes seek to regulate our lives finely, acutely, thoroughly, and exhaustively. In our own time and place, criminal laws have grown so exuberantly and come to cover so much previously innocent conduct that almost anyone can be arrested for something. If the state could use these laws not for their intended purposes but to silence those who voice unpopular ideas, little would be left of our First Amendment liberties, and little would separate us from the tyrannies of the past or the malignant fiefdoms of our own age. The freedom to speak without risking arrest is ‘one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation.’”—Justice Neil Gorsuch, dissenting, Nieves v. Bartlett (2019)

What the First Amendment protects—and a healthy constitutional republic requires—are citizens who routinely exercise their right to speak truth to power.

What the architects of the police state want are submissive, compliant, cooperative, obedient, meek citizens who don’t talk back, don’t challenge government authority, don’t speak out against government misconduct, and don’t step out of line.

For those who refuse to meekly accept the heavy-handed tyranny of the police state, the danger is all too real.

We live in an age in which “we the people” are at the mercy of militarized, weaponized, immunized cops who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

As such, those who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights during encounters with the police are increasingly finding that there is no such thing as freedom of speech.

This is the painful lesson being imparted with every incident in which someone gets arrested and charged with any of the growing number of contempt charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that get trotted out anytime a citizen voices discontent with the government or challenges or even questions the authority of the powers-that-be.

Merely daring to question, challenge or hesitate when a cop issues an order can get you charged with resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, free speech be damned.

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Police To Use TSA-Style Scanners To Spy On People In Public Places, by mapi

Yet another invasive intrusion into our privacy, and what would have once been considered blatantly unconstitutional, by the police for our safety and the public good, of course. From mapi at massprivatei.blogspot.com:

TSA-style body scanners are coming to public spaces, and that should scare the hell out of everyone.

If you thought the NYPD’s Z-Backscatter vans and police mini-Z’s were intrusive, you have not seen anything yet.

Soon, nowhere will be safe from Big Brother’s prying eyes, as police prepare to use HEXWAVE to spy on people in public spaces.

Last week the Salt Lake Tribune revealed that the Utah Attorney General and law enforcement are partnering with Liberty Defense, a 3D image scanning company that makes its money from scanning the public in real-time. (3D means capturing rich information (size, shape, depth) about the detection space. It can detect any material that has a physical form.)

Let’s start with their name — calling yourself Liberty Defense is an affront to liberty-minded Americans who do not want to be secretly spied on by Big Brother. Their tag line “Protecting Communities And Preserving Peace of Mind” is the exact opposite of what this device does.

Any device that is used to spy on the public is just that: a surveillance device. It is not a Defense of our Liberty.

Drivers Beware: The Deadly Perils of Traffic Stops in the American Police State, by John Rutherford

Any encounter with the government carries risks, even a traffic stop. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation

We’ve all been there before.

You’re driving along and you see a pair of flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. Whether or not you’ve done anything wrong, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach.

You’ve read enough news stories, seen enough headlines, and lived in the American police state long enough to be anxious about any encounter with a cop that takes place on the side of the road.

For better or worse, from the moment you’re pulled over, you’re at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

This is what I call “blank check policing,” in which the police get to call all of the shots.

So if you’re nervous about traffic stops, you have every reason to be.

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.

Try to assert your right to merely ask a question during a traffic stop and see how far it gets you.

Zachary Noel was tasered by police and charged with resisting arrest after he questioned why he was being ordered out of his truck during a traffic stop. “Because I’m telling you to,” the officer replied before repeating his order for Noel to get out of the vehicle and then, without warning, shooting him with a taser through the open window.

Unfortunately, as Gregory Tucker learned the hard way, there are no longer any fail-safe rules of engagement for interacting with the police.

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D Is for a Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy, by John W. Whitehead

Here are the ABCs of tyranny, from John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.

Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better.

Week after week, the script changes (Donald Trump’s Tweets, Congress’ hearings on Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, the military’s endless war drums, the ever-widening field of candidates for the 2020 presidential race, etc.) with each new script following on the heels of the last, never any let-up, never any relief from the constant melodrama.

The players come and go, the protagonists and antagonists trade places, and the audience members are quick to forget past mistakes and move on to the next spectacle.

All the while, a different kind of drama is unfolding in the dark backstage, hidden from view by the heavy curtain, the elaborate stage sets, colored lights and parading actors.

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Seattle is Dying, by KOMO News

This is an intrepid look at the drug abuse and homelessness that’s killing Seattle. It could have been filmed in any number of once great US cities. From KOMO in Seattle:

Don’t Shoot the Dogs: The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs, by John W. Whitehead

Police are shooting a lot of dogs, many of which are harmless. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“In too much of policing today, officer safety has become the highest priority. It trumps the rights and safety of suspects. It trumps the rights and safety of bystanders. It’s so important, in fact, that an officer’s subjective fear of a minor wound from a dog bite is enough to justify using potentially lethal force, in this case at the expense of a 4-year-old girl. And this isn’t the first time. In January, an Iowa cop shot and killed a woman by mistake while trying to kill her dog. Other cops have shot other kidsother bystanderstheir partnerstheir supervisors and even themselves while firing their guns at a dog. That mind-set is then, of course, all the more problematic when it comes to using force against people.”—Journalist Radley Balko

The absurd cruelties of the American police state keep reaching newer heights.

Consider that if you kill a police dog, you could face a longer prison sentence than if you’d murdered someone or abused a child.

If a cop kills your dog, however, there will be little to no consequences for that officer.

Not even a slap on the wrist.

In this, as in so many instances of official misconduct by government officials, the courts have ruled that the cops have qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that incentivizes government officials to engage in lawless behavior without fear of repercussions.

This is the heartless, heartbreaking, hypocritical injustice that passes for law and order in America today.

It is estimated that a dog is shot by a police officer “every 98 minutes.”

The Department of Justice estimates that at least 25 dogs are killed by police every day.

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