Tag Archives: Police

Martial Law Masquerading as Law and Order: The Police State’s Language of Force, by John W. Whitehead

When a government resorts to force to enforce its dictates and curtail rights, eventually that’s all it has—force. Eventually it loses even that. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us? The constitutional theory is that we the people are the sovereigns, the state and federal officials only our agents. We who have the final word can speak softly or angrily. We can seek to challenge and annoy, as we need not stay docile and quiet.”—Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting, Colten v. Kentucky, 407 U.S. 104 (1972)

Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.

It’s all a lie.

There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.

What is this language of force?

Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.

This is not the language of freedom.

This is not even the language of law and order.

This is the language of force.

Unfortunately, this is how the government at all levels—federal, state and local—now responds to those who choose to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public and challenge the status quo.

Continue reading

Dear Mr. Security Agent: When it Comes to Gun Confiscation…by Matt Bracken

The politicians and bureaucrats will propose gun confiscation, but how it plays out will be determined by gun owners and the police and other agents the government sends to take the guns. From Matt Bracken at theburningplatform.com:

DEAR MR. SECURITY AGENT: WHEN IT COMES TO GUN CONFISCATION…

Dear Mr. Security Agent…

Federal, state, or local. You, the man or woman with the badge, the sworn LEO or FLEA and those who inhabit the many law enforcement niches in between and on all sides. This essay is directed to you, because in the end, how this turmoil about gun control turns out will depend largely upon your decisions and actions over the coming months and years.

Why is this essay titled Dear Mr. Security Agent, when it dwells mainly upon the media and coastal-dwelling urban liberals and their Utopian belief in the benefits of new gun control laws in the United States? Mr. Security Agent will protest that he is no liberal, he is ex-military, he’s a cop, he’s a fed—he’s one of the good guys! He took the same oath to defend the Constitution that you did, Buster! He doesn’t need any lectures on defending the Constitution! So why single him out in this essay?

Why? Because liberal bliss-ninnies in San Francisco and Boston are not issued flash-bang grenades, battering rams, body armor, flex-cuffs by the gross, and MP-5 submachine guns. No, the dirty end of the confiscation job will fall upon the shoulders of sworn law enforcement officers and gold-badged federal law enforcement agents. The LEOs and the FLEAs. That’s you, Mr. Security Agent.

Continue reading→

Amazon is developing high-tech surveillance tools for an eager customer: America’s police, by Jon Schuppe

Amazon and your local police are taking out a few more of the last remaining vestiges of personal privacy. From John Schuppe at nbcnews.com:

Dozens of law enforcement agencies have used Amazon-powered technology to modernize crime fighting — but critics raise fears of privacy abuses.

On July 12, a few hours before dawn, a man in Chandler, Arizona, was jolted awake by an alert on his phone. It was coming from his Ring security camera, which had detected movement outside his home.

The live feed showed a group of young men breaking into cars. The man hollered at them through his front door, then called the police.

As an officer arrived, the men sped off in a car, leaving behind cellphones, tools and other things they’d taken during their interrupted burglary spree. They abandoned the getaway vehicle in a housing complex and turned themselves in later that morning.

By then, the homeowner had showed police his camera footage and posted it to Neighbors, an app run by Ring, which is owned by Amazon. Ring doesn’t just make the wireless security cameras — it also accesses police data to alert residents of potential crimes, encourages users to share their recordings of suspicious behavior, and connects them with law enforcement.

“Thank goodness for the Ring!!!” the man wrote on Neighbors.

“Thanks for posting,” a Chandler police officer responded.

The exchange was typical of the way police are using Ring, helping it spread its business while using it to detect and investigate crime. The arrangement in Chandler is among dozens of such partnerships around the country, and part of a much broader effort by Amazon to deepen its reach into law enforcement — which critics say is expanding the government’s surveillance of Americans.

Continue reading→

 

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading