MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘serve and protect’

The reimagined police as servants of the left – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on December 23, 2020

Antifa and BLM were allowed to destroy huge swaths of many cities across America, rioting with impunity using firearms, bats, bricks, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, fists, and just about anything you can use to destroy property and physically harm people.

On the other hand, a group of Oregonians were barred from entering a public place to protest lockdowns that are destroying people’s lives.

To Serve and Protect is now To Arrest and Enforce…unless they don’t want to do that either.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/12/the_reimagined_police_as_servants_of_the_left.html

By Carol Brown

We back the blue, but will they back us?

Like most conservatives, I support the police and the vital role they serve in a civilized society.

But like many conservatives, watching them stand down on orders from blue-state mayors during months of riots was jarring.  (They even stood down during a Back the Blue rally in Denver when speakers were attacked.)

Many of us asked how the police could obey such orders and allow criminals to have free rein in our streets — criminals whose victims, I might add, included over 2,000 police officers.

Don’t police officers swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution?  Well, yes, they do.  In fact, that is their paramount responsibility.

Perhaps this year, it seems we witnessed the rule and not the exception — the rule being that most people, including the police, will be cowards in the face of tyrants.

I have to assume that many police officers struggled with the position they were in this year, as noted in a piece written by David Hudson at Law Enforcement Today:

There comes a time, and maybe more specifically, there will come a time, in which a law enforcement officer must remember what he or she swore to when taking this oath.  Remember that order is everything, and by that, I mean the U.S. Constitution comes first, then State Constitution. Everything else is subordinate.

A law enforcement officer’s oath of office dilemma is this: “Do I enforce a law that is in opposition to the United States Constitution?”  In the current climate we see that law enforcement officers may have to face this dilemma.  I urge you to read about the Constitution, the powers delegated to Congress by the Constitution, the applicable laws passed by Congress and Supreme Court case law. I ask you to be introspective on how you will deal with this dilemma, all while taking into account what you swore before God and Country.

But struggle as some may have, the end result was that they obeyed, and in so doing abdicated their primary oath.

It’s scary stuff that does not bode well for the future.

And yesterday, perhaps a bit of that future arrived when anti-lockdown protesters tried to gain entry to the Oregon State Capitol building, where the Legislature was holding a special session.  Breitbart reports:

While legislative sessions are normally open to the public, today’s was closed to anyone other than lawmakers, police, some staff, and reporters, the Oregon Statesman-Journal reported. Legislators met to attempt to pass pandemic-relief measures including landlord and tenant assistance.

It appears that some of the protesters showed up armed (some with firearms and at least one with a pitchfork).  Although Oregon is an open carry state, several cities have open carry bans in public places.  And as is the case in many open carry states, no firearms are allowed inside public buildings anywhere in the state.

So there’s that.

It also appears that some of the protesters were aggressive against the police (who were armed and in full riot gear), spraying them with tear gas and bear spray.


YouTube screen grab.

For their part, the police appeared to get aggressive, pushing, using pepper spray, and shooting people at close range with rubber bullets.  Four people were arrested.

This event was complicated.  Among other things, it highlighted how differently the police may respond to one group and not another.

Antifa and BLM were allowed to destroy huge swaths of many cities across America, rioting with impunity using firearms, bats, bricks, fireworks, Molotov cocktails, fists, and just about anything you can use to destroy property and physically harm people.

On the other hand, a group of Oregonians were barred from entering a public place to protest lockdowns that are destroying people’s lives.

One would have hoped the police could have found a way to funnel people through a door and check for weapons, weeding out those who had them.  But maybe not.  I’m not a police officer, but I understand enough to realize that heated situations are complex and dangerous.  But aren’t they trained to handle such situations?

It was maddening to see the disparity between how rioters were given free rein all year while folks in Oregon were met with the full force of the law.

And this is a huge concern, because I fear that the police may be slowly morphing into an arm of the Democrat party to be used against citizens in ways that target conservatives and allow Marxists to roam free, destroying everything in their path.  This is one way I fear the left plans to “reimagine” the police.  Law enforcement can become a tool at the disposal of tyrants to inflict grave harm and further corral the citizenry into submission.  (See here for an AT blog post from 2013 that addresses this very thing.)

Yesterday’s event in Oregon also highlights how it feels like a powder keg is about to blow across this country.  Citizens are enraged and feel powerless.  It feels as though the stolen election was the final straw.  If the ballot box is rigged, then what’s left?  When you lose your voice in a civilized society, what remains?  Violence, I’m afraid.

This situation also highlights a phenomenon that probably has a name, but far be it from me to know it.  It goes like this: the left creates an environment that locks us out of power and silences our voice.  All the while, they accuse us of being “extremists” and “terrorists” even though we’re peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

But then they push us up against the wall such that we feel out of options.  It is at this point that otherwise law-abiding and peaceful citizens may express their rage in violent ways for lack of any other choice.  And in so doing, they become the thing they were falsely accused of being all along.  Their now violent actions confirm in the minds of the mindless that, you see, they are extremists and terrorists!

It’s a trap, part of the tangled, dark, evil sickness that is enveloping us from which we must break free.

To read more about what happened in Oregon yesterday, see here and here.  Normally, I would summarize more, but these days, it’s hard to know what to believe that’s in print, another sad sign of the times.

Please God give us strength and show us a path through.

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‘Serve and Protect’? Eighty Percent of Criminal Charges Are for Misdemeanors | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on September 6, 2020

We are taught in elementary school that our government exists to secure our rights to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” Police are to be deployed as a means to protect us from those that would violate such rights.

Sadly, we are way beyond that point. Legislators create countless laws to restrict or mandate behaviors having nothing to do with protecting our basic rights. Police are dispatched to enforce these rules, making criminals out of peaceful people who never aggressed against anyone.

The criminal justice system has turned into a money-making machine, punishing millions of victimless misdemeanors to collect fines to pay the people running and enforcing the system.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/serve-and-protect-eighty-percent-of-criminal-charges-are-for-misdemeanors/

by

A recent meeting by a North Carolina state government task force underscored that the mission today of American police forces may well be less to “serve and protect” and more to “harass and extract.”

“Of North Carolina’s 1.9 million criminal charges, 1.6 million of those are misdemeanors,” reported the N.C Insider (subscription required). This statistic was revealed by Jessica Smith, a professor of public law and government at the UNC School of Government, to members of the N.C. Task Force on Racial Equity in an August 20 meeting.

Smith told the work group that only 6.7% of those misdemeanors were considered violent. “I would say that the justice system is largely a non-violent misdemeanor system,” Smith added.

According to the news account of the task force meeting, Smith said that “the majority of the nonviolent misdemeanor charges are traffic, including speeding, driving with a revoked license, expired registration or not having an operator’s license.” Moreover, the article continued, Smith noted that “outside traffic violations, the most charged misdemeanors are larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, possessions of a half-ounce of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.”

Clogging up the state’s court systems are cases of minor victimless offenses, according to Smith.

Smith pointed out some of the most absurd misdemeanors consuming the state court system’s time. These included “not having a city dog tag, leash law violations or having tinted windows,” according to the news report.

North Carolina’s trends mirror the national data.

In this 2019 Equal Justice Initiative article, former federal public defender and legal scholar Alexandra Natapoff “estimates that misdemeanors comprise approximately 80 percent of all arrests and 80 percent of state dockets, based on arrest data from the FBI and other statistical reports.”

Natapoff concludes from her research that, “Misdemeanors are moneymakers for local jurisdictions,” adding that “Because they fund courts, probation offices, public defender and prosecutor offices, and even the general budget in some jurisdictions…misdemeanors function as a regressive tax policy that shifts costs for basic services to the poorest citizens.”

Legislators create more and more violations, making it virtually impossible for the average citizen to make it through the day without violating one of them. This is on top of the laws, like drug possession, that prohibit “unapproved” behavior in which there is no actual victim. The criminal justice system has been turned into more of a cash cow extracting fines and penalties from peaceful citizens than an institution protecting its citizens from the aggression of others.

Overcriminalization has led to overpolicing. It’s become so ludicrous, that according to a 2019 report by the Vera Institute of Justice, an arrest is made every 3 seconds in America.

The report notes that “fewer than 5 percent” of the arrests are for serious violent crimes, and furthermore “the authors of the study suggested that arresting large numbers of people for minor offenses for nonviolent or comparatively minor offenses can effectively undermine the trust and legitimacy that effective law enforcement requires.”

The mass levels of arrests and police interactions with citizens amazingly come at a time when violent crime has been decreasing. This 2019 Reason article noted that the violent crime rate fell another 3.3 percent from 2017 to 2018, after a “reduction of violent crime by roughly half since 1993.”

Because of the rising trend of overcriminalization, Reason reported that “about 6.4 percent of Americans born before 1949 have been arrested, compared to about 23 percent of those born between 1979 and 1988.”

Unsurprisingly, Reason noted that “Drug arrests have grown increasingly common, now representing 9 percent of arrests for men and 8 percent for women,” and further that “11 percent of arrests of women and 16 percent of those of men are for underage drinking.”

Being arrested for even such petty, non-violent transgressions can cause long-lasting damage to the lives of those being charged. Stiff fines can put low-income people in to debt that takes years to climb out of, and adding a misdemeanor to one’s record can create significant barriers to employment.

And of course, having so many interactions between citizens and police increases the odds of more interactions turning violent or deadly.

We are taught in elementary school that our government exists to secure our rights to “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.” Police are to be deployed as a means to protect us from those that would violate such rights.

Sadly, we are way beyond that point. Legislators create countless laws to restrict or mandate behaviors having nothing to do with protecting our basic rights. Police are dispatched to enforce these rules, making criminals out of peaceful people who never aggressed against anyone.

The criminal justice system has turned into a money-making machine, punishing millions of victimless misdemeanors to collect fines to pay the people running and enforcing the system. Like everything else it touches, the state has turned the criminal justice system into a means to enrich itself at citizens’ expense.

Bradley Thomas is creator of the website Erasethestate.com and author of the book “Tweeting Liberty: Libertarian Tweets to Smash Statists and Socialists.” He is a libertarian activist who enjoys researching and writing on the freedom philosophy and Austrian economics. Follow him on Twitter @erasestate.

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Why the Police Must Be Removed from the Equation

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2020

Of course, if the police are trained primarily to control the citizenry
rather than to be a part of the community, they will eventually inspire
alienation, resentment and hatred.

There can be no doubt that there will be widespread unrest and riots as a result. At this point, the US has a host of federal enforcement agencies: the NSA, DHS, USMS, CIA, FBI, BOP, USSS, TSA, CBP, BIS, OLE, DIA, NGA, OCR, FAMS, DEA, National Guard and literally dozens of others.

If and when the people of the US begin to rebel on a significant scale, it would not be at all surprising if some or most of these agencies were called out to suppress dissent.

https://internationalman.com/articles/why-the-police-must-be-removed-from-the-equation/

by Jeff Thomas

In America, no one likes the police… not really.

There are many, perhaps even half of Americans, who conceptually support the idea of the police, but virtually no one likes what the police have become.

At one time, the fellow in the image above was America’s idea of the neighbourhood cop. Today, if one were to conjure up an image of a policeman, it would be a more Darth Vader-like image of a man whose face is obscured by mask, goggles and helmet, wearing body armour, and carrying an assault weapon.

Decades ago, the local cop was looked upon as a good guy – part of the community. He may not have been thought of as having been part of the intelligentsia, but he did receive his training under the concept of “serve and protect,” and for the most part, he behaved accordingly.

But that’s no longer so.

Somewhere along the line, policemen ceased to receive training under the heading of “serve and protect,” and now receive an entirely different form of training that focuses on control.

Not long ago, I watched a police training video in which police recruits were being led by a trainer, punching their fists in the air in unison, and shouting repeatedly, “I have the power! I have the power!”

And, unfortunately, that’s the direction the police in America have gravitated to – if not on a national level, then at least in areas of high population concentration.

This is quite an important change. Once the latest batch of recruits have been indoctrinated into the concept that “You must submit to my authority,” there will be more frequent extremes in force, including some actual homicides. Whilst most police will be likely to maintain a measure of self-control, there will be those few who, if any resistance occurs, will go to any length to achieve submission, including homicide.

Of course, if the police are trained primarily to control the citizenry rather than to be a part of the community, they will eventually inspire alienation, resentment and hatred.

But if we’re objective, we’ll recognize that, periodically, there have always been community protests and that they’ve sometimes become violent. In each such case the local police have been called in.

So, what’s different now?

Well, although few police have actually overstepped their authority and become unreasonably forceful, they tend to all be tarred with the same brush – both the protestors and the media tend to label them all as fascist and racist – even those police who are the same race as their accusers.

Clearly, logic is not a deterrent to typecasting.

This is not the first time such accusations have occurred – they tend to pop up whenever police are tasked with controlling crowds.

But now we’re seeing a new twist.

Governors, mayors, police commissioners and even police chiefs now routinely apologise for their officers, accepting the media’s tendency to lump them all together as being fascist and racist.

This has not resulted in a toning down of the vitriol heaped on the police. Quite the contrary – the rhetoric has only become louder and is led on a daily basis by the media.

And we’re now beginning to see the reaction by the police themselves. Those who previously accepted their task of confronting protesters and rioters have begun to call in sick en masse, or even walk away from their jobs entirely.

No doubt they’re hoping that their disappearance from duty will make both the public and their own superiors swallow hard and say, “We’re sorry, I guess we were too harsh. We should have supported you in doing the job you were hired to do. Please come back.”

But this is not what will happen. Those who are in the upper reaches of the police hierarchy will try to save their own skins, and will take a knee, on camera, in apology for their officers.

This will only serve to further polarize the front-line police from their superiors.

At the same time, we’re seeing placards by the thousands, reading, “Defund the Police.”

And this is not a mere idle threat. The media now promote a programme under which most police duties would be turned over to social workers, mental health practitioners, and “victim advocates.”

So, the objective here is not to defund, but to re-allocate those funds, diminishing the numbers of actual police drastically.

It would appear that only a small segment of the population actually support this concept, yet the great majority who may well fear diminished police protection are noticeably silent, apparently fearful of appearing to be politically incorrect.

The outcome would be to de-fang police at the local level, to render them incapable of the “protect” portion of “serve and protect.”

But why? And why now?

Well, the US has entered an economic crisis. At present, it’s perceived by most to be a downturn due to the coronavirus, but it will soon become apparent that it is a major crisis that has only just begun.

And it will be devastating to the lives of Americans.

Soon, they’ll figure out that the government, the banksters, et al, have robbed them of their economic stability and they’re headed for a state of neo-serfdom.

There can be no doubt that there will be widespread unrest and riots as a result. At this point, the US has a host of federal enforcement agencies: the NSA, DHS, USMS, CIA, FBI, BOP, USSS, TSA, CBP, BIS, OLE, DIA, NGA, OCR, FAMS, DEA, National Guard and literally dozens of others.

If and when the people of the US begin to rebel on a significant scale, it would not be at all surprising if some or most of these agencies were called out to suppress dissent.

And this perception is not by any means conjecture or “conspiracy theory.” The 2001 Patriot Act and 2011 National Defense Authorization Act effectively allow the entire US to be redefined as a battleground, to be controlled by martial law.

Of course, if federal troops are deployed in the US, the group of combat-trained individuals who are most likely to stand against them would be the local police. After all, it’s their own communities that would be under fire, their own neighbours who would be the casualties.

History has shown that, when the central government’s troops move in to control a population, the local enforcers often turn against them and become their adversaries.

Therefore, a federal government would be wise to diminish that potential opposition, months prior to any major move toward martial law.

If that is indeed what’s in store, we should not be surprised if the central government and the media work together to remove the local police from the equation.

Editor’s Note: The truth is, we’re on the cusp of a economic crisis that could eclipse anything we’ve seen before. And most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming. That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released a free report with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. Click here to download the PDF now.

 

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