Cops versus Citizens   10 comments

I totally support our Constitutional system of election. If you’re seeking a partner for a coup against the Constitutionally-elected President of the United States, I’m not your gal. The day the military overthrows the sitting government is the day I will begin contemplating how much I’m willing to do to fight for the restoration of the constitutional republic of the United States. For now, I will continue trying to educate with this blog.

Image result for image cop violence against citizensThere are right and good ways to reform this country. And there are bad ways. I don’t bash Trump every day and I give him kudos when he does something right, but if he does something I disagree with, I reserve the right to criticize it.

Last Wednesday, President Trump signed three executive orders to focus federal resources on fighting drug cartels, increasing overall public safety, and preventing violence against law enforcement officers.

At a quick glance, those sound like worthy goals, but …

I’m worried about all three of them, but especially the directive to “pursue appropriate legislation…that will define new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes, in order to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.”

Don’t get me wrong. It might be easy to do on this subject. I think the police in general in America have become abusive to the citizens, but I am not in favor of shoot cops. I’m simply in favor of cops being disciplined to within an inch of their life when they shoot citizens. Yes, there are times when citizens do things that cops have to respond to and sometime that requires violence. But I think we’ve reached a point where the violence is often reflexive and unnecessary and the only solution I see to that is for any cop who shoots a citizen to be placed on trial for murder and forced to defend themselves by the same systems citizens have to rely on when they shoot a cop. Oh, wait, usually if you shoot a cop in the United States, you end up dead before you get to trial. So, let me reiterate — I don’t believe in shoot cops. I think all of this should be worked out in a trial court.

So, the reason this edict from on high bothers me is there is no evidence that local or state officials have been reluctant to capture and punish those who commit violence against police. There’s also is little empirical evidence that more punitive sentences deter crime generally. I used to believe it did, but after 30 years of this experiment, enough evidence has accumulated to convince me that I was wrong.

Constitutionally, the federal government has no business getting involved when local law enforcement is doing its job. This is essentially the same argument Republicans used when they opposed the expansion of federal hate crimes protections to individuals with alternative sexual orientation or gender identity. Federal criminal law should be used sparingly, and only in circumstances in which local or state law enforcement are unable or unwilling to enforce the appropriate law. Violence against police officers is taken seriously in every policing jurisdiction in America. This executive order is unnecessary and will probably be turned toward even more abuse of citizens by police.

Keeping law enforcement officers safe is a noble goal, but cops in this country don’t need even more power going to their heads. Let’s thing a little bit about keeping citizens safe from the cops.

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10 responses to “Cops versus Citizens

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  1. Right. Gun crime. We think your gun *laws* are crazy, BTW.
    Gun ownership is MOSTLY well controlled in Australia – regardless of what the talking heads on tv say about us.

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    • And Americans think leaving ordinary citizens at the mercy of violent thugs is crazy. The fact is, I can’t take a cop with me everywhere I go … nor would I want to haul around one of those tyrants.

      My mom chased off three rapists when I was in junior high school. She did that with a gun. They went down the road and found an unarmed household to finish what they started. Statistics show that Americans protect themselves from violent crime about 14 million times a year … and that’s just the incidents that are reported to the police.

      The fact is that American cops seem to shoot a lot of unarmed people and then wonder why people turn around shoot cops. The fact is that the cops-shooting-citizens thing has been going on for decades and didn’t make the news until citizens started shooting back. If we were all disarmed, we’d be like some of the places I’ve been to in Europe … the cops are armed and the people aren’t and, my observation, the concept of actually exercising rights doesn’t exist. They substitute the “right” of protection for the RIGHT to live their lives.

      That would be anathema to most Americans … although it’s a concept our city dwellers were losing before a recent Supreme Court decision that said the government may not restrict the right of gun ownership.

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      • Our cops get in enough trouble for tazing someone. Does your population have a lot to do with it? You’ve got what 200 something million people? Australia has about 22 mil. Difficult to get to (except from Indonesia). & we don’t do the “I know my rights” thing. Oh, some people do, but on the whole, most citizens will do what the cops say; & on the whole, the cops here are ok. Except when they merge crime with mental health & crim’s get that leave pass. But then, that’s the court system too. Yeah, they show that footage of unarmed people getting shot in Australia. It must be terrifying to be a coloured person getting stopped by the cops.

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      • The US has 320 million and about half live in densely populated cities, so yes, population density has something to do with it. It’s also the one-size-fits-all policing model that has grown up in the last 15 years (since 911 militarized our police).

        It’s not usually rural cops who are shooting people. It’s a big city and, sadly, a black city, phenomenon. Some of that is due to the aggression the black population often shows toward cops, but most of it is that cops here these days are in cars. They never get to know the people they’re supposed to be serving, so they’re paranoid of us. They treat every traffic stop, every encounter as a potentially dangerous event. They’re also looking for reasons to arrest people. It’s “Hey, your brake light is out. I want to search your trunk and backseat so I can find pot.” In a society where rights are valued and protected, to have a jackboot demanding to violate those rights puts people on edge.

        It’s also not just black people who need to fear from American cops. They shoot more white people than they do blacks, just that proportion to population, blacks are shot at a higher rate. If that makes sense.

        My deaf cousin lost a friend last winter who, being deaf, was reaching for his phone to “talk” to the officer, who shot him dead. According to the guy’s mother, who was in the car, her son signed “I’m deaf. I need to write” (which should be a basic for all cops to know; it’s not a hard sign) three times and the cop nodded before he reached for his phone, but the cop still shot him. The cop, of course, claimed self-defense. He’s on paid administrative leave and will likely be back on the job by spring.

        It’s not a problem that will be easy to fix. Americans won’t give up their rights — which is a good thing — but the militarization of our police is ongoing under Trump as it was under Obama, so I expect the problem will get worse, not better.

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      • 320 mill!?? That’s awful. Unless you really like it, of course. I couldn’t imagine that many people. Sydney’s bad enough with 5 – but maybe it’s 7 by now. That is terrible about the deaf guy. I guess because our population is so small, changes in gov’t practices are easier to implement. The cops used to never bother with DV issues – now, there have been so many women murdered by partners that they approach DV differently. I’ve attached an article which has a graph of police shootings in a 3-yr period – 14 in the whole of Australia. It also says there are an average of 400 police shootings/yr in the US. That’s pretty hard core. http://theconversation.com/shoot-to-kill-the-use-of-lethal-force-by-police-in-australia-34578
        Nuh. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else than here. Mind you, Alaska might be nice.

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      • Alaska has less than a million people spread over 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km2). About half of them (400,000) live in Anchorage (the only big city we have). I would not choose to live there for any reason. Fairbanks has about 25,000 in the city, but the larger area has about 100,000. That’s about right … big enough to support some department stores and a movie theater, but we can be out in real wilderness in 10 minutes of driving.

        There’s a huge amount of empty space in the United States. We’re a big country. If the city dwellers would spread out a little, they wouldn’t think they were overcrowded at all.

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  2. Reblogged this on Let me give YOU the Moe-down.

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  3. This is why I’m against the talk of arming the police in the UK. As with many things, I would definitely trust the UK police way more than I’d trust the US law enforcement, but I still wouldn’t trust them with the means to kill. Not because I think they’re all murderous assholes, but because anybody with a gun will be tempted to use it when it isn’t necessary.
    It won’t take long to find a youtube video of UK cops disarming a knife-wielding lunatic using only that flimsy collapsible rod we give them. And yet US cops are so quick to pull the trigger when faced with an unarmed man.
    I hope, for the sake of the friends I have in the US, that your courts will continue to obstruct Trump’s attempts to bring 1930/40’s Germany to your country.

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  4. I read about the practice of “policing for profit” in the US. Police departments target civilians and seize their cash and property before conviction and the burden of proof is on the property owner to prove his or her innocence to regain possession of the seize property. Many cannot afford lawyers to defend themselves so they lose their possesions and end up with a crimal record. No need to give cops more powers, I think.

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    • “Asset forfeiture” is the official name. You don’t have to be charged with a crime even. If the cops suspect your property has been used for criminal activity, they can seize it. You can be found not guilty of the crime of which you were charged that resulted in the forfeiture and still not get your property back … and that’s happening even to people who have lawyers. Technically, nobody in the US cannot afford a lawyer because if you meet the income guidelines, you can have one appointed for you, but in reality a lot of middle class people can’t afford a lawyer because they don’t meet the income guidelines, but so many of us have no savings and our credit is so maxed out that if we’re charged with a crime, we can’t come up with the retainer for a private attorney. There are private attorneys who have started doing pro bono because the unconstitutionality of asset forfeiture bothers them, but it is a huge problem here in the US … one that many people are unaware of until they are caught up in it.

      Although the Supreme Court has ruled it is constitutional, that is an example were our courts have been hijacked by lunacy as it is in clear violation of the 5th amendment.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/supreme-court-ruling-on-civil-forfeiture-2014-11

      http://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-hirschs-money-seized-by-the-irs-2014-11

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