Virginia police over-step authority

These kinds of stories are becoming so common as to hardly merit specific mention anymore, at least as “news.”  At this point the more crucial matter is taking account of the erosion of freedoms in this country.  In a kind of sequel to the Professor Gates outrage, in which Boston police harassed him long after it was obvious that he was indeed the owner of the house, local Virginia police tased a cooperative grandfather and a pregnant woman at, of all things, a baptismal party.  Read about it here and here.  (Recall that tasing can be life threatening, and that it was originally conceived as a possible substitute for deadly force, but only in those situations which would call for the use of deadly force.  In other words, not a baptismal party.)

In both cases, the outdated “disorderly conduct” law was cited as cause to arrest these citizens who were minding their own business.  This is a law that was created to give cops the authority to tamp down race riots over labor conflicts that occurred in the early 20th century between various immigrant groups.  In both states concerned, the law specifically says that the alleged disorderly conduct must have occurred in public in order to be considered a violation of the code; in both these cases, the arrests were made on private property.  Let this be another lesson that the government never follows its own rules.  Keep this in mind when they try to allay your fears about this or that proposal.

Many people have commented unfavorably on my principled dislike of the police, but how else am I to feel about an organization which uses its monopoly on violence to harass peaceful citizens?  These men are considered “heroes” by many, but heroes don’t shoot black labs and claim that they felt threatened; they don’t invoke war zone-like rules of engagement, treating fleeing potential suspects as definite aggressors, as a proposal in Chicago would have it; and heroes don’t tase dudes that just want to ask Sen. John Kerry a question, man.  These acts are not heroic; they are cowardly.  The cops want you to think that they risk their lives for you, but this is not true to the extent that they lead us to believe.  The fact is that they are far more willing to engage in pre-emptive self-defense than they will ever admit.

Worse than the cops, however, might well be the citizens who defend this tyrannical behavior.  These reflexive traditionalists don’t seem to realize that some day they could be the victim of police brutality; that it might be their relative in the ambulance that gets pulled over and medical care delayed (a misdemeanor, btw) because of some power-hungry cop; that it might be they who are harassed by the TSA when they inquire as to whether or not they’re legally compelled to answer questions.  Et cetera.  We call these kinds of incidents “harassment” precisely because the people on the wrong side of luck in these cases did nothing wrong.  So what is going to prevent something like this from happening to you?

The reflexive traditionalists, and some of the thoughtful ones, too, will answer that the police guard the tranquil order.  I suppose that in a State in which the police take appropriate action against violators of the rights to life, self, and property, this argument can be made.  But today the police are, if anything,  disturbers of the ordo tranquilitatis, and our sick willingness to look the other way until it affects ourselves enables them to perpetuate this errand of hostility.

Jury acquits cop of shooting defenseless woman and boy

From LRC we have this story.  William Grigg has said everything that needs to be said, so I’ll only add that my dislike for the police is now principled.  There have been too many incidents like this, and the only time MSNBCCNNFOX seem to take any notice is when the story has the potential to stir up wider-ranging strife, such as when race is a factor.  Other than that, they have no interest in whether or not the cops are actually respecting the rights of the citizens.

Denver Police break man’s teeth against the sidewalk–after he was handcuffed

A reader graciously left us a link in the post below about Denver’s new concentration camp which goes to a most unbelievable video. Denver Police beat the living crap out of a bicyclist, then lied about it in court–but they didn’t know about the video. Charges of second degree assault of a police officer have now been dropped against the victim, but the police themselves may well be facing charges.

It’s time to end the monopoly on law and order. (By monopoly, I mean the traditional definition of it which means that a business enjoys the legal protection of the government.) The Polizei are not doing their jobs properly. It seems as though they’re either brutal or, having been paid off, ineffectual.

City of Denver prepares concentration camp for Democratic National Convention protesters

The government loves the opportunity to arrest people.  Ever see those guys on the TV show COPS?  They think they’re doing us good when they arrest some dude who was going 7mph over the speed limit and just happened to have a small joint of marijuana in the back seat of the car.

The City of Denver is getting in on the act now, too. (I wonder if they’ll bring in Eric Cartman from South Park as backup.)  They have built a maze of chain-link fences and barbed wire where anyone who is arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be taken.  The ACLU wants to know how such prisoners will be given access to food, bathrooms, and medical care.  That would be a good start.

Oh, and there’s a sign that reads, “Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility.”  Lovely.

Americans, in their docility, raise barely a word of objection to such things.  I think it’s probably because most people think it can’t happen to them.

An Apology from the PG County Police–Almost

What should we make of this? Chief of Police Melvin G. High expressed “regret” for the incident which killed a small town mayor’s two black labs, but stopped short of apologizing for the actions of the officers. It hardly seems consistent. I’m tired of politicians (and police chiefs are politicians these days) not doing the right thing in order to cover their asses.

Prince George’s County Plagued by Police Brutality

Via Matt Drudge comes this story of a small town mayor whose house was raided by Prince George’s County (MD) Police. The police violated the warrant by entering without knocking, and they killed both family pets and forced one occupant to lie face down next to one of the bodies.

This isn’t the first time the PG County Police have overdone it.

It’s time for a new model to preserve law and order. I once witnessed a domestic dispute here in Philadelphia on the subway. The guy was being a real jerk to his wife/girlfriend. Everyone in the car was uncomfortable, yet no one wanted to step in. Finally one man about my father’s age stepped up and asked the girl where she wanted to go. He probably was able to offer her a way out without getting the police involved, a decision that always involves bureaucratic over-reaction.

It was an interesting episode and illustrated to me how a real community can negate the need for any State whatsoever. It’s also reminiscent of Friederich Hayek’s statement that the more intrusive a State is, the less virtuous its citizens become.