Remember how people are always saying that the police are the only ones who can be trusted to carry or own guns? When I point out that we are becoming a police state, people almost always tell me that we are nowhere close, because the police aren’t as bad as country X. My point is that waiting until it is as bad as some random totalitarian nation, it will be too late to stop it.
Let me give you some examples of a our police state:
In June of 2014, Lakeland, FL officers arrested Michael Burns for public masturbation.
It appears that the police got an anonymous complaint to their
non-emergency number, stating that Burns was masturbating in public.
When Burns filed a public information request for the police call
system, he traced the anonymous call to one of the police officer’s cell
phone. That’s right, the cops provided their own reasonable suspicion
by making an anonymous call, so that they could harass a citizen.
did he actually do? He was filming the officer performing his duties,
which is not a crime in Florida, so they had to invent one. According to
the police, this is not the first time he has done this.
Why is filming police officers such a major problem? Because even when they know they are being filmed, because they are the ones doing the filming, they say stupid things:
Alexandra Torrensvilas of Broward County, FL was the target of cops who pinned a DUI on her in 2009 for an accident one of them caused. The officers were caught on tape making up an intricate story to cover for a traffic accident involving a cop car.Officers Joel Francisco, Dewey Presley, Karim Thomas, and Sgt Andrew Diaz were caught falsifying evidence, conspiring to lie on official reports, and arresting the innocent woman, all to that Francisco wouldn’t receive discipline for getting in the accident.Throughout the tape, the cops acknowledged what they are doing is
illegal, but when you are the law, there is nothing wrong with bending
it for a fellow cop, one is heard saying. “I don’t lie and make things up ever because it’s wrong, but if I need
to bend it a little bit to protect a cop, I’ll do it,” Pressley tells
Francisco after reassuring him no one will ever find out. “She’s
freaking hammered anyway.”
In 2012, Officers Francisco and Dewey Pressley each received 90 days in jail, but none of the others were even charged. Sure, they were suspended, but were back on the job, free to frame others, within days.
A former NYPD
narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was
common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to
meet arrest quotas…Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was
busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men
in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low. The city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest suit by Jose Colon
and his brother Maximo, who were falsely arrested by Anderson and
Tavarez. A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed.
A federal judge presiding over the suit said the NYPD’s plagued by “widespread falsification” by arresting officers.
You get that? It happens so often that police actually have a word for it! The judge even said that the conduct is “widespread.”
In 2013, a lawsuit accused NYPD detectives of again arresting people on false charges, so that they could meet a quota.
One study found that 10,000 innocent people a year are convicted for crimes that they did not commit.
There is the one thing that the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protesters have gotten right: police need to wear body cameras. That way, the good cops will be protected from false charges, while the bad ones will have to face some accountability.
I know police have privacy rights while off duty, on breaks, and other times. I get that, but they don’t have that right while performing their jobs. Everything that I say in their presence can be used against me, so I don’t see why the things that are said cannot be used in my favor. So, my proposal is this: pass a law that any time a police recording is not available for any reason, including technical problems, the police are assumed to be lying. After all, why hide something, if there is nothing to hide. Turnabout, as they say, is fair play.