Much is being said about the Ferguson police, their behavior and military equipment being used in the ongoing riots in St Louis. In fact, much has been discussed over the past several years with what many perceive as unjustified use of force and treatment from police officers across the country. Camera phones have increased the visibility of police officers who abuse their badge and the rights of citizens.
However, many of us are making the mistake of equating M-4 rifles, black tactical uniforms, armored vehicles, etc with the growing number of unjustified force cases. This is not the case. It is the attitudes of these “badge heavy” fascists who are eager to overstep their constitutional authority. Not the make of gun.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Apparently, police forces across the country are attracting those of low character. There are thousands of videos of police officers abusing the constitutional and civil rights of citizens. When challenged by a person knowledgeable of their rights, police often become threatening and belligerent.
Here’s some big bad fascists throwing around their badges.
Here’s another from another fascist:
Police hate video cameras because they cannot hide from their tyranny any longer.
Back to the armaments. Equating tactical rifles and equipment with fascist behavior is the same mistake made by anti-gunners. They argue that a scary looking AR15 “assault rifle” with a 30 round “clip” is the cause of all gun violence in the world. If cops carrying AR15s are abusing our rights, it must be the military equipment they are using, right? Wrong! Officer Friendly from the 1950’s could kill you just as dead with his six-shot S&W .38 revolver as Officer Rock can with his $4,000 tactical rifle with night vision optics. I make the same argument to those criticizing military police gear as I do to anti-gunners. It’s the finger on the trigger and not the weapon that violates your rights!
I’m sure there are some wannabe Rambo type cops who squeeze into that tactical uniform and automatically believe they are Navy Seals with the attitude and training to go with it. But police officers are to serve and protect, not violate the rights of citizens. The police are not the military no matter in what costumes they dress up.
Being a cop is not easy. They, in many cases, deal with human trash. But that’s no reason to abuse the rights of anyone, especially the law-abiding citizens. There are good cops who do a great service to their communities keeping us safe. There are also jerks who throw around their badges whenever they are questioned for pulling us over in traffic for some BS infraction. There are those, like in the Boston Marathon bomber case, who illegally searched the homes of anyone they chose with guns drawn.
It’s important to know your rights. It’s important to know how to talk to the police. They don’t like to be questioned so be very careful to not escalate the tension. Keep a recording or video of stops. Keep calm and don’t be bullied. Cops are not our friends. And they will in many cases bully and outright lie to us to get their way. You don’t have to answer questions. Know the law and know your rights.
Just don’t make the mistake of blaming the behavior of a bunch of hard-assed, power hungry, fascist cops on the weapons they carry. Blame them for abuse of power!