Monday, September 07, 2015

Lite Guv blasts media for reporting police lawbreaking, misconduct

The discourse in Texas surrounding police accountability reached a new low last week with the Lt. Governor's contribution. Reported the Houston Chronicle's Bobby Cervantes (Sept. 3):
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, no stranger to radio interviews, had to stop and think about whether he would record one for a Texas outlet. He ended up doing it -- talking about his recent call for Texans to treat officers with respect -- but not without chastising the program's host when he tried to steer the discussion to cases of police violence.

"Your type of interview has to stop," Patrick told The Texas Standard's David Brown on Thursday. "Quit focusing on the small percentage of those in law enforcement who have made a mistake or have broken the law themselves." ...

"When I was asked to do an interview on NPR, I thought to myself, you know, do you really want to do this?" Patrick wondered aloud on the air. "They're not in the police officers' corner, and you've proven that by your interview."
It's the press' role to referee these sorts of public policy debates, not work one sides' "corner" or the other. Somebody needs to be in the truth's corner and in this case, Dan Patrick is describing a scenario far removed from reality. The man who allegedly killed Deputy Goforth in Houston is seriously mentally ill and there's zero evidence he was motivated by anything other than his longstanding, well-documented insanity. Regardless, Patrick elaborated his views in a followup Facebook post in which he declared:
I am sick and tired and downright angry at those who demean our law enforcement officers with their verbal attacks. They stir up those who follow up the verbal assault in the streets and on TV with deadly attacks on our officers. The national disrespect for law enforcement must end and end now. The talking heads and loud mouths who constantly attack our law enforcement with their words are putting these men and women in harm's way at a level I have not seen in my lifetime.
Having observed this dynamic for two decades, Grits wasn't surprised to see police and politicians smearing their political enemies as sympathetic to cop killers, no matter how far fetched their claims. Such aggressive confrontation tactics come straight out of the playbook. And to be fair, Dan Patrick didn't start this foolishness. In this case, the meme that somehow #BlackLivesMatter was to blame for the death of Deputy Goforth was launched almost immediately.  
At a second press conference Saturday [Dep. Goforth was shot on Friday] to describe the arrest, Hickman said anti-cop rhetoric could influence people to commit crimes against police officers, but he said he had "no details as to a motive" in this case.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson told reporters earlier Saturday the "vast majority” of police officers had good intentions, despite a “few bad apples” — an apparent reference to recent, high-profile police shootings of unarmed people that has fueled the #BlackLivesMatter movement and other outcries against police brutality.
“That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement,” Anderson said. “What happened last night is an assault on the fabric of society.”
Or as recounted by the Houston Press: "Hickman, who cited the 'dangerous national rhetoric that’s out there today' surrounding policing, was even more explicit. This increased scrutiny of law enforcement (or 'rhetoric,' as Hickman put it) has led to the 'calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers,' Hickman said."

Not only has no one in the political movement surrounding #blacklivesmatter declared "war" on law enforcement, in reality it is the safest time to be a cop in living memory. Patrick's suggestion that we're witnessing a "war on police" would seem silly except that, like Sheriff Hickman's comments, it's reported nearly uncritically. Because reporters dutifully show up at PR events and transcribe whatever's claimed, it is easy for police agencies to take an isolated if terrible tragedy like this and use it to manipulate public opinion.

Notably, framing the issue as a "war" implicitly justifies censorship.

It's unseemly and wrong for the Lt. Governor to use Deputy Goforth's murder as a cudgel to beat back legitimate questions about police violence and misconduct. The worst part: doing so conveniently diverts discussion away from more relevant considerations which arise from this episode that the Lt. Governor could actually do something about, like the gaping failures in the state's mental-health system which led to this moment, or how someone with the alleged shooter's violent, mentally-ill record could get a gun. (He'd been declared incompetent in an assault case by a Texas court as recently as 2012.) The only connection between this incident and the Black Lives Matter movement are the crass misrepresentations of a demagogue.

The good news: 2017 is a long way away and a lot can happen between now and then. Other Republican politicians - particularly Tea-Party affiliated members - offered countervailing views in the wake of Sandra Bland's death, so not everyone believes cops' actions can't be questioned. But Patrick's adoption of "war on police" rhetoric and his declaration that the press oversteps merely by asking questions about police use of force bodes ill for the future of police accountability legislation in the Texas Senate. Presumably, he'd view filing legislation as an even greater heresy than merely asking questions. OTOH, much can change in 16 months.

MORE: From Mark Bennett, Robb Fickman, and Erica Grieder.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everyone already knows that Dan Patrick is a horrible person. Unfortunately, in Texas, horrible people are in the majority.

Gadfly said...

Grits, very true on how this could lead to splits w/in Tea Partyism. The Cliven Bundy-type distrust of federal law enforcement extends to state and local law enforcement in many cases.

dudleysharp said...

Fifteen officers nationwide were killed in ambush assaults in 2014, matching 2012 for the highest total since 1995."

One important asterisk to this news: While gun deaths of officers have increased, they still remain 12-percent lower than the decade-long average of 57.

"Firearms-related fatalities peaked in 1973, when 156 officers were shot and killed. Since then, the average number of officers shot and killed has decreased
from 127 per year in the 1970s to 57 per year in the 2000s," the report notes.

from

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/12/30/373985338/report-number-of-police-officers-killed-spikes-in-2014

Gritsforbreakfast said...

OTOH, Dudley, from the 'safest time in living memory' link in the post, "The murder rate for police officers is about the same of the overall murder rate in cities such as Bakersfield, Calif.; Louisville; and Omaha."

Police officers are far less likely to be killed on the job than, say, garbage collectors, oil field workers, farmers, etc.. Traffic accidents, often while failing to wear a seat belt, and (almost completely un-discussed) suicide remain the much more likely killers of American police officers.

Chris H said...

The public wouldn't be focusing on the few law enforcement who break the law if they ever faced punishment for breaking the law. Not a single media outlet or organization has put forward that Shannon Miles should go free. Yet, every single day police departments investigate themselves and declare their actions justified.

Anonymous said...

I have no faith that TP affiliated Rs will offer an alternative. A recent TP event in my area featured nearly 1/2 hour of cop worship. I'd gone expecting to visit with Ted Cruz but bailed due to bad taste of the usual blather about our 'heroes in blue, how they're here to protect us (sic) and how at the end of the day they will "win"'.

Anonymous said...

"Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson told reporters earlier Saturday the "vast majority” of police officers had good intentions, despite a “few bad apples” — an apparent reference to recent, high-profile police shootings of unarmed people that has fueled the #BlackLivesMatter movement and other outcries against police brutality."

I don't think the "few bad apples" comments have anything at all to do with the recent high profile shootings as that phrase has been around before Shakespeare used a variation. Most of those high profile cases, when scrutinized in detail, show a trend of major denial on both sides of the issues involved because people believe what they want no matter the facts.

But the belief about cops of late has more to do with an apparently sincere belief that police are being ambushed by cop haters as a political statement. The media are finding it sells papers or increases ratings so truth or not, they will continue to milk it for all it's worth. And as dismissive as some of you want to be using labor statistics, just how often are garbage men assassinated gassing up their trucks, oil field workers killed for no apparent reason other than they work in the oil industry, or what have you. Sure, most cops die in car accidents or being run into by some drunk drawn to their flashing lights but just how often do "clearly insane" people target individuals from other fields to "even some imaginary score"?

It may be popular to dismiss the killer for his insanity but if he was so dangerous to society, why was he walking around free to do as he liked despite a history of mental illness? Promote that one too much and watch what happens when politicians and the general public decide the insane asylums of old might not have been such a bad idea after all. But pinning hopes of the right wing to enact legislative relief of alleged police misconduct just took a huge hit no matter how some of you want to spin it because of this latest killing.

Patrick, Abbott, Cruz and a great many others are going to use this to promote their agenda, supported by all the usual suspects, and will be stumbling all over each other to prove they are more respectful/adoring/supportive of cops by the next legislative session. If you really think any past momentum from cases like Bland will counteract that, you just haven't been paying attention for very long. But don't kill the messenger here because I'm just calling it like I see it, the numbers of those speaking out about the deputy's death as a tragedy far surpassing anything tied to Bland, Brown, or other cases in the news with far less lead time.

Anonymous said...

Mark Bennett observes

"You know what will improve the negative attitude toward police officers? If they stop shooting innocent people and their dogs. What kind of man shoots someone else’s dog? The most common internal investigation I see in Harris County Sheriff’s Office personnel files is the discharge of a firearm in the direction of a dog. White people bribing cops with pie is going to save neither an unarmed person nor a dog.

What kind of man buys pie for a dog murderer?"

http://blog.bennettandbennett.com/2015/09/2015-73-opportunist-dan-patrick-and-the-goforth-murder/

KMFA said...

Cops are just people. There are good ones, and there are bad ones. When the bad ones that don't honor their oath grab all the headlines it hurts the good ones. The thin blue line has gotten to the point that it hurts as much as it helps. Who's job is it to stop the law breakers, regardless of if they wear the badge or not?

I support every Oath Keeper that wears the badge. But oath breakers and their peers that allow them to break their oath without consequence disrespect the badge and violate the publics trust.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting parallelism: Both killings of cops and killings of unarmed blacks/minorities are said to be "epidemics" by the politically motivated set in both corners of those respective constituencies. Anyone know if one is a legit claim, or are both camps guilty of ginning up what are in fact rare, isolated incidents? How many of each have there been? (I know this may be a false equivalence; that's why I'm asking. I don't know.)

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@1:59, more than 800 people have been killed by cops this year so far. And according to this source, 26 cops have been feloniously killed this year, a rate that's down from last year and comparable to the murder rates in the cities I mentioned above at 1:09. Those are the data, I'll leave it to you to decide what is "legit."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

N.b., both those numbers I gave @ 7:16 are national, not Texas figures.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9/08/2015 01:59:00 AM,
"epidemic" refers to a disease spreading under certain circumstances that have been codified and largely agreed upon. Using the term in social sciences is a great way to muddy the waters of true understanding, just as narrowing down subsets of certain stats like Grits does at 7:16 AM does. But playing along under those terms, one could figure the 500k population of police having 26 "felonious deaths" as far greater than 800 deaths out of a population of 321 million+.

And while there are certainly questionable deaths by police, every analysis of those killed by police shows almost all of the dead were engaged in "felonious" activities, a majority were armed with deadly weapons, and almost all of them posed a credible, immediate threat to someone. That doesn't mean they deserved to die but it does help explain why they did die, few people willing to fund all police activities using "best possible practices".

The Homeless Cowboy said...

(I am sick and tired and downright angry at those who demean our law enforcement officers with their verbal attacks. They stir up those who follow up the verbal assault in the streets and on TV with deadly attacks on our officers. The national disrespect for law enforcement must end and end now. The talking heads and loud mouths who constantly attack our law enforcement with their words are putting these men and women in harm's way at a level I have not seen in my lifetime.)

NOT TRUE

Shut the **** up Danny Boy. Police departments are being militarized all over this Nation. It is clear that officers are being trained to shoot first and figure it out later. I do not lay this at the individual officers door. It is part of a militarization to keep the citizens in a position of fear. Fear of their government. Republicans and Democrats alike are holding on to the money as long as they can continue scamming Americans with the hate and fear mongering tactics. The funds keep rolling in from the lobbyists and the politicians keep stumping across the land to solidify their financial worth. I promise you, not one of those politicians gives one thought to Officer Goforth's family, much less his murder. These are political talking points to make themselves look concerned. They look forward to the next bit of confusion they can use to misdirect the attention of the public so they can slip in moneymakers like Monsanto while the inflame us with retoric and take in cash from poisonous foods and medications.

dbranlaw said...

The police are crying "it's a war on policeman".......it is your duty to weed out the bad cops from the good ones in your own departments. The police departments have a duty to gain public trust. Don't blame the victims for not wanting abuse!

Gabriel

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@8:59, I offered no opinion regarding whether either dataset represents an "epidemic," I only answered the specific question, "How many of each have there been?"

Lee said...

I personally declared war on the industry of law enforcement a long time ago but restrict myself to nonviolent attacks. Among the weapons that I use are of humiliation and exposure and I insist that my war be done without violence. The worst I would ever do to the police is make them wish that they were dead (and they can choose to indulge that wish on their own time). I simply wish to end both the carnage and the police misconduct. SunZsu reminded us that the skilled, clever and cunning warrior will win the war in the mind without needing to shed any blood.

Anonymous said...

Like so many issues, there is right and wrong on both sides. However, those on both sides, the media, and the politicians are all spinning things to tell the story they want to tell and, as usual, the truth gets left out altogether.

The truth is that there are cultural problems within African American communities that perpetuate multiple problem areas including crime, poverty, drug use, etc. Those who want to be leaders often place the blame on others for these problems because that is much easier and safer than to actually put the blame where it lies and to try to come up with solutions such as telling people they need to accept responsibility for their own actions. And, these same people are now pointing the finger and stirring up anger towards the police.

Now, having said that, not all of that anger is unjustified. A couple of years ago I actually predicted that the populace of this country would begin turning on the police. I did not anticipate that it would be so racially oriented. The police have fomented this "us vs. them" attitude to the point that they are no longer serving our society but attempt to rule it and dominate it. And, it is somewhat in our nature to revolt against our oppressors. There is a culture problem within the police community just as there is within African American communities. Part of the problem is the knee-jerk tendencies of police officers to cover for and protect their own. And then they can't seem to understand why people don't trust them? For example, while Sandra Bland's behavior was inexcusable, no police officer should have been defending the actions of that officer. Yet, many were.

I'll make another prediction: If both sides don't stop and take serious, objective looks at themselves and start attempting to understand the other side's perspective, things are just going to get worse and more dangerous for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Nice. So this is how the nationalizing of local police is done. Cite the lack of public confidence as demonstrated by present day events. Make a federal declaration that all policing is now under the control of federal authorities thereby removing all local influence and control. Implement the lax federal hiring standards we all know and love (not really). We have the makings of a real disaster brewing.
[I doubt this is anything that would happen in my lifetime. But the Feds are very desperate to "take action" and uproot the conservative local influences as seen in modern day police forces. I would go so far as to say that the elected officials of any "offending" law enforcement agency will eventually be targeted for prosecution in a "heinous" police-related crime (such as a bad, unjustified shooting)].

Careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

When is the Waco PD going to release a full and unedited video of the Twin Peaks event? That tells you everything you need to know about modern policing.

Anonymous said...

Mystery solved. I thought the blue ring around Patrick's lips was due to a lack of oxygen but it did nothing to explain the blue shit on the tip of his nose. As for Hickman "ol Henky" and Anderson "The Inheritor", it's part of their job requirement so I had no problem with them wearing their customized knee pads to the podium. R's and their decades of 'WARs' wins the hearts and votes of the weak minded followers. D's do it too and that makes being in either gang, a joke. Drink up, there's plenty more cool-aid in the van.

*Oysterslivesmatter too. What about the oysters? No one gives a crap about the oysters. Three oysters were shot in Galveston last week and not one word about the war-on-oysters. They say it was a roving gang of blue crabs. We've got to do something about these friggin crabs.

Anonymous said...

Baltimore just settled lawsuit of Freddie Gray family for 6.4 MILLION. (Before any trial). Gray may, or may not have been killed by police intention or his own, depending on story, but he was in police custody and turned up dead AFTER Ferguson. What LEO dept would be arrogant enough to let a suspect in custody die when the country is in the turmoil that it is? Well, any of them, it seems. Sandra Bland comes to mind. Plus the Waco debacle. The police, nationwide, don't give a damn what the citizens think at this point. Period. They know their paychecks and power are secure.

But if you point this out you are a cop-hater.

Anonymous said...

Baltimore just settled lawsuit of Freddie Gray family for 6.4 MILLION

Correction - Baltimore Police Dept. was allowed to bribe the family of Freddy Gray for 6.4 Million taxpayer's dollars to go away. Fixed it.

While, Bland and Waco are two totally different episodes (but very well may also end up registered in the Halls of Legalized Bribery) - focus, focus, now you see the difference and you my friend are welcome.)

Anonymous said...

Seems I recall a little over two score ago it was talk radio and the NRA being targeted by politicians for their lack of tolerance for police rape...

Authority without accountability are universally recognized as a bad thing. A few sycophants excepted.

Anonymous said...

A drunken sailor predicted all of the following while in line to use the restroom at a local amusement park. At some point in time someone will approach a table seated with uniformed law enforcement personnel in order to express gratitude, he will be assumed to be a 'Them' by one or all of the group of scared 'US's', when reaching for his wallet or pulling up his pants, he will be shot dead as he drops the baby. The hand picked grand jury will side with the pickers and poof it never even happened.

The Great 'Suggester' will update his call to buy pie and goods for cops with a twist - please mail in your gratitude checks and simply wave at them from across the street.

Where an 'Us' will see the wave as a fuck-you finger and shoot a waver or two.

The Fire Dept. will be mad as hell because no one mentioned that folks should buy them pie and a few will decide to fight fires to a lesser degree or simply fake it.

Then the Doctors and Nurses will take up the issue and of course the Garbage Collection groups and Animal Control..............but, as far as the military, we don't need or want anyone to assume that they should pick up a check or express gratitude. All we really need is to know that when we are sent into battle, that it is for the right reasons and for that to take place, we need to know that the voters swiftly take care of any politician that uses us for personal gain.

Note to Restaurants, please pick up all checks regarding anyone in any type of uniform and let it be funded via Gratitude, Inc. or risk customers being shot for expressing it because some politician told them to.

Anonymous said...

Hand wringing aside, very few police have access to anything close to the outdated junk the military handed out until recently, all of it otherwise destined for scrap, most of it never used. The cost to maintain it was too high and times it could be used were too infrequent. The closest thing to military any police have access to are their SWAT units, very few of these exist outside of major cities and virtually all of them documented at having saved far more lives than even the biggest anti-cop activist could claim.

But just because police shoot felons committing crimes on a semi-regular basis, the bulk of the 800 mentioned by Scott, or have a tendency to look at most with a skeptical eye, doesn't mean any of the extreme worst case scenarios some of you paranoid types come up with. By all means complain and investigate everything our servants do that gives the appearance of being flawed or wrong, most of the time they are cleared for very good reason, you just don't like it because it doesn't fit your personal narratives.

Anonymous said...

http://www.peaceofficerfilm.com/screenings/
https://player.vimeo.com/video/118632574

Since the late 1970’s there has been a 15,000% increase in SWAT team raids in the United States.

Peace Officer is a feature documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of William “Dub” Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his rural state’s
first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years

These events are contextualized within a growing national phenomenon of violent SWAT raids and governmental immunity laws gone amok in the War on Drugs. Officers both in cities and small towns like Dub’s are routinely armed with military surplus weapons and equipment, and federal incentives to use what they are given. All of this has lead to a 15,000% increase in SWAT team raids in the United States since the late 1970’s. Peace Officer follows Dub as he obsessively picks apart these cases from his unique perspective that combines the zeal of a rule-of-law detective with the grief of a victim.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9/08/2015 10:47:00 PM,
SWAT teams do not use military surplus weapons, they use brand new, department authorized weapons that are time tested and more reliable than anything the military hands out. But as these type of teams are perhaps the only groups in law enforcement to get the type and quantity of training needed to deal with heavily armed suspects, I would hope their use skyrocketed.

Yet statistics are a funny thing. When you go from not having a SWAT team to using them at all, the stat percentages sound enormous but even locally, when looked at closely we find that there are still few such teams. Austin's SWAT team serves the entire region as the smaller departments lack the resources to properly train and maintain such teams. This is true across the state, Houston's team used so often that the Harris County SO developed their own team in the last five years just as most departments in the state rely on the limited number of DPS teams scattered across the state.

The belief that it is okay to send a single officer armed with a revolver to deal with cartel armed gangs or organized bank robbers with military backgrounds must stem from a mindset developed by creative Hollywood writers. When serving felony warrants, dealing with those uncommon situations where suspects use automatic weapons or high powered weapons, or other special situations, the training of a specialized unit like SWAT often keeps them from having to kill a suspect, their access to a wider variety of weapons or devices than a street cop beneficial to the general public.

Anonymous said...

The last few posts provide a good example of how easy it is to distract people from the real issues. This wasn't a discussion about the militarization of police. Yet a poster used that issue to try to paint everyone who acknowledges there are problems within the law enforcement culture as paranoid wackos. Unfortunately this type of slight of hand distraction usually works on the populace.

We're not talking about the police going up against cartels or even the militarization of police. What we are talking about is the way in which officers react to and deal with the general public on a daily basis. Yes, there are problems within certain communities that cause some of the problems. However, if those in law enforcement continue to dig in their heels and insist that they don't have any issues that need to be dealt with, Lord help us all....

George said...

What started out as a commentary about Dan Patrick's comments concerning certain citizens views towards the law enforcement sure has drawn quite a wide variety of responses.

This is the way I see it. It's just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. The law enforcement community, and their supporters, have no alternative BUT to defend themselves when confronted with the public's exposure of their rotten core. If they don't then the public in general will learn the truth, and the truth is one thing that they and most other publicly funded agencies are genuinely terrified of.

There are many great, wonderful and law-abiding law enforcement officers in this state and nation -- no doubt about it. Most do their jobs as they are expected to do and most never have to shoot anyone. They have a stressful job but nobody forced, drafted them to join the force. Most are not necessarily heroes, a term used much too often as far as I'm concerned. They have a job to do and most are paid a fairly decent salary with excellent benefits.

Here's the rub however, I don't feel that I "have" to show any particular respect or deference towards them just because they carry a badge and a gun. Just do your "*******" job and do it correctly or get out of that line of work.

The really, really big thing that never comes up in all of this is the central core of the big picture. There are significantly powerful individuals in this world that make decisions that affect all of us. These people almost invariably control ginormous amount of money and use it to influence individuals that can set policy and pass laws, that means republicans, democrats, governors, mayors, city managers and the list goes on and on. These puppeteers pull the strings and things happen the way they want them to. They either own most of the mainstream media or control them in some way. They do not like attention drawn to them so they keep the populace occupied with distractions and provide us with entertainment to keep us placated.

They control the money and the system and that is just about everything that affects our daily lives. They keep getting wealthier and more powerful. The media goes along with it because they reap huge revenues from the entertainment, as a "news" source and propaganda platform for the puppeteers puppets to run their campaigns on.

They want us to focus on the wrong issues and they really don't care if the general public is hurt. They really don't care if police officers are killed, in the line-of-duty or otherwise. They don't care if the products that are produced by their subsidiaries injure, kill, maim or poison the public. They don't care about justice or the rule of law.

The ONE thing that that do care about is themselves and how much money and power that they can attain. This is the root cause of all that is happening in our society today. People are disenfranchised and caught up in a game that they can never really win at because the game is rigged and play by house rules.

Change can occur but it's going to take courage to reach certain conclusions that the way are not sustainable and begin the process to facilitate that change.

Anonymous said...

Why do Houston's Metro cops have a SWAT unit? They are basically traffic cops that follow busses around. Have there been a lot of bus hijackings or bus hostage taking that I missed? Can't HPD or the HCSO deal with any SWAT situations? You know, the real police?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:54, there was probably federal funding to train them. Given most Metro chiefs come from the city, they might want bragging rights. The alternate answer is some whiz kid on the Metro board saw the movie "Speed".

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:54

Houston's Metro cops have the equivalent of a SWAT team to prevent the hijacking of a Metro train. A runaway train can be a dangerous weapon! Think if they targeted Minute Maid Park while Taylor Swift is in concert! Or even NRG stadium on a Sunday. Never seen the disaster movie "Black Sunday" for gosh sakes (Oh, wait. That was a blimp).

Anonymous said...

Since this has gotten dragged off topic to the issue of the militarization of police - if the drug cartels are such a threat, the problem is the continually failing war on drugs. If we end that, we take the financial incentives out and the cartels go away. The approach we are taking now is just causing both sides to increasingly arm themselves and escalating a war we'll never win. The current approach is endangering more lives every day. If we simply end the war on drugs, we don't need to militarize the police to take on these cartels because they would no longer exist. Then, the general public would no longer need to fear an ever increasing police state.

Anonymous said...

Of course, if we did end the war on drugs, there would no longer be such a need for the law enforcement industry that has arisen to help fight this unwinnable war.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9/11/2015 08:52:00 AM,
I agree with legalization but if patterns hold true to historical context, the powers that be would find another boogeyman to apply those forces, human trafficking for example. Even so, I doubt the bulk of police see themselves as an occupying army or involved in some vast conspiracy to control the masses, most of them blue collar stiffs like the rest of us. Those that use law enforcement for their own gain like Lt Gov Patrick always find a way just like the Iron Triangles we were warned about decades ago with regard to the military.

Anonymous said...

Police protection in the modern era is becoming an extortion scheme.

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:20:00 PM, how do you think it has always been? Not just with police but with the military as well? View it as an extortion scheme or the cost of some sense of order, the alternative is to pay the resulting local crime lord whatever he demands without recourse.