The recent spate of police brutality is no accident. It’s not a freak coincidence, it’s the way it’s always been. Would I sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist if I said that the increasing militarization of the police is a carefully shepherded phenomena designed to slowly ensnare us in a web of oppression and fear? Well, I don’t care, because them’s the facts, man!
Four Recent Outrages
You’ve probably heard about the recent tasering of a U of Florida student who tried to ask John Kerry a few questions (but didn’t seem interested in hearing an answer). The kid, Andrew Meyer, was being kind of a dick and he overreacted and basically caused that situation by freaking out (notice how the cops lept into action when he mentioned Skull and Bones). He is now famous for pleading “Don’t Taze me, Bro!” shortly before he had 50,000 volts applied to his nuts.
This kid’s annoying dorkiness doesn’t absolve the police/security folks of responsibility. The fact that they tasered a guy who was subdued and on the ground is reprehensible. If you have six cops surrounding a suspect (who should’ve been escourted out, not arrested) there is absolutely no need to taser him.
Then there’s an older video that just made it on Digg showing a police officer shooting an Air Force security officer at point blank range for no apparent reason. There was an investigation and a trial and — (surprise!) Officer Ivory Webb was cleared on all counts.
Next we have the case of the delinquent granny who was finally brought to justice. Her crime? Not watering her lawn:
Betty Perry is charged with resisting arrest and failing to maintain her landscaping, both misdemeanors.
She was arrested July 6 after failing to give her name to a police officer who visited her home.
During a struggle, Perry fell and injured her nose. She spent more than an hour in a holding cell before police released her.
I bet we all feel safer with Ms. Perry behind bars.
If you think the police can’t top that, think again. Next is the case of the wheelchair-bound schizophrenic:
Officers said they arrived to find Delafield in a wheelchair, armed with two knives and a hammer. Police said the woman was swinging the weapons at family members and police.
Within an hour of her call to 911, Delafield, a wheelchair-bound woman documented to have mental illness, was dead.
Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case. “One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.
According to a police report, one of the officers used her Taser gun nine times for a total of 160 seconds and the other officer discharged his Taser gun once for a total of no more than five seconds.
Now, I’m sure that was a difficult situation, but I fail to see why it was necessary to taser an old woman in a wheelchair. Surely a person who can’t walk can be restrained fairly easily. In fact, we know she was not a threat because the lady cop managed to shock her for a total of 160 seconds — almost 3 minutes. And now she’s dead.
A Fluke Spurt of Stupidity?
So where did I find all of these stories? Did I go to a site dedicated to monitoring police brutality like CopWatch?
No. I found them all on Digg. All on the same page!
Now, this is no doubt more than normal, but it points to a larger problem in our society: The police are out of control.
And that’s exactly the way certain people want it.
The Real Role of Cops
You see, there’s a common misconception about police. Some people (mostly white, middle class folks) think that the police are here to “protect and serve” everybody. But notice that their motto doesn’t say anything about protecting everybody, or even treating everybody equally. It’s conspicuous by its absence, in fact.
The truth is that the police are paid to protect and serve the ruling class and the ruling class mostly needs protection from the underclass.
America is a classist society, just like the U.K. or India. The rich and poor divide is sometimes as stark as the difference between slums and condos. Poor people naturally get angry and even violent when they realize that their situation is completely hopeless. No amount of hard work will get you rich when your only job skills are burger-flipping and bathroom-scrubbing. So sometimes the poor take matters into their own hands and try to steal something from the rich. That’s where the police come in. If you rob a house or steal a car you will be arrested; simple as that.
But what happens when the rich steal from the poor?
For the most part: Nothing. The elite can literally write our laws with a few well-placed campaign contributions. They can make their left illegal while they continually try to box the underclass in with obscene violations of the first amendment like free speech zones. The elite ghettoize our inner cities, offshore our jobs, make helpful drugs illegal, send our children to die in pointless wars, kill all those who stand in their way and terrorize the rest of us with servile propaganda and there’s not a goddamn thing anyone of us can do about it.
Asside from high-profile cases like Enron, the elite are completely free to run wild and reshape society to their liking. And the way they seem to like it is: The rich can do whatever they want, the poor and middle class must be monitored constantly and arrested instantly if they step out line.
The police subconsciously know this. They know that becoming a cop grants them power over others, but they seem to know not to abuse this power when it comes to rich people.
You don’t see a bunch of people in Lexuses getting pulled over on Cops. That’s not because they’re not speeding and not doing anything illegal. I bet there’s a lot of cocaine in a lot of glove compartments in a lot of Lexuses (would that be “Lexi”?). But the cops know better than to fuck with the rich. The rich have lawyers, they have friends in the force, they have resources and most important, they know politicians who can put the squeeze on the captain and get you reassigned to guarding the Taco Bell.
Poor people have none of these connections or resources.
It’s fine with the rich if you want to oppress poor folk; in fact it’s pretty much encouraged. The rich know that by giving the cops special privileges they can secure the fealty of the police. So the police are permitted to act like they own the place as long as they don’t step on the toes of the elite — the only people who outrank the cops in our society.
So the real role of cops in society is to protect the elite from the underclass, which includes the middle class, but the middle class is mostly pacified by TV, material goods and beer. The police are free to get their jollies off by knocking a few heads together as long as they don’t beat up the son of somebody powerful. The elite like how the cops are hated and feared by the poor and respected and feared by the middle class. This gives the elite free reign since the cops fear and respect the upper class, the only group of people more powerful that themselves.
The Militarization of the Police
Gang members know the police as just another gang; a more powerful one, but a gang nonetheless. But the people who control the police (the elite, if you haven’t been paying attention) are increasingly arming the police as if they were a standing army. The militarization of the police has occurred mostly over the last 50 years and is spurred by two bullshit ideological wars: The War on Drugs and the War on Terror.
The police in most major now have enough armament to invade and occupy a small country. Hell, we could’ve sent our cops to Iraq and they probably would have done a better job at containing the populace since they’re more thoroughly trained for that sort of thing than the army. That’s no accident. The cops are an army; an army of the elite. Their enemy, let there be no doubt, is you.
The plan is to make America into a fascist state: Amerika. They started slowly and carefully, and as they’ve gained strength the police have gradually been let off their leash, but the end result is inevitable: a police state.
It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. In the late 1800s and early 1900s this country was consumed by labor strife. The Socialist Party was founded to look after worker’s right and communism was gaining strength because the Robber Barons’ form of capitalism was so completely corrupt that there was no difference between the Government and Big Business (sound familiar?).
Hand of the Oligarchy
The Rockefellers basically controlled this country like it was theirs. When they had labor troubles they simply called in the police. The police busted heads and smashed the ranks of the striking workers and forced them to return to work for pitiful wages. The idea that the police can act as an arm of the Oligarchy is unfortunately not a new one. Things got better for awhile, but now we seem to headed right back to where we were a hundred years ago.
If anything the propaganda is a hundred times better now; many people think the police are there to protect everyone, but that simply isn’t the case. In many poor neighborhoods, if you call the cops they might show up four hours later. The nicer your neighborhood, the quicker the response. Many poor folks don’t even bother calling the cops. This, again, is not a new phenomenon: in fact, that’s how the Mafia got its start. The Italian and Irish Mobs began because a person of Italian or Irish descent could not expect to be treated fairly under the law. They knew that they had to take care of each other or nobody would; certainly the cops were more likely to beat you over the head with a baton than listen to your tale of woe. Like our current gang troubles the Irish Mafia was made possible by Prohibition. When a popular product is made illegal it can be extremely lucrative for those on the wrong side of the law; so much so that they can buy influence on the other side of the law and corrupt the entire system in the process.
Now the blacks are the new Irish and they have no pull with the cops, even though many black people are on the force (just like with the Irish). The difference is that the cops look after each other first, regardless of ethnicity. Once you are a cop you belong to a special club which is virtually above the law. As long as you don’t violate the Blue Code of Silence you can expect to reap the rewards of being superior to the underclass.
Tale of the Tasers
The weapons a cop receives are a totem to his power over others. Normal people are not allowed to openly carry dangerous weapons around, especially as the second amendment has been eroded. An officer’s gun identifies him as a member of a powerful group and symbolizes his social superiority and separateness from the masses.
Tasers are the new nightsticks. Cops will use a taser at the drop of a hat because it makes compliance push-button easy. It should be noted that taser are not nonlethal; they are “less lethal” which is how I would describe a knife versus a gun. In no way are tasers harmless; they’ve been responsible for hundreds of deaths in the last few years.
Between tasers, pepper spray, nightsticks and ray guns the police have all sorts of “less lethal” devices to ensure submission. Add in handguns, shotguns and the heavy artillery used by SWAT teams and you have enough firepower to conquer a major rebellion… which seems to be the plan.
The Oligarchy seems to be expecting trouble from us, the unruly populace. I can only wonder why, but perhaps they know how foul and oppressive their policies are. If so, they can’t plead ignorance to our plight; they are in fact responsible for it. The Oligarchy has no love for democracy; they clearly prefer fascism; it’s so much more convenient. Sadly, many Americans agree.
But you know, “oligarchy”, “fascism”, “democracy” and “freedom” are just big, abstract concepts. At the end of the day it all comes down to what we experience in the world. This video is but a small example of the arrogance and violent entitlement that many cops feel:
Cops see their badge as a license to take the law into their own hands. Don’t like the customer service you’ve received? Pepper-spray’em and arrest’em. If any of us did the same thing we would be in jail for a long time, but this cop got off scot free. There’s justice for you; Amerikan-style.