Police brutality as a regular occurrence in America was once limited to specific areas in big cities. It was motivated by an "us-versus-them" racist police mentality that was formerly isolated to ghettos and included also organized crime strongholds in such big cities as Chicago and New York during the government-imposed Prohibition back in the 1920s and 30s. The "them" in the combative police mindset during this time was comprised of a certain race or a particular criminal class, and focused mainly on organized mobsters personified by bootleggers and gamblers generally identified as elements of the Italian Mafia. And in the mid-1800s, Irish gangs in New York City were commonplace.
Back in the early part of the last century and still in existence today, were the black and Hispanic ghettos representative of the cities of New York and Los Angeles. Even without direct public approval, an underlying public attitude existed that condoned isolated incidents of "rubber hose" back jail cell or stationhouse basement mistreatment and torture of ghetto or race specific individuals while in police captivity. "They probably deserved it" was in all likelihood the general attitude characteristic of this laissez faire public aloofness. And both the police and the public are aware of the high rates of crime in the impoverished ghettos of the big cities.
Organized criminals and gangsters, a subculture of American society, could easily be identified as not only antisocial, but extremely dangerous as typified by the rampant machine-gun shootings and gang murders in public by the criminal gangs of the 20s and 30s. Territorial gang wars as well as machine-gun battles with "Eliott Ness <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/arts/television/27cosg.html?ex=133791 8400&en=35d43c126d5a5d0b&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss>.
Treasury agents were all the result of the government's ill-conceived Prohibition against alcoholic beverage consumption. The battle lines were drawn by law enforcement and organized crime in the struggle to provide the bootlegging demanded by the public and banned by a meddlesome state. But the then-illegal liquor trade made so by the sanctimonious saints of yet another soon-to-be more efficient criminal subculture, American government, was the product of our government's continuing stupid and failed attempts to legislate morality. The latter is an impossible feat for the most immoral sector of any society.
Police brutality and murders in small town rural areas were concentrated mostly in the South, and were exemplified primarily by police-permitted lynchings and torture deaths directed towards black Americans in those locales. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s also produced among virtually all the police departments of our nation, an increased police intolerance for anti-racial demonstrations. The murders of three <http://www.yuricareport.com/Civil%20Rights/PreacherChargedMurderOfCivil RgtsWorkers.html > Civil Rights Activists and the subsequent cover-up of the crime in Mississippi in 1964 became the classic reference point for Southern inhospitality on the part of both a select minority of its citizenry [the Klan] and police compounded by a nebulous and undefined code of public approval.
In my high school years in the late 1950s, I joined the police-sponsored Civil Defense unit which met at the local police station in Queens, New York. In addition to the mandatory first aid training I received in high school, the Civil Defense unit also trained me in first aid thereby reinforcing my life-saving and emergency medical techniques. As part of the local precinct of the NYPD, I mingled with the police officers in the stationhouse.
The grumblings among the police officers after televised news segments were aired depicting police clashes with peaceful marchers and demonstrators clearly indicated more than a mere contempt for both the Civil Rights movement and the participating demonstrators on the part on those officers of the NYPD. Members of this very Northern and "Union"-oriented police department became extremely intolerant of these demonstrations in spite of the fact that they were sanctioned by the First Amendment and completely peaceful. One of those televised news vignettes showed the police and state troopers assembled in a Southern town. The newsreel recorded the police charge wherein they literally tore into a column of African-Americans and supportive whites that were under the leadership of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.
The police used attack dogs, swung their billy clubs indiscriminately, and brutally attacked women and even elderly demonstrators, knocking them to the ground and then continuously beating them as their victims lay bleeding on the ground. This wasn't crowd control; these were acts of horrendous police brutality and torture on public display. These people had a right to demonstrate, were not tying up traffic nor committing any other type of criminal damage to the local community. And they were marching while prominently holding and displaying the American flag. But they failed to obey "police orders," even though those "orders" were unconstitutional.
The site of that massive out-of-control police rampage is still etched upon my mind. It changed something inside me. It planted a tiny seed of distrust for both government and its police. It didn't, at least at that time, extend my distrust and disappointment to the uniforms of the American military; I served my time in the US Army. But, even that seed was planted. Misguided volunteers for a volunteer Army [or a Civil Defense unit] controlled by expensively suited and tie-wearing lunatics and genocidal maniacs can still result in unwarranted, unjust, and unconstitutional mass murders and torture, even when intending "to bring democracy" to a people of another nation that never asked for it and never did our nation and its people any harm.
How did we "progress" from a "protect and serve" mentality to one where every American citizen is a criminal until the citizen-victim proves otherwise under taser torturing, physical beatings, and outright life-threatening assault by police? How did we go from an "innocent until proven guilty" foundation to the current government attitude of guilty until proven innocent? The police mindset has been transformed into a new version of "us [the police] versus them" [every citizen in America]!
The causes for this hatred by all levels of police for America's citizens can be attributed to four factors. The first factor is technology. Police are now able and capable of using monumental technology against their new-found enemy, the American people. Second, police across America at all levels have been unified by federal money, benefits, equipment and reward-producing initiatives provided by Washington, DC. Third, the mindset created by Cheney-Bush utilizing 9/11 and the success of Clinton's Waco Massacre; everyone in America should be, and WILL be, considered a terrorist, or at least an "enemy combatant," until convincingly proved to be otherwise.
Employing cruel and unusual punishment is now the standard method of proving innocence. Prohibitions against these methods as documented in that "goddamned piece of paper" are no longer valid. And finally, government's never-ending progressive need for control, more control, and still more control of its subjects. The "War on Drugs" ["controlled" substances] and gun "control" are typical. More and more complicated and unintelligible regulatory control mumbo-jumbo is just what a dictatorship needs to make sure every citizen does something wrong so they can be arrested.
Let's look at these in turn. Technology today is completely mind-boggling. Police can employ infrared heat-sensitive electronic scanners to focus on targeted perpetrators inside brick and concrete buildings. This technology is now available to our military if not "our" police. Through federal programs, it obviously can be made available to police. And the government's contempt and increasing violations of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act will now enable present advanced military technology to be used against American citizens as well as formerly legitimate, organized public demonstrations.
Video cameras for citizen control by police are everywhere in America, and are being expanded exponentially. Police now carry fully automatic machine-guns as "standard operating procedure" or SOP. Police dress up in "SWAT" semi-military gear letting America know that they are prepared to shoot and kill with minimum provocation. Razor wire barriers at political conventions are also SOP. Rubber bullets, audio weaponry, disabling gases and smoke and other "crowd control" disablers are also SOP.
Second, American police at all levels are generously supported by the American taxpayer via federal benefits delivered to local, county and state police via military surplus, and the required acceptance of federal "initiatives" such as the "War on Drugs" and the "Global War on Terror," as well as other federal initiatives. Police departments at all levels in America also become the recipients of federal funding grants, special training, and even the newest standard and surplus military equipment. This federal involvement with police departments all across the country has progressed to where it now unifies all American police thereby creating yet another dimension of a standing military force so obnoxious to the Founding Fathers.
Third, the establishment of "terror groups" did not start with either the 1993 World Trade bombing or the destruction of the World Trade complex on September 11, 2001. It actually started with the Waco siege and massacre under the first Clinton regime. The combined use of police, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms [BATF], FBI, and the United States military demonstrate clearly the fear the Founders had in allowing the federal government a standing army and its horrific power to kill and destroy. And although BATF and FBI are "suit-and-tie" alphabet agencies, as Waco demonstrated, they can and do act in concert as a dangerous standing army.
The violation of the Posse Comitatus Act was blatant, but as usual, since the federal government can wield massive killing power, and along with the compliance of a virtually non-existent American press, our killer government experienced absolutely no modicum of challenge from the media thereby getting away totally with this most egregious criminal outrage which in effect supplants and makes irrelevant the Boston Massacre and even the American Revolution itself. Terrorism is now used by American government to control its own citizens. Justification for such state paranoia was derived from so-called anti-government terror groups targeting America, whether real or imagined.
The Waco Massacre was totally unnecessary. It perfectly demonstrates the fourth factor. A simple mistake on a firearm form, or a gun barrel that's an inch too short, or the mere mention of the word "gun," or a personal amount of a "controlled substance," and uniformed police thugs are now authorized the use of deadly force. It is no longer necessary to prove a crime has been committed, and a crime is now defined by actions that are really no crime at all because no fellow citizen or citizens were injured. No damage to any form of citizen or citizen property need be proven. Waco was planned and executed by Bill Clinton and Janet Reno to terrify American citizens and gun owners by demonstrating the unlimited total power and authority of government. Cheney-Bush are now using this total power in Iraq and Afghanistan to also kill, maim and torture the unarmed and innocent civilians of nations that did US no harm. But what goes around will eventually come around! Get ready for yet another Waco or 9/11!
What is most horrifying for Americans is the realization that there is only one direction for ALL government: unchecked, unlimited growth and never-ending expansion of deadly force. And for those individuals who were previously totally incapable of understanding the relationship of expanded government and the resultant lessening of individual freedoms, that relationship can now be more easily understood. Whoever offered that government "continually grows" itself was telling it like it really is. Look at the rate of government expansionism! Look how increasingly dangerous government at all levels has become! Now ordinary traffic pullovers and "confrontations" with police as in just simply asking a police officer for geographic directions when lost can result in tasering, beating, torture and even death.
As "We the People" are supposedly "represented" by "two" political parties, yet both with exactly the same agenda, and Congressional representatives and senators that completely ignore the will of the people when it is publicly aired via elections, it is obvious that the real power and authority in America is not the people but an unseen and unknown shadow government empowered by the international bankers seeking a "New World Order." The avenue for a reasonable, peaceful solution to this increasing tyranny is growing narrower and shorter.
How should we respond to the growing threat of the state? Peaceably, of course! But the rapidly increasing technological power of the uniformed state guards across America and their exponentially growing violence against any and all citizens, is working rapidly to prevent any attempt at a peaceful solution. Their total crushing of individual freedom and citizen "wiggle room" is threatening to destroy any peaceful debate and corrective political action. And as we become dangerously closer to this non-solution, only one course of action will be open: street violence and revolution. All it will take is another horrific outrage the public finally realizes is government perpetrated and violence may erupt. And it appears that our political class is both aware of this as well as completely intent on making it happen. The state is powerfully equipped with dangerous weapons of mass destruction; Waco proves that our federal government will use them against US!
The perpetrators of crime, formerly identified as the "criminal element," are ALWAYS prepared for violence. A criminal does not commit rape, robbery, assault and murder unless he intends to succeed at his crime by employing violence. Honest, decent, law-abiding Americans just want to be left alone. They are NOT prepared for violence, unless they come to realize that no matter how hard they try, violence cannot be avoided. And when that realization hits home, who is it that better deserves the suffering produced from acts of violence? Wouldn't that be the unprovoked originator of the violence?
What happens if the American people join together and determine that ALL police and government authority is "them?" Under police state slavery, we will all be treated violently, and enslaved and tortured. We will be sent to forced-labor work camps [being built by Cheney-Bush right now!] to enrich the central bankers and their New World Order. If we are to be killed and tortured by heavily armed uniformed government guards, we will suffer and die anyway, so what real choice do we have?
Considering these scenarios, perhaps we are fast approaching yet another time in our republic's brief history when we should again consider another: "Live Free Or Die!"
c.2007 THEODORE E. LANG - All rights reserved
Ted Lang is a political analyst and freelance writer.
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