Shooting Civilians Not Enough, Cops are Now Shooting Each Other Too

It has been a while since I have posted about the police, but yes, they are still murdering innocent people of all races, ages, and genders. Recently however, police incompetence has taught a few of the officers some lessons of their own. Some cops are getting a nice taste of what they routinely dish out to us peasants.

A police supervisor shot one of his minions who was undercover, supposedly because the supervisor missed a meeting and didn’t know the procedure for the drug bust.

The undercover cop bought $60 worth of drugs. Then he got shot 9 times by his colleague who hadn’t attended the briefing. If this was a citizen who bought $60 worth of drugs, and was shot to death, you would never have heard about it, because he would have “deserved it” according to the media, the police, and most sheeple. Also, the cop who shot him would never have been taken to court.

I’m glad it was a cop that got shot by this other cop and not an innocent person. The cop that got shot had conspired to rob and cage non-violent people. The cop who shot him had conspired to do the same, plus murder a non-violent “criminal”. They are feeling the consequences of their unjust violent actions, (funded by theft in the first place).

This should teach us two things: 1) cops have no value for human life when they can demonize their non-violent target as a druggy, 2) even if cops did care about people, and even if they only policed crimes with victims, they are often too incompetent to properly deliver the service.

To prove this point, I direct your attention to exhibit A- a case where the police were actually attempting to do their job; investigating a report of a suspicious person and possible break-in.

A man shot by police officers who went to the wrong Atlanta house ran bleeding outside where a neighbor heard him asking, “Why did they come in my house? Why did they shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?”

It happened Monday night when officers arrived at the wrong Atlanta address after a report of suspicious activity, shot homeowner Christopher McKinley, killed his dog and “likely” shot a fellow officer, leaving him seriously wounded, authorities said Tuesday.

The most tragic part of this story is that they killed a nice, happy, family pet for no reason. Even if they had responded to the right house, did they think the dog had broken in? What is up with police shooting dogs for no reason? This should really scare people if the nature of those who go into police work enjoy killing innocent animals, just like serial killers.

The innocent man police shot is lucky to be alive, and the only consolation is that at least one of the officers knows how his victims feel after being shot by a fellow officer.

We have trigger happy sociopaths running around and telling us they are keeping us safe, but when they are called to actually do their job, they can’t even get the right house, resulting in the death of a pet, and attempted murder of the innocent homeowner. And even if it was the right house, they still would have killed the victims’ pet, and still gone in trigger-happy guns blazing for no reason.

Yet, if we suggest reform to the police system, we are labelled cop-haters by these thugs and their brainwashed supporters. I believe in the free market, so there will be protection and crime investigation if the market (the consumer) demands it. I do not need my money stolen to provide me this service–especially when the “service” endangers me more than the criminals they “protect” me from.

We need to open policing up to competition by abolishing all state monopolies on crime prevention and investigation, which includes government contracting to a private company. We need to be able to remove our money from bad agencies, and give it to good ones. Right now, the police who commit these atrocities are not properly punished, nor are the agencies defunded which hired the incompetent at best, possibly sociopathic officers.

At least when cops get shot by other cops, they are feeling the consequences of their unjust actions for once.

      

How Police in Iceland Dealt With a Fight I Witnessed

Last week I was in Reykjavic, the capital of Iceland. The scenery and the people are just great, and so is a lot of their culture. People talk about the socialist aspects of Iceland and other Scandinavian countries, but whatever the detriments caused by their relatively big government for their population size, police brutality is not one of them.

Only one person has ever been killed by the police in Iceland, and he was shooting randomly from his apartment. I realize less densely populated areas generally have less crime as well, but even adjusting for population size and crime rates, American police would have been expected to have killed 1,000-3,000 people since the 1960’s; not over 1,000 each year as it currently stands.

The other night I witnessed the Icelandic police officers’ restraint in dealing with drunken idiots. In America, they would have filled up the paddy wagon, or worse. In Reykjavic, they appear to be more interested in diffusing situations, not escalating them.

First, there were multiple officers standing around dealing with some situation, and a very drunk viking was screaming at them in Icelandic. I assume he was saying something negative towards the police. The drunkard’s friends ushered him away, and calmed him down. The police did not even acknowledge him. This is called restraint, and American police should take note. Instead of acting like a rival street-gang and throwing the rude drunkard to the ground or murdering him for being intoxicated in public, they let his friends deal with him. I guess they don’t have as much to prove.

Then, I just so happened to be in the vicinity of a couple guys who started yelling at each other. I didn’t know what they were saying, and at first honestly thought they may have been joking around with each other. But they were not, and one ran over and tackled the other to the ground. Friends stepped in to make sure it didn’t get too bad. There were some punches and kicks, but I don’t think those involved even wanted to really inflict much damage. The fight had mostly been broken up by the time the police van (which had only been a block away) stopped and about eight Icelandic police calmly stepped out.

I think one of those involved in the fight had already departed the area quite quickly, but a few others involved were gently beckoned to the police so they could figure out what happened. After a couple minutes of talking, everyone was sent on their way. No arrests, no brutality, and no one, not even those who had been fighting, were really hurt.

In America, someone would have been arrested, and put through the ringer. In all likelihood they would have been tackled to the ground, leading to worse injuries than were sustained in the actual fight. Then the police would have lectured them about how violence isn’t the answer–unless you are the police. Then it is always the answer.

This is a simple anecdote that doesn’t prove much, it is just what I saw from the police in the safest country on earth, with practically non-existent police brutality. But maybe it shows that America needs to rethink how situations are handled. Are police here to actually keep peace, and diffuse situations as the Icelandic police did? I don’t think so. I think the majority of people who become police in the USA do so for dubious purposes. Instead of setting an example of how to act, they use their position to act however they want. And I think the majority of police departments are more interested in writing traffic tickets in order to increase their budgets.

That being said, the system of public police does not properly place the incentives to behave well, neither in Iceland nor in America. If police were private, then the company they work for would be able to be defunded if the customers went elsewhere. In order to maintain a good image, and protect their profits, companies would fire and even prosecute bad officers. Currently we cannot defund the police no matter how few crimes they solve, or how many innocent people they maim.

The smaller a government gets, the more control the market has, though still indirectly. And that is probably the real reason why the Icelandic police are pretty good, because they still somewhat feel market pressures that a private company would feel. In a country with 300,000 residents, you have more access to the President than Americans have to their representative, where districts include over 700,000 people for the smallest federal office.

And we see the same thing in America. Generally speaking, the worst atrocities committed by police happen in big cities where the people and the voters have essentially no control over their politicians, nor the people they hire, including the police. In small towns, people know the police chief, and can knock on their selectman’s door. The politicians are much more likely to feel the brunt of their bad hiring, or failure to address cases of police brutality.

Even things that are technically illegal victimless crimes in Iceland were not enforced. Apparently it is illegal to carry around a beer, but everyone was doing it, and the police did not hassle people over it; probably because they are their neighbors, friends, and relatives.

This is not a complicated issue. If we want police to behave appropriately, we must place the incentives properly. Private businesses have the incentive to make sure their officers respond with appropriate force, instead of looking for an excuse to escalate situations. Governments–especially big ones–have essentially no reason to enforce high standards among police.

Police Solve Fewer Real Crimes Every Year (But USA Still Has Most Prisoners on Earth)

When I say real crimes, I mean a crime with a victim. A crime where no one has been negatively effected is not really a crime at all. You can break a law, in my opinion, without committing a crime in this sense. The point of police is to keep us safe. It would seem that solving murders and rapes would keep us safer than arresting marijuana users, or even those in possession of harder drugs that have done nothing violent.

As the politicians keep creating more laws, and as the drug war rages on, a murder now only has a 60% chance of being solved. A rape has about a 3% chance of being solved. Talk about a war on women! Police are too busy harassing people for going 5 over the speed limit to test the 400,000 to one million untested rape kits.

That’s right, there are upwards of a million rape kits collected and ready to be tested, that have simply not been tested! Solving rapes doesn’t make money like civil asset forfeiture, where the government steals property they suspect had something to do with a crime. SUSPECT! Innocent until proven guilty does not exist under these circumstances. You are assumed guilty, and must prove your innocence to get your property back.

The Free Thought Project posted an article about the drop in clearance rate. The clearance rate for crimes is the total solved, out of the total number of crimes reported. In 1965 the clearance rate for murder was 91% but it has steadily fallen over the years to 65% last year. Keep in mind, this is the rate of solving the crime, at the same time murder rates have fallen. So we have more cops, fewer crimes committed, and a lower percentage of those fewer crimes being solved.

It’s not that police are incapable of solving these crimes either; they’re just not interested in doing so.

“Take for example, homicides of police officers in the course of their duty,” University of Maryland criminologist Charles Wellfordpoints out. On paper, they’re the kind of homicide that’s hardest to solve — “they’re frequently done in communities that generally have low clearance rates … they’re stranger-to-stranger homicides, they [have] high potential of retaliation [for] witnesses.” And yet, Wellford says, they’re almost always cleared.

Go to the Free Thought Project article to read more about this problem. Once again, crony-capitalism or corporatism is partly to blame for the law enforcement problems in this country. For profit, “private”, yet tax funded prisons depend on inmates, versus trying to keep people out of jail in order to save tax dollars. This is why the “Land of the Free” has the second highest incarceration rate* (more than twice Iran’s rate, and five times China’s rate) and highest number of prisoners in the world**!

*The highest incarceration rate in the world is in Seychelles, a country with 89,000 people, and fewer than 800 total prisoners.

**More than triple Russia’s numbers; 1.5 million more prisoners than China (while their population is 4 times as large as the USA), and almost 6 times more prisoners than India (with a population also 4 times as large as the USA).

Private Police Outperform Public Police in One Texas Town

One town in Texas decided not to renew it’s contract with the local constables. Instead they hired a private policing company to patrol their streets. The result: it cost less and crime dropped.

And it was not just some statistically insignificant drop in crime: there has been an overall 61% drop in crime since the private police took over 20 months ago. The town of Sharpstown is not tiny either; it is home to 66,000 residents, located just outside of Houston. The new police force puts more officers out on patrol, and costs the city $200,000 fewer each year than the constables cost.

This just shows what a simple profit incentive can accomplish. Instead of doing the same old thing, SEAL, the private police force, uses targeted patrols for high crime area, and keeps the same officer in a particular neighborhood, instead of randomly sending patrols zig-zagging all over the place.

“Law enforcement officers are trained to be reactive. They’re out there to run calls, they’re running one call to another, so they’re reacting to something that’s already happened. Private security, the way that we train our guys, is more proactive, meaning that we’re in the community proactively patrolling to prevent those crimes.”

Said James Alexander, the director of SEAL operations.

One town isn’t hard proof of anything, but it is certainly an indication that private police can do just as good, if not better than, a public police force. And this example is not purely private either: the police were still hired with public funds. I would like to see what happens when people are left to their own devices to shop around for protection, as long as they are rebated the money previously taken by force to pay for public police.

Government “Authority” is a Recipe for Abuse of Power

A few months ago when I was driving down to Florida, I was listening to the radio around Charlotte North Carolina. The hosts were asking for callers to relay their worst boyfriend/ girlfriend experience. One woman called in and said that she had caught her ex-bofriend cheating on her, and broke up with him—a pretty normal response. But apparently this man felt the need to exact revenge on his innocent ex who he had already wronged.

The caller said her ex-boyfriend was a TSA agent, and told her to “have fun next time you try to fly”. She assumed this was a hollow threat, that her ex had said in a moment of anger at being dumped. But a few months later when she went to the airport, she was pulled aside for additional screening. Well that could have just been a coincidence she thought.

A few years later and a handful of flights later, the caller said that every single experience flying is now horrible, because without fail, she is pulled aside for additional screening and interrogation. And this happens at airports that her ex-boyfriend doesn’t even work at. All the hosts of the radio show were laughing and said something like, “Oh man, that is a bad one, what a jerk”.

But I was sitting there horrified. How could we have gotten to the place in our country where we laugh about a psychotic government agent making his ex-girlfriend’s life harder. TSA agents who go through essentially no training nor a selective hiring process, and have ridiculously high numbers of creeps among their ranks, can apparently wield their power to harass and seek revenge on people they know.

I heard it on the radio, so who knows how true it is, but the worst part was the reaction of everyone in the conversation. Even the lady relaying the story was kind of giggling like, “oh that crazy ex of mine”. But this is disgusting! How can we put up with this type of abuse of power.

And that’s not even the worst of it. What could high level federal agents do to someone they don’t like? I’ve read about a police officer who harassed a girl for months with tickets and towing after she denied his request for a date. What happened in the case of General Petraeus? Was that some agent getting extrajudicial revenge?

“I’m a cop,” is now something a criminal can yell in public while attacking someone, to make sure no one intervenes. Or, as in the video linked to, a real cop can yell this while attacking a girl, and get the support of the cameraman.

And then we see it in our everyday lives. From Facebook:

Told this guy to turn around because it was a one way gas station at work, and he comes inside to tell me he’s a “fucking cop and I’m a fucking douchebag” and its not a law. Sorry bro just doing my job. And thanks for helping my opinion of cops.

Trivial? In some ways. But it points to this attitude of law enforcement and those with “authority” that they think rules don’t apply to them. If you are a cop, then follow the rules, set the example. Don’t act like a thug, swearing at the teenager behind the counter because he did his job. I feel like we have all run into police who have acted like this.

The problem isn’t finding good cops—I will admit there are plenty of well intentioned police officers. The problem is keeping bad cops from damaging innocent people they come into contact with. That is the major problem right now. And as I have said before all that needs to be done is apply the proper incentives to keep people in check. Employees of private companies get fired when they sully the name of their employer by acting inappropriately.

Law and order should be a product, sold by private companies, without influence of the government. This would mean we truly choose the laws in our society, and the people who will enforce them.

NYC Police Show No Respect for Authority

Police in New York City apparently have no respect for “legitimate” authority, as there has been a 94% drop in traffic and parking tickets issued, since Mayor De Blasio showed some support for protests against police brutality.

The police officers were even classy enough to use one of the slain NYC police officer‘s funeral as a platform for protest, turning their backs on the Mayor as he delivered a eulogy.

“Just no respect for the mayor. Nothing else to say,” one officer commented. And seeing as this man has no respect for authority, I assume he just wants to break the law. This officer must wish there was no mayor so that he could break the rules the mayor’s office currently sets for police officers. If the officer simply followed the rules, he would not run into trouble with the mayor and other politicians, who are just trying to do their jobs.

See what I did there? When civilians protest the unjust actions of police, they are labelled law breakers and trouble makers by police. But when Police disagree with their rule makers and enforcers, well this is just a legitimate qualm!

But I thank the NYC police officers for proving a very important point. The police are only there to keep us safe when their tax collection has been accomplished. They are well aware of this, which is why their protest has taken the form of denying the City of New York revenue generally collected by the police.

By showing some support for protesters, Mayor De Blasio has found himself on the wrong side of the thin blue line, and is being punished by the police. Just like protesters who film police in an attempt to keep them accountable for their actions are arrested, beat and harassed by some officers. You cannot criticize the actions of even a handful of officers, because according to the police, this means you are ungrateful, and probably just want to break the law.

And the rest of us are sitting back here a little confused like, wait, we got what we wanted? Why did the police cut down on arresting people for victimless crimes and stop giving out revenue generating tickets? Only once you realize their real role do you understand: they are punishing the mayor by denying him revenue for the city that the officers usually extort from the people of New York.

It is great when there is some infighting amongst the organized crime syndicate called government. Takes the pressure off the peasants for a while. I certainly wonder how it will turn out: I am sure De Blasio wants to get his hands back on the peoples’ wallets, and I am sure the police want to keep acting like a gang without being criticized by their superiors.

If you resist an officer even when you have done nothing wrong, many will use this as an excuse to beat, arrest, and possibly even murder you. So would it not be fitting that since these officers are resisting their boss, they should be fired?

Or perhaps the NYC police are really just thugs who always want it their way, whether their way is right or wrong. They will claim they are just following orders, but then they will attempt to strong arm their boss into changing the orders.

Well it seems if they have that much control, couldn’t they simply not arrest people for law violations they disagree with? I think the NYC cops have tipped their hand. They like harassing people, and will only give De Blasio what he wants, if they get what they want: free reign over the city of New York.

Setting the Example: Police Accountability Must be a Peaceful Movement

I am a peaceful person. I believe in the non-agression principle, that force should not be initiated against anyone, though obviously must be used in self defense. But even beside whether or not violence is justified, there is the question, is it effective? I don’t think randomly murdering two police officers helps the cause of liberty. I don’t think that act will solve anything, and I know it will not deescalate the crisis of police brutality, growing in this country.

While police are oppressors by their nature, a friend of mine pointed out that many are “benevolent” oppressors in a sense: they joined the police for the right reasons. This does not make these people good or their profession legitimate, but there is other more effective recourse than random violence. The reaction must match the offense. Without knowing the two slain NYPD officers, how could we realistically decide if they “deserved it” or not? I believe in a process, like due process, even though the justice system needs to be free from monopoly in order to work. The cops were not given due process, and though simply going to work every day was an act of aggression, the offense did not match the punishment, as far as I can tell.

I honestly don’t think I would choose to kill most Nazi’s given the chance. There is culpability in joining an oppressive group, but I would not imagine my actions justified to dish out punishment to a person I do not know, whose actions I have not observed. The time for violence is in defense only, especially while there exists no fair system to punish aggressors. Off the battlefield, the world had to wait for Nuremberg for the Nazi’s to have their crimes judged. And violence generally begets violence.

I much prefer the approach of Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, or Jesus, where they never sank to their oppressors’ lows. To exclusively occupy the higher moral ground, so to speak, is to set yourself up for eventual, if long fought victory. At all costs those who speak out against police misconduct and abuse must remain peaceful in order for our message to be heard. I will not stoop to the low that many law enforcement in this country have fallen to. I will not murder, despite my countless brothers and sisters who have been murdered.

My heart goes out to the families of the two NYPD officers killed, who are almost certainly victims in all this. And my heart goes out to Eric Garner’s family, also innocent victims. And both will have their dead loved ones ridiculed. The NYPD and supporters wore shirts that said: “I can breathe, thanks to the NYPD”, openly mocking the man that the New York Police Department murdered. Such insensitivity disgusts me. A murderer walks free, and then has the nerve to mock the slain victim? And the victim, not convicted of any crime, is made out to be a “criminal” for allegedly selling single cigarettes. A crime, which even if Garner was proven to be guilty of, hardly deserves any sentence, let alone a death sentence.

To act as if the NYPD kept others safe by strangling him to death, going so low as to mock his last words spoken in pain and anguish moments before his death at the hands of the NYPD, is beyond pathetic, sickening, and utterly immature. Do I condone the killing of police officers? Absolutely not. And I would even feel bad for the officers killed except for that one detail. They voluntarily were part of a department that murdered Eric Garner, and then mocked the victim with “I can breathe” shirts, twisting his last words to posture as if that murder had been justified, in the name of security.

The individual responsible for the death’s of the police officers is dead, while the individual responsible for the death of Eric Garner lives freely. If you are looking for a larger segment of society to blame, do not point your fingers towards those demanding police accountability. Blame the agents of the state who openly mocked their murder victim: it is a symptom that points to a larger problem.

Private Security is No Scarier than Public Police

wvpI talk a lot about private security or private police and how these could replace government to prevent crime, bring criminals to justice, and protect innocent people. I started doing some research to see how many private police forces are already out there, and what they are all about. A Huffington Post piece was one of the first I read. I assumed it would be casting private police in a bad light, and so it did.

Police Brutality

The article mostly focused on Detroit, and talked about how evil greedy businessmen saw the—gasp—opportunity to profit off of Detroit’s misery! And one of these companies has bought 2 million square feet of real estate which it patrols with private police, and monitors with 300 cameras in and around the buildings. This, in the eyes of the HuffPo reporter, is a bad thing, because then only the rich will be protected! While if we let the government steal our money to pay for police, everyone will be equally unsafe, and that’s  more fair.

The author apparently ignores the fact that it is bad for business to have crime in and around their company, storefronts, workplace, etc. Therefore everyone within the vicinity would be protected in order to attract more customers, and not scare anyone off.

Interestingly, the concerns HuffPo raised about private police are playing out on a larger scale with public police: no accountability, the rich get better treatment while the poor are not sufficiently protected, and innocent people could be beaten or killed. The article then links to various cases of “private police” overstepping their authority.

Two of the cases involved security guards. One of these security guards was not working when he shot and killed a man who he was arguing with outside of a gas station. He has been charged with the man’s murder. The other security guard was fired from the school he worked at after attacking a boy with cerebral palsy who slapped and spit at the security guard. In each of these cases action was taken against the security personnel; they were treated as anyone would be for their unjustified actions. Contrast this with public police who routinely murder and attack innocent people without provocation, keep their jobs, and are not charged.

At worst the private security companies seem to be as bad as typically government police. The only case having to do with Detroit private security was one in which mall cops killed a man who they were restraining with force and pepper spray. The man had been “acting suspiciously” and was told to leave the mall. When he returned the next day, he allegedly threatened to kill someone, after which the incidents leading to his death unfolded.

But Eric Garner had not even threatened to kill anyone when he was suffocated to death by NYC police in July. He was suspected of selling cigarettes illegally, and video footage shows he did not react violently when a team of police confronted him, not in the act of selling untaxed cigarettes, but after Garner broke up a fight (isn’t that the cops’ job?). The man is seen with his hands in the air moments before police attack and kill him. The police officers at the center of the murder still have their jobs with the NYC police department, and have not been charged.

False Arrest

The HuffPo article also raises concerns about false arrests by private security personnel. Again, this information focuses mainly on mall cops who are tasked mostly with thwarting shoplifters. It seems that in actual incidents of false arrest, when a mall security officer detains or uses excessive force against a subject, the victim routinely receives awards in civil court. In fact, even when the victim was guilty of shoplifting, they still sometimes won in court after suing the security company, because of the excessive force used in detaining or interrogating the suspect.

Again, let’s contrast this with public police. There was a case of a man who was arrested and held for over twelve hours, all because he helped a bicyclist who had crashed. She was using the man’s phone when he was approached by responding police (who he had called), slammed to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested because he wouldn’t leave the scene immediately, even though the women who crashed still had this man’s phone. No action has been taken against the officers responsible.

There were also false arrests of reporters covering the Ferguson protests. In fact there are too many such cases to even properly give perspective here, like the high profile case of a New Mexico man who was given forced enemas by police and doctors who claimed he was hiding drugs. He was not hiding drugs, and the searches violated even the ridiculous warrant that authorized his detention. Other cases include assaults by police when people will not show their ID, and rape by police of people pulled over during traffic stops.

In response to the arrests of three law enforcement officials in Oklahoma for sexually assaulting women while on the job, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper told women they can avoid getting raped by a cop if they simply follow traffic laws.

Raw Story first pointed out on Tuesday that Capt. George Brown, a state trooper, shared a few tips for women in an interview with local NBC News affiliate KJRH. Brown told the KJRH anchor that women can keep their car doors locked and speak through a cracked window if a trooper approaches them. If the trooper asks a woman to get out of the car, Brown said, she can ask “in a polite way” why he wants her to do that.

But the “best tip that he can give,” the anchor said on air of her interview with Brown, “is to follow the law in the first place so you don’t get pulled over.”

In the past month, a Tulsa County Deputy, an OHP trooper and an Oklahoma City police officer have all been charged with repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting women while on the job.

Anyone who has dealt with police knows how ridiculous it is to suggest only cracking the window, or asking an officer why you must exit the vehicle. This type of “resistance” will be met with extreme anger and aggression by police, likely assault, and probable charges of resisting arrest.

Are Private or Public Police Worse?

What exactly is the case that private police would be worse than public police? From the information I have read, it seems private security is more often held accountable than public police. Further, public police simply investigate their own incidents of police abuse which, surprise, often “prove” police acted according to procedure. And the incentives for behaving appropriately are stacked towards the private sector, where private police will be fired or prosecuted for violating rights, if for no other reason than protecting the profits of the company.

And in the most egregious cases of private security violating innocent people’s rights, the “private” security firm is hired by the government. This means they are not delivering a service in demand, but rather having stolen money (tax dollars) fund their enterprise. This makes them essentially the same as public police. The private police have to keep customers happy and not land themselves in too much civil litigation. The government can ignore their “customers” because they force us to fund them, and have the courts on their side. The more fragmented the system, the more likely it is that competing interests hold the others accountable.

Copblock, an organization dedicated to holding police accountable for their actions, sums up this sentiment.

I have never had a conversation about private protection services without the other person quickly bringing up Blackwater.  I think the biggest reason for the association is a misunderstanding of what a free-market anarchist means by the word private.  I will start by stating what a private company is NOT.  It is not a company that is funded by force through taxation.  It is not a company that has been granted a monopoly over a particular service by the government, and it is not a company that has been granted special legal protections against liability. 90% of Blackwater’s revenue comes from government contracts paid for with stolen money.  Blackwater’s “customer” is not only spending money that is stolen from you and me, but they are spending it on something very few people would actually fund voluntarily.  Would you personally hire Blackwater to kill people in Iraq?  Blackwater is essentially the same type of institution as your local police.  They are both funded through force and perform “services” that few that are forced to pay for those “services” want or need.  Blackwater is NOT what I am talking about when I discuss private protection services.

So, to be clear, I am not advocating a system where a municipality uses stolen money to hire the lowest bidder and then grants them the same immunities and privileges that the police now enjoy.  When I speak of a private company providing protection services, I am talking about a company that competes among other companies to attract individual customers.  Companies could package different services then sell them to willing customers.  Maybe you feel comfortable with providing your your own security, so you would only be interested in paying a company to investigate a crime that you were a victim of after the fact.  In reality, even now, you really are your own best security.  A private company no doubt would have better response times, but even they cannot be everywhere.  Nevertheless, maybe you don’t feel comfortable protecting yourself so you would be willing to pay more for a company that promised to respond to any panic calls within a certain amount of time – a promise they would be liable for if they broke, unlike your local police.

And finally, here is something that blew my mind. Despite hearing everyday about abuse by public police, there is hardly a murmer about private security force misconduct. Now I assumed this might just be because there were so few private police, but I have learned that there are almost 3 times as many private guards than public police officers in the U.S. Accountability to the company means they perform better, and abuse less.

If you feel safe, you might not have your local cop to thank after all… and these days, he’s the one making most of us feel unsafe.

Police LOSE Military Weapons Provided by Pentagon

bearcat

Gun control advocates seem to want only police and military to have weapons. I’ve discussed at length why this is stupid in and of itself, but there is another reason I may have glossed over. Criminals often get their guns from police departments, whether they are stolen, or sold on the black market by corrupt cops. Because there is nothing about becoming a police officer that makes one magically immune to corruption and engaging in illegal activity; people seem to forget this.

But it is even worse than criminals getting their hands on cops’ revolvers or 9mm. You may recall that we have a pentagon who enjoys handing out military weapons to police departments to the tune of $4.3 billion since 1990, and “184 state and local police departments have been suspended from the Pentagon’s “1033 program” for missing weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines.”

There are two missing military grade humvees. Let that sink in… not quite something you misplace. There are 4 missing M14s from Meridian, Mississippi alone; the M14 is an assault rifle, not to be confused with the made-up term based on cosmetic features, assault weapon. An assault rifle is military grade, and can be fully automatic. Some other samplings:

The Stockton Police Department, in northern California, said it was suspended from the Pentagon program in October after losing two M16s. And the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, also in northern California, acknowledged it was suspended from the program after reporting a missing M14 and two M15s.

numerous missing weapons from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, mostly .45-caliber pistols and one rifle. It “would take some time to get actual numbers but I think it was 11 or 12,” he said.

Other departments only lost one or two guns, such as a missing M16 in Huntington Beach CA, and 2 missing .45’s at a Georgia PD. There are multiple departments under investigation for which we do not yet know the reason or number of weapons lost.

So who are the ones we can’t trust with guns? Who are the irresponsible gun owners here? Should I really trust the safety of myself and my family with people who routinely lose weapons that I am not even allowed to own? Because of these incompetent (at best, possibly corrupt) police departments I could have a criminal break into my home with a fully automatic machine gun, with a humvee getaway car, while the law only allows me to protect myself with semi-autos, and in some instances, a limited magazine with only 10 bullets.

I do a lot of criticizing… mostly because the government deserves more criticism than it gets. So what do I propose to keep people safe if we are ever lucky enough to move beyond the mafia style protection that we currently get. (If you’re confused why I call it mafia style protection, it is because the same police that “protect” us will come and arrest you at gunpoint if you do not pay for that protection, as in, taxes.) Here is one solution, and would you believe, the free market came up with it? How they ever managed to organize enough without the government is beyond me…

But anyway, there is now an app for smart phones called Peacekeeper, and what it does is connect you with people of your choosing who also have the app. It is geared towards neighbors and family that are close-by, because in the event of an emergency, instead of calling 911, you simply press the app, and it alerts your chosen circle. The need for this app is based on response times from police that do not adequately protect homeowners and other victims. And for once I’m not even blaming the police for this, it’s the bureaucracy as well as physics. A ten minute response time gets the police to the site of a crime approximately 8.5 minutes after they are needed, and in cities this time gets much worse. People in dangerous cities have waited an hour to a day for a police response to an emergency!

People are increasingly reliant on a failed system of state-centered security. We’ve set out to change that.

Peacekeeper aims to put you and your friends and neighbors back in charge of your own security. With our app, you can create your own ‘Tribe’ of family, friends, and neighbors who look out for each other and respond to cries for help. If your elderly neighbor falls and breaks her hip, she can use Peacekeeper to let everyone in her Tribe know; and one of you can take her to the hospital. If your friend’s being robbed, he can alert you on Peacekeeper so both of you can take action together to help.

We will all be safer if we take our security into our own hands, instead of relying on disinterested 3rd parties, who cannot be as useful, even when they actually do care. Of course, this response of friends and neighbors means the right to be armed with whatever one might want is even more important. But hey, if the police are handing out fully auto machine guns to who-the-hell-knows-who, then I want one too! But I’m willing to pay for mine, instead of stealing it from the taxpayers.

Wake-up Call from Ferguson: Stop the Police State

When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That is why police arrested two journalists the other day in Ferguson, MO before releasing them without charges. Had the journalists done anything wrong, or committed a crime? No. Were they taunting police, or causing a disruption? No, they were eating at McDonald’s, when it was stormed by a SWAT-like unit of police. Maybe the police were hoping one of the journalists’ hands would leave their view so they could shoot him with impunity. But how stupid must these cops be to think arresting two mainstream reporters would help their image, or improve the situation?

This stomping of First Amendment rights—or just human rights, natural rights against being harassed for normal, non aggressive activity—will only lead more to wake up. I am glad, for the sake of public awareness, some mainstream media personnel are going through what amateur videographers and bloggers go through daily. We are starting to hear whispers: is the public waking up from their dream of a peaceful 1950’s Officer Friendly neighborhood, to find themselves in the cold dark reality of a police state?

“From the beginning of this situation, the police have made conscious decisions to restrict information and images coming from Ferguson,” David Boardman, president of the association, said in the statement. “Of course, these efforts largely have been unsuccessful, as the nation and the world are still seeing for themselves the heinous actions of the police. For every reporter they arrest, every image they block, every citizen they censor, another will still write, photograph and speak.”

“That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news,” Baron said. “The physical risk to Wesley himself is obvious and outrageous. After being placed in a holding cell, he was released with no charges and no explanation. He was denied information about the names and badge numbers of those who arrested him.”

This comes after the Ferguson police attempted to ban low flying aircraft over the city, so that news helicopters could not see what was happening on the ground. Through every step of this recent tragedy, the police have done the wrong thing: becoming violent and militarized, shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, and suppressing the filming and reporting of the events. There were in fact riots; so why are the police bothering to harass innocent people while they could be stopping looting and actual violence?

Of course the whole situation in Ferguson between rightfully angry protesters and militarized police started when an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by police. The police are now saying he was a “strong-armed robbery” suspect: he allegedly shoplifted and intimidated the clerk. But why does that lead to a death sentence, carried out without judge and jury, by an arresting officer? If the suspect was dangerous, get more officers to subdue him without incident. If the suspect was not dangerous, then why is he dead? Again, the police only know how to do one thing: use force, more and more often excessive force.

Situations everyday are exacerbated by a police presence that looks like it dropped from the sky out of a war zone in the middle east—the training ground for a new generation of police. There are SWAT raids for non-violent crimes, often no-knock raids in which people are accidentally shot, or shot on purpose when they respond how anyone would respond to random unidentified violent people breaking into their homes!

Many of us lowly bloggers have been attempting to raise the red flag about the way police are acting these days. Unfortunately there is an attitude that it is always “the other side” being harassed by the police. And that is another product of the fascism which splintered into both mainstream political parties: one loves the nanny state, one loves the police state. And as a former police state apologist (many moons ago), I see it as my duty to wake people up to the fact that the dog will bite the hand that fed it.

When all you got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.