“Freedom

Solution to the Police Problem

Solution to the Police Problem

June 30, 2020 | by Gunner Steele

Did you ever think you would live to see the day when citizens in a free society actually called for the de-funding of law enforcement? Well, here we are!

For me, it is amazing to see how people are acting like we have a complicated problem, when in reality we don't. We have a SERIOUS problem, but not a complicated one. The problem, simply stated is this: some police officers are abusive and use their authority to immorally abuse and harass otherwise free citizens.

That is the problem. Notice, I underscored the word "some." You see, the problem is not universal. I do believe it is "systemic," but it is not ubiquitous nor universal.

People in authority are always subject to the potential for abuse. From teachers to preachers, mothers and fathers, lawyers and politicians, and yes even the military and police—all are subject to their own fallen nature, and therefore capable of abuse.

The issue with law enforcement, is that the United States of America, in all of her wisdom, has not only given our current police agencies and officers the license to commit murder, theft, and abuse; but, we've actually incentivized them to do so.

So let me ask you a question...if you could kill, steal, and destroy without suffering any consequences whatsoever, while simultaneously being permitted to increase your own wealth or standard of living, would you do so? Or are you so morally upright that you would never cross that line? Even though it was permissible?

Well, I submit to you that the vast majority of law enforcement officials who do their jobs morally and upright before God and their fellowcitizens, are exercising more self-control and willpower than the proverbial child left alone in front of a plate of marshmallows who eats none. Generally speaking, our law enforcement do a fine job and should be applauded and respected.

The problem is not with the majority of "good cops," but with the minority of "bad cops." They give the whole a bad name. But, its not just the bad cops that give law enforcement a bad name—it is "the system" as a whole.

You see, for decades now police have been shielded and protected from any consequences of their actions, including murder, destruction, theft, and abuse because of something called "qualified immunity." This is a rule in our legal system that basically states that police are immune from any action against them unless they did something where there is an existing precedent stating it is wrong. For example, if a cop pulls you over, slaps you in the face, and then cuts off your arm, he can do so claiming that you were "resisting arrest." However, if you sue him for abuse, he will get off with "qualified immunity" because there is no specific case precedent that specifically states that a police officer may not specifically cut off your arm during a traffic stop. I know, its hard to believe, but its true.

Here's a simple example: in November 2019, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that Tennessee cops who allowed their police dog to bite a surrendered suspect did not violate "clearly established law." In this case, the victim of the police cited a case where the same court earlier held that it was unconstitutional for officers to sic their dog on a suspect who had surrendered by lying on the ground with his hands to the side. However, that argument was thrown out because the victim had not surrendered by lying down—he had surrendered by sitting on the ground and raising his hands. That's the ridiculousness by which qualified immunity protects cops.

In another example, in February, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a Texas prison guard who pepper sprayed an inmate in his locked cell “for no reason” did not violate "clearly established law" because similar cited cases involved guards who had hit and tased inmates for no reason, rather than pepper spraying them for no reason. This is America, people.

In effect, this is unlimited protection for police officers and gives them virtually limitless license to do whatever the heck they want to do. So what else have they done?

The amount of outrageous and unbelievable stories of injustice on the part of police officers is too numerous to count. But here are some more examples of abusive and thieving police who have been granted "qualified immunity" for their crimes:
This is just a short list. And it is only part of the problem. The other part of the problem is Civil Asset Forfeiture. I've written about this numerous times. This is the issue that gives police officers the license to steal your property during any routine interaction, and gives the police department the ability to keep your property (including cash) for itself.

Sure, this is supposed to only be done when the assets or property in question are directly related to drug trafficking, but do you believe that is how it's being used? Of course not. The list of abuses and outright theft using the claim of "civil asset forfeiture" is longer and more egregious than the list of qualified immunity cases. Anything you own can be taken by a police officer and you will most likely never get it back.

It is so absurd, that once a police officer steals your property, the court case that follows literally names the stolen property as the defendant in the case. I'm serious. For example, if a cop steals your new C8 Corvette, then the case that follows will be "City of Dallas vs Corvette." I'm not kidding. The cases would be humorous if they weren't so serious.

BLACK PEOPLE AND MINORITIES ARE BEING TARGETED?

Is it possible to end racism? No. You can't change the hearts of men with legislation. If someone is a bigot, they're a bigot. That's life. Get over it.

But what happens if you give a bigot qualified immunity? What happens if you give a bigot the authority to steal from someone he hates, keep their property, and allow them to abuse the people he hates without any consequences?

What if that same bigot has over 3 decades of case law and history supporting his permission to steal, kill, and abuse without any repercussion? What in the world could possibly go wrong in such a scenario?

Well, in short, you shouldn't be shocked that a cop would feel safe and justified pressing his knee into another man's neck for over 8 minutes until he finally snuffed the life out of him, even while knowing that multiple cameras were filming him doing so.

In this sense, police abuse is systemic in law enforcement. Because "systemic" means "relating to a system" and it is the system of laws and injustice that we currently have in our system that permits such abuse to take place.

Do not confuse "systemic" with "ubiquitous" which means "present, appearing, or found everywhere." Many people are confusing these terms right now . Because, even though police abuse can take place anywhere, and at anytime, against blacks or other "minorities," it is not actually happening everywhere, all the time. In other words, police abuse against blacks and minorities is not systemic. But police abuse, in general, is systemic. This is because the "system" that currently exists gives police officers the cover and protection to abuse anybody at anytime without suffering any negative consequences.

However, I must repeat, that police officers have, for the most part, been remarkably self-controlled, particularly when you consider the permission slip they've been given to be abusive.

SO WHAT IS THE SOLUTION ALREADY?

The solution should be obvious by now. This is not tough, people! We simply need to repeal qualified immunity and civil asset forfeiture. That's it! It's not tough. If cops knew that they would be prosecuted instead of protected, for their abusive actions, then they would not be so likely to abuse. And they would not be permitted to steal, either.

The problem is that the Law Enforcement Lobby vehemently opposes changes to these rules. Obviously. And President Trump has threatened to veto legislation which would end qualified immunity. This is a very bad position on Trump's part.

But it's not President Trump's decision. State legislatures and even city councils can do this within their own jurisdiction. This does not need to be handled at the federal level.

Additionally, law enforcement agencies should train their police officers on exactly what they are allowed and not allowed to do in terms of how they handle citizens who are stopped, under questioning, or even under arrest. And their training should be shared publicly, online, so that all citizens can be educated as to what their rights are. This is simple stuff.

So there's the solution in 3 simple steps:
1. End qualified immunity.
2. Eliminate civil asset forfeiture.
3. Properly train police officers and share the training with the public so the public is just as informed and educated about their rights as the police are.

That's it. Now I encourage, and even challenge, all of you who are reading this to share this information, not only with friends and family, but more specifically with legislators, sheriffs, mayors, and law enforcement officials.

Let's put pressure on our representatives to do the right thing! To end qualified immunity forever! And to eliminate Civil Asset Forefeiture. Because its not too much to ask to have peace-keeping law enforcement officers who do not abuse citizens.
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