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Author Topic: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1  (Read 8734 times)

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AGelbert

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Who Will Police The Police?
« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2014, 09:45:29 pm »
Who Will Police The Police?  ???

Dec. 1, 2014 1:13 pm
By Thom Hartmann

As the nation continues to react to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, many people are asking themselves, “Where do we go from here?”

In a piece published over the weekend in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof says that, in the wake of Ferguson and the increase in racial tensions, America needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Kristof writes that, “We feud about the fires in Ferguson, Mo., and we can agree only that racial divisions remain raw. So let’s borrow a page from South Africa and impanel a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine race in America.”

While Kristof may have a point, there’s another - and, I believe, more urgent and pressing question that we should all be asking in the wake of Ferguson: Who will police the police? The Constitution and our Founders provide us with some insight on that very question.

When our Founders sat down to write the Constitution, they had a big debate over whether America should have a standing army. They had that debate because armies had a nasty habit of overthrowing elected governments, all the way back to the time of the Greeks. Our founders didn’t want a military under the control of a military official, because they knew how badly that could turn out.

As James Madison told the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787, “A standing military force… will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite [start] a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended [whenever the population was calling for political change]. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

So, our founders wrote in the Constitution that the chief executive of the military and armed forces had to be an elected civilian, the president, who would be replaced every so often. (They also time-limited military appropriations to a maximum of 2 years to force Congress every session to re-evaluate the military.)

That same principle - that the head of the police should be an elected civilian, not a cop or a prosecutor - is needed for oversight of police in America. All across America, we need police oversight boards that are independent of police departments, complete with subpoena and indictment powers, and that can impartially rule on police actions and matters. But the changes can’t stop there.

We need to also bring back good old-fashioned community policing. Back in 1994, the Clinton administration created something called the COPS program. COPS, or the Community Oriented Policing Services program, provided resources for local police forces around the country, and put 100,000 police officers on America’s streets - literally walking patrol. The idea was to get officers out into the community where they could form relationships with everyday people and "serve and protect" rather than occupy and control communities as if they were simply armed soldiers.

Madison, Wisconsin Police Officer Katie Adler is a great example of the kind of police officer the COPS program was meant to create. She is a neighborhood officer in the crime-ridden North Side area of Madison. Unlike regular patrol cops in Madison, neighborhood officers like Officer Katie work in at-risk communities to make a difference and build relationships with citizens - and it even prevents future crime.

Officer Katie is beloved in the communities that she patrols, so much so that kids follow her wherever she goes. And, she’s even inspiring children in the communities she patrols to become police officers when they grow up.

Unfortunately, police officers like Officer Katie are few and far between. That’s largely because ever since the Bush administration stepped foot in Washington, funding for the COPS program has been slashed year after year. And, over the past few years, things have gotten even worse.

In 2010, $792 million was allotted in the form of federal grants under the COPS program for local police forces across the country; by 2012, that number shrank to just $199 million. If the events in Ferguson have taught us anything, it’s that community policing efforts in America need to be expanded, not slashed.

Programs like COPS help law enforcement agencies to do more than just catch criminals. More importantly, they encourage street officers to work with communities to create a culture of trust that breaks down the barrier between cops and civilians. And, by establishing police oversight boards, we can make sure that police officers and police departments are held accountable for their actions by independent and impartial bodies.

It’s time to bring community policing back to America, and add an impartial system for accountability when a cop goes rogue.


Agelbert Comment:
Thom,

The problem is one of perspective. If you go back to the days the Constitution was written and learn how they policed in those days, there was simply no comparison to modern police. That is, what we HAVE NOW is, for all practical purposes, a STANDING ARMY in every town called a "police force"!

If you disagree, read this free online book or listen to it free online. It was written about 100 years ago and thoroughly covers the habits, housing, clothing, crafts, farming, governing and infrastructure from colonial days on.

During those days they had "watchmen" that would do just that during the night. During they day they could have any profession. They watched, property, animals (to make sure loose hogs didn't get into grain fields and such) and warned of fires or thievery. You even get a detailed description of items stolen from Benjamin Franklin's residence in a robbery.


The book is called:

Home Life in Colonial Days by Alice Morse Earle


Down load free here:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/22675

Listen free here:

https://librivox.org/home-life-in-colonial-days-by-alice-morse-earle/

The SO CALLED "latitude" given by the corrupt dysfunctional Court system we have in this country to the police officers in their ROUTINE violation of the Constitutional rights of we-the-people is a Stare Decisis (case law) contrivance that ignores the Constitution.

Indiana actually has a "stand your ground" law that entitles a citizen to use force in defense of illegal assault with a deadly weapon by a police officer. Pennsylvania, on the other and more brutally normal "hand", REQUIRES that you NOT defend yourself from a legal or ILLEGAL assault by a police officer because the court will "take care of your grievance later" when you have your "Day in Court". LOL!

But the issue is not the law per se. The POINT is that the police now are acting like an army of occupation and courts have gone fully, and fascistly, out of their way to ignore their brutality. EXACTLY what the founding fathers were afraid of HAS COME TO PASS.  >:(

All this BALONEY about how a police officer has to "defend" himself in the course of his duties is not now, or EVER was, justified as an excuse for routine assault and battery when verbally challenged or not instantly obeyed.

SINCE WHEN are citizens NOT allowed to ARGUE with a police officer? I'll tell you "since when"! Since the courts made us believe the FAIRY TALE that our "Day in Court" would settle the grievance.

You know the "DAY IN COURT" is for those with PRIVILEGE in this country and probably ALWAYS WAS! Over 90% of the people in jail RIGHT NOW in the USA never had a "day in Court"!  They were pressured and threatened and intimidated to accept a PLEA "Bargain" (such a deal!).  :P

We DO NOT have a functional Court System. It is THERE for the corporations and the rich (SEE definition of Corporations PLUS Government COERCIVE power = FASCISM).

Right now Darrell Wilson is busy getting his named changed or obtaining a nice security officer job in a "proud bigots 'R' us" corporation someplace. THAT is the UNJUST modus operandi that our Corrupt Court System ENABLES.

The incredibly calloused brutality towards minorities in general and African Americans in particular is part and parcel of the MILITARY mindset our soldiers have been indoctrinated in from the Phillipines to Iraq! Our police are SOLDIERS, not "watchmen" like our founding fathers considered towns men that protected people and property at night were.

This problem goes WAY BEYOND the police. It includes the accepted exploitative, conscience free mentality of our Predatory C(r)apitalst profit over people and planet suicidal paradigm.

But recognizing that our Courts are a TOOL of Fascism that has ushered in this police brutality is a start.

For those who labor under the ridiculous wishful thinking that we are entilted to a "Day in Court" and that our Court System practices their preached claim of Ubi Jus, Ibi Remedium (where there is injustice there is a remedy), read how the victims of the Exxon Valdez fared after 20 years of litigation when EXXON was OBVIOUSLY at fault for damaging the health and environment of people and animals to the point of sickness and death. This was a NO BRAINER but our Court System "awarded" a PITTANCE to the victims to the great pleasure and joy of one of the richest corporate planet polluters in the world! 

And the victims were WHITE PEOPLE! Imagine if that town had been all black like some towns that GE ravaged long ago (and the Koch brothers more recently) who's victims never did get justice.

That's the way Fascism creeps in. First you are lulled into thinking it's just this or that OTHER group getting targeted and you remain asleep until one day you wake up and the cops are a standing army that can justify, in the HANDMAIDEN of the corporations (the Courts), any and all behavior, no matter how brutal and murderous.


We don't NEED more "laws" on the books. We NEED to have courts that don't enforce the laws SELECTIVELY.  The "latitude" given police officers is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Cops are American citizens. Its time they were bound by the same laws the rest of us are. But since the corporations OWN our Government and our Courts, I'm not holding my breath waiting for our unlawful and corrupt Fascist Court System to act Lawfully.

Pass it on. It's time for people to stop pretending we are a democracy. Day in Court, my ARSE!

Links below:

It's time to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Kajieme Powell, Chris Hedges and Will Allen. If we don't mankind is doomed.

http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/who-can-you-trust/mechanisms-of-prejudice-hidden-and-not-hidden/msg2136/#msg2136


The Mike Brown Shooting - What You're Not Being Told

http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/who-can-you-trust/mechanisms-of-prejudice-hidden-and-not-hidden/msg2137/#msg2137


The Exxon Valdez PITTANCE of a settlement: PROOF we have a Fascist Fossil Fuel Government AND the irreparably DYSFUNCTIONAL Court System is its HANDMAIDEN


http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/fossil-fuel-folly/fossil-fuels-degraded-democracy-and-profit-over-planet-pollution/msg2122/#msg2122
 

Fascist Big Ag uses Food Disparagement Law and the Patriot Act to threaten Truth tellers


http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/renewables/sustainable-food-production/msg2033/#msg2033

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. on what the LAW is ALL ABOUT


http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/who-can-you-trust/corruption-in-government/msg2045/#msg2045
 

The Lady Justice Legal Scales mean the OPPOSITE of what you think they mean


http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/who-can-you-trust/corruption-in-government/msg2041/#msg2041

Don't count on our Court System to defend Americans from Fascism - Here's why the solution to Corporate Profit over Planet is EX CURIA


http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/who-can-you-trust/corruption-in-government/msg2019/#msg2019


http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/12/who-will-police-police#comment-295520

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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