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We all Bemoan the "Police State," but I have to ask...

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posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 10:24 PM
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...Where do you draw the line between a 'police state' and properly equiping the police/government/ect. to actuallybe productive in our current world?

I am asking this because of some of the responses that I got to my Welfare thread, where some people automatically equated my suggesting more strenuous application requirements with me supporting the "Police State."

Although police brutality, government eavesdropping, and all of that are very real breaches of our rights and i am not trying to imply that they are not,
I have noticed that far too many people throw it out at a drop of a hat--anything they don't like that the govt. does, or in the extreme cases, anything that it does, period, they say is part of the oncoming police state.

This doesn't help anybody.

I think that we, first and foremost, need to deliniate what is actually a "police state tactic" and what we are simply labeling as such because it doesn't fit our political viewpoint and, in a Limbaugh-esk fasion, we are counting on the knee-jerk reaction of people hearing that terminology to steer them away from considering that point of view.

The second point I want to make here, and I think it is far more important, is where do you draw the line between "police state" and police doing their job?

Let's take the example of ankle bracets.

Some people say that this is the hallmark of the police state, and I can understand their perspective, but really--think about if from the other side.

First of all, these people knew they were committing their respective crimes to begin with--why complain about the fact that they are actually being punished for it? We'd have more to complain about if they weren't. Then consider that putting a bracelet on someone is far cheaper than housing them in a jail situation.

Another example is the cities that hand out garbage cans and levy fines against people who overfill them. I see the govts. at a lose-lose situation here: on one hand people demand that they help stop polution, global warming, wahtever, but when they try to do that, it is cited as heavy-handed totalitarian methods.

The point I'm winding down to is this. In some form or fasion we need a government. You can try to argue that people are going to be much more happy in a la-di-da-fluffy every man is equal type of environment, but history shows otherwise. Even in democratic societies we humans gravitate towards strong leaders--I'd argue that's why our constitution has flown away, but that's another topic. We have a responsibility, as a body being governed, to ensure that the government acts fairly and legally, but at the same time, it is counterproductive to give it no clout at all.

So, let's discuss.




posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 10:37 PM
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I think the key to answering all of your questions comes down to one thing: Read & understand the Constitution & the Bill of Rights. All Government Officers in all three Branches at both State & Federal levels must swear/affirm to a legally-binding Oath of Office to "act in pursuance of the Constitution."

Then knowing that, take a look at even the MSM news as well as a few independent news sources & then decide for yourself: Are they really violating the Supreme Law of the Land, or not?



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 10:43 PM
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Originally posted by MidnightDStroyer
I think the key to answering all of your questions comes down to one thing: Read & understand the Constitution & the Bill of Rights. All Government Officers in all three Branches at both State & Federal levels must swear/affirm to a legally-binding Oath of Office to "act in pursuance of the Constitution."

Then knowing that, take a look at even the MSM news as well as a few independent news sources & then decide for yourself: Are they really violating the Supreme Law of the Land, or not?


Please clarify what you mean here before I respond:

Whether you say that if it's not in the constitution, then no one should do it, or you mean that powers not mentioned should automatically go to indivitual states.



posted on Aug, 25 2008 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


i think your view on a police state is alittle mickey mouse.

Police beat up a young woman at Reagan National Airport, throwing her across the room into another woman and a metal chair. After that, they bashed her head into a metal table, giving her a concussion and permanent brain damage. Police Officer Michael Jose Urbina, who delivered the concussion blow to her head, filed false criminal charges against her for Disorderly Conduct.

Quadriplegic Brian Sterner was dumped from his wheelchair as he was being booked for an alleged traffic violation at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office jail facility. Surveillance video showed Sterner tumbling to the floor and officers searching his clothing as he lay prone.The video raised concerns about police treatment of the disabled after being widely circulated on news channels and youtube.

an 88-year-old Atlanta woman, was shot 6 times and killed by police officers who had entered her home with a fraudulently-obtained no knock warrant for a supposed drug grow-op after she had fired back in self-defence. Two of the three officers involved would eventually plead guilty to a number of charges including manslaughter

Jessie Lee Williams Jr. died of brain trauma after being beaten by jailer Ryan Teel during booking at Harrison County, Mississippi jail. Teel was later found "guilty of conspiring to deprive inmates' rights, using unnecessary, excessive force in Williams' fatal beating and obstructing justice by writing a false report.

With guns drawn, police executed a "commando-style raid" at Stratford High School, forcing students as young as 14 to the ground as SWAT team personnel in bulletproof vests led drug dogs to search their schoolbags. On July 10, 2006, a settlement of $1.6 million was reached in an ACLU-initiated lawsuit charging police and school officials with violating the students’ right to be free from unlawful search and seizure and use of excessive force.

Albert Mosely was picked up on a probation violation and brought to the Baltimore's Western District police station where, after getting into a shouting match with police officers, he was picked up (while handcuffed) and thrown "headfirst into the concrete wall of a holding cell." Mosley was rendered quadriplegic.

and dont even get me started on Tazer offenses

[edit on 25-8-2008 by Demandred]



posted on Aug, 26 2008 @ 02:13 AM
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The police are on power trips. They know they have the power of the law behind them and they use that to their advantage.

You have to look at the human condition. We desire power, we desire the control of everything. History shows us this we try to control each other we try to control the natural world. Why would police be exempt from this basic fact?

Coupled with the fact that we desire power, people are easily corrupted. People with power are more easily corrupted than others.

The logic is there to show us that instituions that have power will become corrupt. Police forces are not exempt from that logic.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
Whether you say that if it's not in the constitution, then no one should do it, or you mean that powers not mentioned should automatically go to indivitual states.


The constitution already states that those things not explicitly covered automatically go to the states or to the people. So, that is "constitutional" as well.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 01:55 PM
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just to add a little perspective from across the water,I have noticed a couple of things.

People are very quick to abuse the police when they exercise power, and then again when they don't.

By this I mean that if the police stop them doing what they want to do they call them fascist pigs.

If they then want someone arrested who the police CANNOT arrest, then they slate them for not doing their jobs.

Yes, there are police officers who abuse their power, just as some teachers, politicians, local government officers etc etc do, but I speak from experience when I say that the majority of police officers are good people doing a thankless job, where they are in a lose/lose situation for most of the time.

Even here on ATS there are police officers who are members in very good standing.

Imagine that!
A cop belonging to a CT site!

Maybe they are just human like the rest of us, and going out each day to risk their lives for us, in the hope that they will make a difference, and they do this because they are good people.

I get so tired of the people who rant about "pigs" this and "pigs" that with absolutely no idea of the stresses and strains involved.

Let's face it, some people just want to do whatever they like, and sod society - these are the ones who shout loudest, like spolit kids who've had their favourite toy taken away.

Rant over



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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I think that the difference between a "police state" and a state with too much police power is that the first is created in a way in which the basis of the state is the police; without an active police force to force the state policies into the citizens that state would fall apart.

A state with too much police power (or without a proper control of some police powers) is a common state where the police is allowed (actively or passively) too much power.

In Portugal (the only case I know personally), before 1974, all police forces (and mostly the political police) were needed to keep the state as it was, that was the reason why, during the revolution, the president went to one of those police forces for protection against the military forces that were behind the revolution.

To keep the police happy they gave them more power than it was strictly needed, and the people that worked on the police forces reacted by accepting everything the state said, it was almost like a symbiotic relation, both parties had something to gain from it and both would collapse if one of them collapsed.

Does this applies to the US? I hope not, and from what I have read, I think not, I think the problem is that some people go to the police because they see in it a way of getting a position inside society superior to that of a common citizen, and when they get there they act accordingly. What is necessary is to show those people that the law also applies to them and that they are citizens like the other citizens, no more, no less.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
...Where do you draw the line between a 'police state' and properly equiping the police/government/ect. to actuallybe productive in our current world?


It is a fuzzy line, and it depends on the culture. However, just because I cannot define pornography, I still know it when I see it. It is similar with a police state.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by Demandred
 


You didn't really respond to the OP's question. A few examples or a few thousand examples of police brutality does not a police state make.

What people don't seem to understand is that the real threat of a 'police state' comes from the federal government, not the local sheriff. Until city, county, and state police become one single branch of the federal government there will never be a real police state. But before that happens, police brutality is just that, and not a government mandate, or an attempt by some centralized power to control the populace.

Like budski said, the cops get shat on no matter what they do. If they set up cameras on the street in dangerous neighborhoods, they're profiling, they're invading privacy, they're too lazy to patrol it themselves. But when a neighborhood is riddled with homicides the police aren't protecting the citizens, they aren't doing their jobs, they don't care about poor people/minorities. Asemone is right, it is absolutely lose-lose for the police and the government.

Why? Because you cannot make everyone happy. If the government takes action, one side will accuse them of doing wrong. If they don't take action the other side will accuse them of doing wrong. This is why society is like a pendulum, swinging from making one group happy to making the other group happy and then back again.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 12:58 PM
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The people who bemoan a police state are students who dont work for a living and just want to smoke more pot. there biggest fear is gettin hasseled by the police because they are drunk and dissorderly at a bar on saturday night. they dont like cops because they dont want anybody telling them how to party.

truth is the problem is not terrorist. it is that crime is dragging us down into the gutter. if you travel abroad and then come to us you will see that america is covered in litter because no one fears the law and so they throw their burger sacks and water bottles and plastic bags wherever. most libaries are about to close because ppl just steall books instead of checking them out. schools are a joke because the children no they cannot be punished and thus fear nothing.

who drives the speed limit in america. no one. because there is only one cop for every 3000 people so you have nothing to fear once you learn the local speed traps.

name one person you personally know whose been arrested for the patriot act. the governemnt passed it just so they could say there doing something about the danger. all they do is throw money at it.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


There is no Constitutional obligation on the part of police to protect anyone that isnt in their custody. That being said, any and all actions taken by the police departments in the name of "protecting and serving" are inherently unconstitutional. When those actions are instructed by government, they become criminally liable for each and every violation of our protected rights.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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I think the difference between "police brutality" and a "police state" is who the police work for.

There will always be police brutality. Just like pedophiles are drawn to jobs that give them access to children, there will always be abusers who are drawn to positions of power.

ALL people who work with children are not pedophiles. But we do need to be aware that pedophiles may be drawn to jobs that give them access to children and screen accordingly.

ALL people drawn to positions of power are not abusers. But we should be aware that there are abusers drawn to those jobs and screen accordingly.

Budski goes too far, in my opinion, defending ALL police. If there are bad apples, we have the right to complain and weed them out. They work for US, the people. We have the right as a collective to set limits about what they can and cannot do, and to fire or prosecute the bad apples.

Similarly, although we should be grateful for the people who work with children out of a genuine love and regard for their welfare, this does not mean that we cannot actively seek to rid the system of pedophiles who are in the jobs not to help but to exploit children.

In a police state, the police do not work for the people, but for a third party, the State, who the people are subject to. The people have little authority but to accept the rules imposed by the State and enforced by the police. In the United States, we are not the property of our government, the government is the property of the people. In theory, and by law, anyway. We DO have the right to question the actions of the law enforcers, and the State itself. It is not only our right, but our responsibility to do so.

We have the right to question the methods and actions of individual police officers. In fact, it is our duty to question and to continually adjust the boundaries of what is, and is not, ok. It is our duty to ensure that the bad apples dont take over the barrel. Just as it is our duty to question and continually check the actions of our elected leaders.

There are people that do cry and whine when they are caught committing crimes, and they do call brutality and burden the system with their complaints when the actions taken by officers are legitimate responses to crimes. But this does not mean that ALL actions of officers are legitimate.

Just like the occasional false allegation of molestation does not mean that NO child should be listened to, and NO adult should be investigated and punished for molestation.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


I’ll even follow along behind you and budski with this.

Even those who accuse the police of doing wrong for acting will accuse the police of doing wrong for not acting. Sometime people like to run their mouth and complain just to hear their own complaints.

I have never said there are not bad cops as there are. Just as budski said there are bad people everywhere. But the sad thing is that not only are there bad cops but at looking at some posts on here you see there are just as many if not more people out there that just want to do whatever they please and screw everyone else and their ideas.

As you said police brutality is just that something needs to be done in the cases where it is used. But claiming that everything is police brutality or over reaction or even racism is stupid. Sometimes the person is guilty and really was not complying. If you are trying to accomplish a goal you use the tools given to you. If you do not have the proper tool you may need to improvise. Sometimes bad people get hurt and need to try and make themselves into a victim to get support so that maybe they will not get into trouble. Sometimes these people get made into heroes of sorts by the idiots who think all police are bad and they should be allowed to do whatever they please.

I will add another in for the OP. In most cities certain neighborhoods will complain that your grass is getting to high. The complaint goes to the police because the town’s people voted into effect an ordinance about grass and needing to be under a certain height. Instead of laying blame where blame lays people blame the police for doing their job. Personally I think the ordinance is stupid, but I also understand the point in a way. It was designed to keep all homes looking somewhat nice. If they do not your property value can go down because of someone else. In other words your neighbor can cause you to lose money. When the value of homes goes down in an area you get the less desirable types moving in. At this point your family and belongings may no longer be safe. Again value goes down. Some neighborhoods have block captains that will inform new comers to all the ordinances set forth by said community, if these are not followed legal action (police involvement) may take place. One should not blame the police for doing their job here but those who set the laws/ordinances into place. I would bet that most police could really care less about how tall your grass is. But if someone calls them about it they have to respond as that is what they are paid for. If you do not think that is a wise way for your tax dollars to be spend go to the city council and complain or try to get on the board and work from the inside. Most of the things people are complaining about are put out there by other people who want things their way. The police do not write or make the laws. Yes some try to live above the laws and some of them get caught. Corruption is on every level not just in the government and the police. Your neighbor could be just as corrupt and be one of those helping to get laws passed you disagree with. If you are looking to politicians to set an example maybe you are looking in the wrong place and should be out there setting your own example.

Raist



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