I was arrested and taken away…REALLY???

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by Kenneth Justice

~ One of the main themes in my writing is the subject of justice and in the Western World we have no shortage of real life stories which remind us that a myriad of men, women, and children are direly in need of justice.

Each week for the past few months I’ve been co-hosting a podcast with fellow blogger Kylie from Journeyofkylie.com and this week’s episode which airs today deals with a serious matter; the arrest of Kylie. Kylie wasn’t doing anything wrong, she wasn’t breaking the law, she wasn’t hurting anyone, she wasn’t even hurting herself; but due to overzealous law enforcement, she was thrown to the ground, handcuffed like a common criminal and taken away.

Is it just me or have police officers and law enforcement officials become power hungry in recent decades? I remember watching “The Andy Griffith Show” as a child which portrayed a kind country sheriff who knew the names of everyone in his town and demonstrated love and grace to all. The sheriff portrayed in that old black and white TV show viewed his responsibility as serving the people. Yet what modern law enforcement officials in our day-and-age view themselves as public servants?

Nowadays when someone wears a professional uniform of a law enforcement official they are more likely to cause people to be nervous around them rather than comfortable; is that really what we want our law enforcement officials doing, striking fear in the hearts of innocent citizens?

During the era of the Soviet Union, law enforcement officials were so frightening people avoided them like the bubonic plague. The people of communist Russia were terrified of their government and of the law enforcement officials who arrested them unjustly and often without cause. Is this where we are headed a society?

Last week I wrote about propaganda because I believe we are all influenced in various ways thanks to the powers above us. Whether it be the school system you go to, your government officials, your religious leaders, your family, or the scientists who write the textbooks you read; we are all influenced by the propaganda of other people. Propaganda in and of itself is not necessarily bad, it’s simply a way of life. However, when it comes to the current propaganda often being cited in the Western World; that the United States and Great Britain are responsible in policing the world……I start to get concerned.

If I’m annoyed that my podcast partner was handcuffed and thrown to the ground unjustly, then how must someone in another country feel when foreign law enforcement officials from the United States and Great Britain show up and start throwing their weight around?

Lots of questions this morning, but very few answers. I definitely need another coffee,

Kenneth

P.s. this week’s show airs in less than hour at kennyandkylie.com



Categories: Culture & Society

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27 replies

  1. These are the days when ‘Policing the World’ means trying to get control of the oil for ourselves. The people of the UK are sick of the scrapes our Governments get us into . US soldiers are now killed as much by their own friendly fire as by insurgents and we’re not making friends with civilian populations by bombing innocent civilians. Wherever we go we seem to make worse. Our interference in Ukraine is a great way of making enemies for the future by creating a Government that causes a civil war. Since when have we become keen on having Neo-Nazis as allies?
    I’m sorry about what happened to your friend but yes,it seems joining the police can be about how much power you can get as was proved in her case. I wonder who’s side they’re on..

  2. I do not think the Uk police is that bad. they are not armed unless on airpiort.
    They surely will tackle you like a full fledged rugby player. If one does not cooperate or tries to flee. Tough cookies I tell you and without a gun.

    In other countries we do see lots of UK and US forces, most under comment of military yeah we Dutch tag along as well.

    And we cannot expect every law enforcer to also know every ones state of mind.
    They are not mind readers or psychos (psychiatrists) the know first aid and a little more but are not doctors. They are human and have to assess in seconds or less. Do they often enough use to much force yes they do. Do they pull a gun to fast yes they do.

    As someone who has been thrown around on suspicion of carrying. more than once. had guns pulled out in my face. They make calls you and I might find unreasonable. But we are not them and as they cannot know what is in my head we do not know what they think. Again they could however cut down on force.

    Opinion from someone who seen both the UK and Dutch police at work, and was either innocent or guilty in all cases.

  3. You leave it kinda vague, so it’s hard to tell. Was she drinking a Big Gulp soda? Did she accept a package with drugs in it? Did she have any outstanding parking tickets or warrants? Did someone phone in an accusation? Could she be part of a terrorist cell? Did the police have the wrong address? Is it a case of identify theft? How well do you know her? Did she not pay her rent? Has she threatened anybody? CO2 has been declared a pollutant. Was she breathing heavily? But more seriously, according to “Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, the average American commits three felonies a day.” So. Not doing anything wrong is no defense. Sorry. Go to jail.

  4. I’ve been reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and have been very disturbed by the descriptions of how justice has taken a back seat to political gain, greed and power.

  5. To be fair…the crap that police have to deal with today is much different than the good old days of Andy and friends. I was watching a rerun of the Wild One with Marlin Brando and having quite a chuckle at the so called bad boys of that era. Today the climate is more deadly and a mistake on the part of a policeman could cost him his life. People have changed and so has the culture…and not for the better. As long as the police are enforcing the law, I’m on their side…even if they have to strong arm it now and again. The alternative to policing would be dealing with thugs, drug cartels, mafia, street gangs, motorcycle gangs, paedophiles, looters, abusers of all sorts, thieves, etc…. Somehow fairness doesn’t seem part of that equation either. Society needs to change…and then policing methods will follow suit.

    However, sorry about your friend, Kylie. Seems like they were a bit over zealous on that one…perhaps too much coffee and donuts!

    • I would agree that our police face more life threatening situations today than in the past. However, to take the attitude that EVERY contact with ANY citizen is a life threatening one and to treat ALL as guilty & threatening to start with leads to some very bad “public service”. I would also say that the “modern” police force with SWAT teams and military gear is attracting a certain type of individual for whom the potential for violence is exciting. And of course the current use of cell phones to video every detail of one’s life increases our awareness of how police/citizen interactions go. It was never perfect – I remember my grandmother telling me from an early age that the path to contentment was to stay under the radar of the police. She grew up in southern Maine in the 20’s and the local police were in tight with the KKK (which was rabidly anti-Catholic in that area/time).

    • YES!!!! Well said!! I have often said exactly what you are getting at; for the police to treat every encounter with citizens as though they may be engaging themselves in a life threatening situation is totally BS!

    • On a surface level you are right; it is appalling that everyone under every circumstance is suspect. That’s obvious, but that wasn’t my point. You’re looking at the problem…not the cause of the problem. The society we live in today has become the incubator for the behavior we see in police and throughout western culture in general. Its like looking at a cancer without trying to find out what is causing it. If there is no cancer, there is no need for radical action…but if there is evidence of cancer, putting a band-aid on it is not a solution. Fix the root cause and everything else will fall back into place. If you can correct the ills of society there would be little need for policing at all. And that’s not BS!

  6. Hmmm, I can’t say too much about the US policing the world and all, but I can definitely understand the whole issue of not trusting the cops and governing authorities and that suppose to be protecting and serving the people (especially here in Brazil). Kenneth, have you ever watched ‘Elite Squad’? It’s a Brazilian movie about a police captain who battled corruption in his effort to take down drug dealers Wagner Moura (the lead actor) was brilliant in it. If you ever get the chance, see if you can watch it. There’s also a sequel (i think called, ‘The Enemy Within’ in English). It’s on Netflix and is Brazil’s biggest film in history (even topped Avatar). Links for more on it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/movies/elite-squad-the-enemy-within-from-brazil-review.html?_r=0

    🙂

    • I have not seen “elite squad” but I did start watching your movie last weekend! I got half way through and then had to take a break because some people came over, hopeful I’ll finish it this weekend; its good so far 🙂

    • Aw man, you’ve got to watch Elite Squad. It’s so good. I think it did so well because it’s an issue that is really close to the Brazilian heart. The whole issue of corruption in politics and all. One of the actors in it has agreed to be in one of the next films that Daniel will be directing and will done through our production company.
      No worries. Whenever you’re able to.
      🙂

  7. What a great post… I so enjoy each of them and look forward to the next one.

    I have put the “poetry blog” to bed! Please check out my new site and continue to follow your visits are important to me. ajm

    “Libretto”
    http://writerannjohnsonmurphree.wordpress.com/

  8. So, is this the next twitter campaign? It really is difficult to sympathize with your friend Kylie without knowing why she was arrested. One of the problems I see on social media every day is the willingness to blindly sign on to every alleged miscarriage of justice, without even a cursory attempt at finding out facts. It makes real injustice all that much harder to deal with.

  9. The only true success the American criminal justice system and law enforcement enjoys is the application of law to the average law abiding citizen. The enormous criminal element that operates in plain sight has so seriously overmatched the system that all that can be done in that area is nibble at the heels of the weak ones culled from the hurd. We are classified by our own public law as a nation of criminals whether we commit any crime or not. The militarization of law enforcement over the last decade is an indication of a sick society and a desparate, inept government. It will not get better if the current trend continues.

  10. Police terrify me. I understand why they might be bitter as they don’t usually interact with the average, kind citizen every day. Their job forces them to encounter harsher people. Still, they scare me. They have all the power with their guns and tazers. Whether I am right or wrong won’t matter if a cop confronts me. The only thing I could possibly do is report the cop for inappropriate behavior or excessive force after the fact. In the moment, there is nothing I can do. Throwing a punch is an arrestable offense because I’d be assaulting an officer.

    …of course, the ability to report the officer depends on my chances of survival….

    • Well, isn’t part of the reason that police terrify you TK is because of your long arrest record? Seriously though, my problem is that they treat citizens like potential criminals, rather than treating citizens as people they are supposed to be protecting 🙂

  11. I have never been afraid of the police. I think it was because my mother introduced me to the officers whenever we saw them and really pushed the idea that they are there to help me and keep me safe. I was always told that if I was in trouble to run to a police officer and I know a bunch of officers and they are all awesome and sooo nice. Maybe its because we live in Small Town. There are a few encounters that I have ad that ticked me off a little but nothing really big. I’ve only ever met one that abused his authority and he backed off when I told him to. I’m not easily intimidated…. – the wifey

    • I’m not usually afraid of the police either…cept when I’m shoplifting or stealing cars at night, but I’m usually wearing a black mask so they won’t know its me 😀

  12. the biggest problem in the US is that we have so many laws. that situation should NEVER have been allowed to happen! We have so many that it is impossible for anyone to even know what they are, much less keep from breaking them. Someone already mentioned the book “Three Felonies a Day”. I’m sure most of us break more than 3! There is no such thing as a crime without a victim. That is our problem, we have created millions of “laws” that are completely meaningless. They are ONLY there to protect some special interest and are harming the rest of us. ANY of us can be hauled off to jail at any moment. All you need to do is piss off a cop, or even your neighbor, they can haul you off and steal everything you’ve ever worked for. All of that is 100% ‘legal”. No, not really, its ALL completely against our constitution which means it is all 100% ILLEGAL, but those cops are “LAW ENFORCERS’ and most of them will keep on ‘just doing their jobs”, no matter how evil that happens to become. We ARE a police state and nobody seems to care. I’m glad to see you’re bringing up all this stuff here. We REALLY need to be having a national discussion on all this stuff and not just online.

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