It’s not until the other day that I was pulled over by a state trooper and I was treated like a low-life that really got me thinking about this. Let me make this clear, I’m not a low life. I do happen to be at a low point in my life, but I always treat others with respect.
Now, here was my situation: I was putting on my seat belt as I was pulling onto the road. And that’s not just a story, I always wear my seat belt. There was a state trooper traveling in the same lane of traffic that saw this. And decided to pull me over for it. I pulled over pretty quickly to a safe area where we wouldn’t have to worry about passing traffic. I’m sure he pulled up my record when he ran my license plate and there are no violent offenses on there. In fact, there are no felonies on there at all. Just a few traffic tickets, like I’m sure most of us have.
In my situation, after a while I stood up to talk to the officer face to face, like men do, calmly, respectfully, and with a good attitude. He started to get a bad attitude with me, and then told me to sit down and drop the attitude. I assured the officer that I sincerely wasn’t giving him an attitude – that’s just not the kind of person I am – You’d have to be quite an idiot to get an attitude with a person who has the ability to take you to jail. For some reason he ended up giving me a little bit of a break. I think sometimes police officers just like to make it clear that they’re all-powerful to make you do whatever they want you to do.
But now on to the point of my post:
This is something I’ve seen time and time again, as we all have I’m sure. The police have caught their suspect. He’s choosing to surrender peacefully, the game’s up and they know it. He hasn’t tried to run, resist arrest, nothing. I mean, he hasn’t given the officers any reason to think that he’s going to put up any sort of a fight. Simple as that, right? They just walk up and place the cuffs on him, right?
Nope, wrong. This situation is far from over. The police charge him like he’s a running back with a football. They throw him to the ground, and I don’t mean just one officer, I’m talking anywhere from two to six officers to take down one suspect, and let’s keep in mind, this, under the law, is still an innocent man.
In most instances, one officer is holding his legs, one is on his back holding him down and holding his arms and cuffing him, while another has his knee on his neck, coming close I’m sure to crushing his wind-pipe. This is a man who has surrendered peacefully lest we forget and it could have been as simple as walking up to him to putting on a pair of handcuffs. I personally don’t see the point of the officers chosing to be violent with him as he hasn’t resisted.
And god forbid he refuses to get down on his knees, or even on his stomach, out comes the taser or pepper spray. And again, I’m not talking about someone who’s being violent, just someone who doesn’t immediately follow and order, and sometimes with good reason. What happened to talking to a suspect to figure out what the issue is?
A couple weeks ago on cops I saw a peaceful and respectful when talking to the cops. All he wanted to do was explain the situation to the officers. As soon as he refused to get out of the truck to prevent it from getting towed because he was parked in a handicapped space but had failed to hang up his placard, even though it was clearly laying on the floor. As soon as he said he wasn’t getting out, out came the pepper spray and they rushed into the truck like the guy was a major threat.
I have real problems watching that program these days, seeing people’s civil rights violated on almost every episode is just too much for me to handle. Seeing how far the state of our civil rights has deteriorated over the years is just depressing as hell. How can we as Americans stand idly by and just let these injustices happen? Nevermind the incidents that don’t make it to air, I think it’s pretty clear that only the juciest arrests make it on the program. What about all the injustices that go on, with or without a camera crew following the police around where the find nothing? I think George W. Bush may have had a point when he called the constitution, quote “Just a damn piece of paper”, even after he, under oath said “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” in his swearing in ceremony.
In my opinion our police have turned into commandos. And god forbid you have a difference of opinion than them. They seem to either ignore or have no problem finding a way to violate our 4th amendment rights to search our homes our vehicles, and other property, and probably a good deal of the other amendments . Has the constitution been forgotten, or simply ignored? We say that America is the greatest country in the world, that may have been the truth at one point, but it seems that day is long past and now we’re a police state. And one run by corrupt officials.
Sad thing is, I doubt there’s anyone out there who can argue with me about this. But if there is, I’d love to hear from you!
-A conscientious objector!