First and foremost, I do not support “mob rule” or any other type of anarchist behavior under the guise of “first amendment rights”. Secondly, let me say, I simply do not have an adequate solution to the pandemic rise of the police state or the counter-movement against it. However, the first step to recovery is to at least admit there is a problem. Lastly, and most important, law enforcement officers often have thankless jobs and insurmountable tasks in front of them. The old catch 22, “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”, but that does not negate their responsibility to the constitution and the people they “serve” – regardless of out-of-control courts.
My friends and family know that I am not an “activist”, I am a constitutionalist. From that perspective, which is purely constitutional, I can say these are dangerous times wherein law-abiding citizens have no reprieve or sanctuary – from criminals or police alike. I know that statement is not popular and will upset a lot of people, but I assure you, if you have an open mind, continue reading and you may see my point. Please, read this in its entirety before going off half-cocked with “thin blue line” or “blue lives matter” rhetoric. I get that. In fact, I have met some great cops over the years, but there comes a point when the mounting evidence outweighs the possibility of mere coincidence or sporadic isolated incidents. When you finish reading this post, you will actually see that I am not attacking police officers, but rather the broken judiciary that has allowed them to overstep their Constitutional authority. Point blank, the rise of the “Police State” has caused irreparable collateral damage to our civil liberties – black, white, brown… it no longer matters, because we no longer matter in the mouth of the leviathan called the “Deep State”.
Now, I have stayed silent, more-or-less, about the Philando Castile case because I had hoped that the courts would have brought his killer to justice – it failed to do that. Sure, his grieving mother may have a huge settlement to “ease her pain and suffering”, but her son’s killer, Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, walked out of court a free man. Where is the justice there? He murdered a civilian, there is no ambiguity there, and walked away free… but we still wonder why communities riot in the face of injustice like this. I’m sorry, but the official body cam footage, in my opinion, shows the only criminal in the case was the police officer, who incidentally brandished his weapon like a scared coward as far as I am concerned. At no point did Philando Castile make any sudden movements, and he even told the coward who shot him that he had a gun for which he also had a valid license. So, let’s fast forward a few months and our scene opens in St. Louis – a city enflamed in rage over the death of Anthony Lamar Smith and the acquittal of former police officer Jason Stockley. In this case, I see that Officer Stockley was more than justified in shooting the suspect given the circumstances and the fact that he reached for a weapon. So, the “mob rule” looting and attempts to burn the city in effigy, I will side with Law Enforcement. However, I do not agree with the police allegedly chanting, “whose streets, our streets” while arresting protesters.
I am citing these cases to emphatically show that I see both sides of the argument and that I take each incident on a case-by-case basis. But, when I see a pattern of behavior, on one side or the other, I cannot simply hold one side (Law Enforcement) faultless – especially when weighed against the constitutional parameters under which they should be operating. Is it the fault of Law Enforcement? No, not directly, they are simply “enforcers” of the constitutional failings of the Judiciary.
As I said before, we first need to admit to ourselves that there is a problem before we can find a solution, so take this as my intervention America. Point blank, there is a “law and order of the Judiciary” problem, which has been pulling at the very fabric of our Constitution for quite some time, and it is the direct cause of the problems we are seeing throughout the Law Enforcement community – as a whole. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once said, “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
Moreover, in 1949, George Orwell published a book entitled “Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)” wherein there was a dystopian society oppressed underneath the iron fists of an oligarchical plutocracy (in summation). Now, before we go any further, let’s set the basic premise that we are in fact living in a post-constitutional United States, which is based on the corollary that our highest courts have become political mechanisms that no longer uphold our inalienable rights afforded by the constitution.
For example, let’s look at the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments – really three of the most powerful that should, theoretically, hold our government within the confines of civility so much that we don’t even need to invoke the intent and parameters of the 2nd amendment. If you get my drift.
- 1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- 4th Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
- 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
So how have these amendments been eroded? In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts. There have been well-documented instances of abuses, which are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution. In essence, we are treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens. You know, the “bosses” of the people that are abusing our rights.
Point blank, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled. Take a look at these fifteen (15) court cases that prove my point to the letter.
- Police can stop, arrest and search citizens without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. (Utah v. Strieff)
- 2). Police officers can stop cars based on “anonymous” tips or for “suspicious” behavior such as having a “reclined car seat” or “driving too carefully”. (Navarette v. California)
- Police officers can use lethal force in car chases without fear of lawsuits. (Plumhoff v. Rickard)
- Police can “steal” from Americans who are innocent of any wrongdoing. (Texas’ asset forfeiture law)
- Americans have no protection against mandatory breathalyzer tests at a police checkpoint, although mandatory blood draws violate the Fourth Amendment (Birchfield v. North Dakota).
- Police can also conduct sobriety and “information-seeking” checkpoints (Illinois v. Lidster and Mich. Dep’t of State Police v. Sitz).
- Police can forcibly take your DNA, whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime. (Maryland v. King)
- Police can use the “fear for my life” rationale as an excuse for shooting unarmed individuals. (Alabama Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals)
- Police have free reign to use drug-sniffing dogs as “search warrants on leashes.” (Florida v. Harris and Rodriguez v. United States).
- Police can subject Americans to strip searches, no matter the “offense.” (Florence v. Burlington)
- Police can break into homes without a warrant, even if it’s the wrong home. (Kentucky v. King)
- Police can interrogate minors without their parents being present. (Camreta v. Greene)
- It’s a crime to not identify yourself when a policeman asks your name. (Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada)
- Police can carry out no-knock raids if they believe announcing themselves would be dangerous. (Quinn v. Texas)
- The military can arrest and detain American citizens. (Hedges v. Obama)
When you look at these rulings, it is clear-as-day that the U.S. Constitution no longer matters. When the police can simply arrest people for exercising their rights, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When we are no longer protected from unwarranted searches and seizures, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When we are forced to incriminate ourselves without legal representation, even when we are innocent, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When we are arrested for “not answering questions” without legal representation, even when we are innocent, that is life in a post-constitutional era. When law enforcement can detain, arrest, and even kill us without fear of reprisal, that is life in a post-constitutional era. And this is not something that is happening in a large metropolitan city far away, this is happening in our local towns. Recently, the “Bellevue Police Officer’s Association said … it no longer has confidence in Police Chief Mark Elbert’s ability to lead the department.” As Nebraskans, we need to pull our heads out of the sand and see the problems writ large across the nation.
Folks, tyranny has become the status quo, and due process has been replaced with the absolutism of the state (Deep or otherwise). So, when I read about the usurpation of “due process”. I become angry. When I hear that the judiciary upholds lawless acts of government agents at the expense of our constitutional civil liberties, I become angry. When I hear murderers and lawbreakers, with or without a badge, I become angry. And this my friends is precisely why we need the 2nd amendment. We need to protect ourselves from criminals, especially when those criminals are wolves dressed up in sheep’s clothing. When we become the prey of our protectors, and there is no justice to be had, that is the type of tyranny that eventually leads to an outburst of violence and civil unrest. I am in no way condoning the “war on police”, and I am certainly not condoning violence or destruction of public and private property; but, LAW AND ORDER must apply to the government (and its agents) as much as it does to citizens.
Overall, we need strong leadership in Congress that does not flip-flop or waffle when it comes to the constitution. But on the other side, we also need citizens to remain civil and lawful when exercising their first amendment rights. Once a protest turns violent or an uncontrollable mob that is destroying property, I firmly believe Law Enforcement should use all means necessary to protect life and property. And when I say, “all means”, there should be no ambiguity…that includes the use of deadly force as far as I am concerned.
 Hogan, S. (2017, September 18). St. Louis officers chant ‘whose streets, our streets’ while arresting protesters. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/09/18/st-louis-officers-chant-whose-streets-our-streets-while-arresting-protesters-against-police-killing/?utm_term=.6a3e8432fbed
 Whitehead, J. W. (2017, June 05). Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/twilight_of_the_courts_the_elusive_search_for_justice_in_the_american_
 Planos, J. (2017, September 14). Bellevue Police Chief responds to allegations. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.ketv.com/article/bellevue-police-officers-association-says-it-no-longer-has-confidence-in-chief/12239567