Tag Archives: law enforcement

Laws don’t Protect Consumers

I found this page the other day on Huffington Post about Seattle banning ride share apps. Basically, there are phone applications used to connect riders with drivers and are allowing people to save a lot of money on rides around town. I have never used one of these but have friends who rave about them. Seattle, apparently is a testing ground for these kind things. It seems to be working out well for Car-2-Go as well as the companies listed in the article as well as my friends who use the systems.

rideshareSeattleBut of course, the taxi cab companies already have a foothold in our local political system and have manipulated and pressured the city council into considering a ban on. They claim it’s for public safety, but if you follow the money, it’s clear they are merely trying to protect their income without being forced to re-evaluate their business model for a changing society. Ultimately, consumers are suffering, as we are still being forced to wait 45 minutes for a cab so we can pay $30 to get across town.

It’s just one example out of a myriad of how our government and lawmakers just cause problems for the general population for the benefit of a small minority. Most of the time they sneak these bans in and no one notices. I can’t imagine just how much innovation has been stifled throughout the years by companies who use legislation to stifle their competition instead of working on a fair playing field.

And people try to use examples of how government helps us, claiming consumer protection is so important, but I believe this protection is largely a myth. The government built all our roads for the car companies instead of forcing them to compete with the railroad and bicycle companies on a fair playing field. Now we live in a society where everyone just blindly accepts that cars are the only way to get around, despite how they have forced us to use tax dollars to pave over our wilderness, are destroying our atmosphere and forcing parents and pet owners to keep their loved ones locked inside for fear they will be run over.

I could go on for example after example I think, but I’ll just do one more: almost ten years ago, I tried switching my internet service to a company called Clearwire. When I signed up they promised their internet service was comparable to Comcast, but I soon found that I was unable to watch even YouTube videos and some things wouldn’t connect at all. When I tried to cancel, they charged me over $300 for an early-termination fee, something that was buried in the fine-print of the contract and which the salesman had specifically told me did not exist. I attempted to fight it by cancelling my credit card, but they harassed me until I finally compromised and gave them about $200 to forgive the “debt.” I was rather poor at the time so this was a lot of money for me. People complain so often about Comcast’s customer service, but I tell you it is a world better than Clearwire was.

Now, the other day, nearly ten years after I went through all this frustration, I got a letter in the mail with a check for a little over $14, after a lawsuit settlement against Clearwire on behalf of all the people they did this to.

So even when there are legal successes on the consumer’s behalf, it doesn’t even begin to make up for the problems these selfish and underhanded companies cause for society.

Compare that to my experiences in the unregulated underground marijuana distribution. I mean, I bought marijuana literally several hundred times from dozens of different dealers in quantities ranging from a gram to a pound. Not once was I ever ripped off. Not once did a dealer ever pad a sack with catnip and not once did they ever “just take the money and run”. Not one single time.

So yeah, consumer protection is a joke. The government does far more to protect morally void companies from consumer backlash.

On Being An Outlaw – YouTube

I don’t know who this chick is, but I must say I’m pretty impressed. I wish I had this kind of speaking ability. She may be following a script but it looks like she’s just coming up with this off the top of her head and beautifully describing my own opinions about anarchism.

I particularly like what she says about the two parties. I get so frustrated with liberals because I want to call myself a liberal since I agree with most of their social ideals like equality and the idea of healthcare for all but they are so hypocritical about the way they go about it, vehemently supporting gay rights while ignoring other sexual and social minorities and attacking the republicans every time they violate the constitution while ignoring it themselves when it doesn’t serve their purpose.

Anway, this Josie The Outlaw makes me think that maybe I should make a few YouTube videos myself. Of course, I would have to read from a script because my brain, as well as it does work, functions slower than Josie’s. I could do my 35 Ways Criminal Justice is Counter-Productive to Peace on Earth article, my 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime, and my Life Management Skills (I think I’d want to eat a bunch of shrooms and film that one while I’m out in the woods.) I really think I should try and do this because videos have much more of a chance to go viral than a blog post, but I have little to no experience in video production so it would be a little bit of a learning curve.

Finally Re-posting The Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution

After all these years I finally got back to posting this. The Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution. I wrote this sometime around 2002, maybe shortly before or during the time I was going to school for web development. I didn’t really want to write it at first, but I had a website called Get To Know a Marijuana Dealer that’s point was to show that drug dealers are people too, to humanize us and help people understand that we aren’t these evil monsters that we’re depicted as in the media, that we sell drugs because we believe people should have the right to make their own decisions and do with their own bodies as they choose, or in my case, because we believe some of these drugs are amazing substances that can have tremendously positive impacts on society. I started dealing marijuana because it was something I believed in, something that made me feel like I was making a difference, contributing to society, fighting back against the tyranny of government and society that is driving our suicide and chronic depression rates to all-time highs.

I quit in 2007 because it was just too much work for too little payout, because my web development career took off and I stared making so much more money than I ever could selling weed, but mostly because I moved to a new city and just didn’t have the customers anymore. I miss selling pot. I really do. I felt like I was actually doing something with my life. Now all I do is write code for websites.

It took me a month or so to get all these 40 pages set up and posted, mostly because I always have something going on around me. I spent 13 years living alone, and I finally decided to get a roommate again just two years ago and I still haven’t completely adjusted to all the activity around me. It’s very hard for me to write when other people are in the room with me so I let this website and my other writings go to waste in trade for all the extra activity. Anyway, on the few occasions when I was working on these pages, I found them bringing back memories, some pleasant, like that feeling like I was a rebel, fighting for a better society, knowing that my efforts would eventually help bring about legalization and a freer community for the future. But it also brought back a lot of unhappy memories about dealing with the police, and the pain of all those lies they told me and all that ignorance I had about how police behave. I believe the most important thing anarchists can do to convince people that police are not the good guys, is to simply tell it like it is, to give facts about how police actually do what they do, and what it actually does to people when they do it.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a good job of communicating the psychological effects of the things the police did to me… like how devastating it was for me to find out that they systematically, and without any show of remorse, lied about everything they possibly could to manipulate me into giving up my friends and then tried to manipulate my friends into killing me, all the while insisting they were my friends and were trying to help me, then having so many people assume that I’m the bad guy because I did something illegal, even when many of them didn’t believe it should be illegal. But it’s funny that even after they tried to destroy my life and get me killed, the truly traumatic thing that they did to me happened in a completely unrelated situation, where I was walking home from a Halloween party because I knew it was illegal to ride a bicycle after drinking, and I was mistaken for someone who had stolen a DVD player. I describe this event in Chapter 24, Dealing with Cops. The officer pointed a gun directly in my face, treated me like an animal, then when he found out I wasn’t the guy he was looking for, didn’t even have the common decency to say he was sorry.

I don’t think many people truly understand what this can do to a person and what it feels like to have all of society supporting the people who did this to you.

A DVD player. That’s what I remember anyway. They were willing to kill me over a DVD player, a DVD player that I didn’t even steal. That cop is considered a hero for this. For the rest of my life I will have to live with the fact that my entire life is worth less than a DVD player. I will have to know that everyone who supports the police, sometimes my own friends and family, would rather have seen me with a bullet through my head, brains splattered across the pavement than they would live in a world where their DVD player might get stolen.

I think I may have thought about this event every day for the last decade and yet, in that chapter, I just kind of glazed over all the important emotional aspects of that story. I didn’t mention the part where the trauma caused me to black out for the remainder of my walk home or how I wasn’t capable of laughing for a couple days afterward. I guess I was too proud to admit to that kind of thing. Even now I still see that gun bearing down on me and that trigger finger twitching and some days I can’t for the life of me get it out of my head. At least when I got arrested for marijuana and the police tried to get someone to beat me to death, at least I had known beforehand that I was playing with fire and for some reason that was not nearly as traumatizing.

I had this overwhelming urge to fight back that night I was mistaken for a DVD player thief because I thought for sure the officer was going to kill me regardless of what I did, considering the rage and hatred I saw in his eyes, and the fact that he had stalked me for a couple blocks before finally confronting me, and the fact that I was running an anarchist website, but I fought back against those instincts and did what he told me to do. If I did not have the emotional control of someone as deeply logical as myself, I would easily have been dead. I think many of my friends in that exact same situation would have been shot to death simply for not having immediate control over all that sudden adrenaline.

But normal people who have not experienced this, they just don’t understand what it’s like, and just blindly assume that the police are always doing good in our society, and that everyone they hurt… well, we must have somehow deserved it.

And I think most people who have had experiences with cops have some kind of long-term emotional trauma. That’s kind of the whole point. If these experiences weren’t traumatizing, they wouldn’t be very good crime deterrents. It’s just that the trauma is frequently manifested in different ways, such as self-loathing, anger, or actually giving in to this idea that you’re a horrible person who deserves to suffer or that your whole life really is worth less than whatever it was that cop was willing to shoot you over, or a blanket hatred of society. If we really want to make a difference, we need to be open and honest about what happens in our minds after we are arrested or go through an experience with the police so that people can see how counter-productive they are to a peaceful society. I guess I’m as guilty as anyone of that.

That’s how I feel now, but I guess when I wrote this book I was thinking more along the lines of fighting back by selling more weed and engaging in civil disobedience.

Adding a New Story Called The Atrocity Planners

I just posted another science fiction story that I wrote a few years ago, called The Atrocity Planners. This is an EVE Online fan fiction piece. I got this published in EON Magazine, issue #22, back in 2011. I call this my first publishing experience since I don’t count those two fetish porn shorts that I still don’t talk about outside of Fetlife. I decided to publish it here finally, figuring they’ve had their proprietary hands on it long enough. They didn’t pay me anything and I didn’t sign anything promising not to publish elsewhere and the magazine has gone out of business anyway, after issue #30, so they shouldn’t be mad at me 🙂

It surprised me that they were willing to publish it considering the message of the story, where I generalize that police are atrocity planners and portray them as the bad guys. It surprised me that some people who support and believe in criminal justice also enjoyed the story. It’s like normal people separate their real-world morality from their story-time morality, allowing them to see terrorists like Luke Skywalker and criminals like Han Solo as heroes, when if they actually lived in that universe, they would hate them the same way we hate Al-Qaeda. In the same way in this story, we see the terrorists or pirates (I never totally explain which they are) as human beings, and we care about their family and want their children to get away and maybe even kill a couple cops along the way. It’s like most people enter a different world when they read this kind of fiction, one where morality works totally differently.

A couple of the folks at the No Safeword Writers Group helped edit this for me in one of their sessions and I’m not sure if I would have gotten it published without them. One of them even suggested the title, which now is one of my favorite aspects to the story, the title and its meaning.

Because police are our atrocity planners. Criminals don’t really plan atrocities, at least not nearly as often. Most violent criminals do not plan their crimes, and even if they do, only a few of them are doing so out of a deliberate desire to cause someone to suffer. At worst, criminals commit crimes to punish someone, the same way the police do. This is different with police. Their whole job is to make people suffer. That’s their purpose for being. We call it a deterrent, and it’s not going to work as a deterrent when a criminal is overflowing with emotion or looking at a potentially huge profit from committing a crime, unless it’s a truly horrible thing the law is doing to them. That’s how it works. Society wants criminals to suffer. We say it’s to keep them from committing again, when in reality it’s because we enjoy knowing they are suffering. The police make all this possible as they sit around planning their raids, taking only a moment to justify it by listing off a few crimes, rarely caring about who they are or their motivations, then they plan their attack to break down the door of someone’s home, then haul them off to prison where their sole intention is to make them suffer and to destroy their lives.

You can argue that planning the atrocities is necessary. You can argue that there’s no other options because some criminals are just so awful. The government must take control and commit horrible things in a controlled manner to keep the majority safe. But in a literal, real world manner, you can’t tell me police are not atrocity planners, and yet when we meet police or talk about police, we always forget this simple fact and insist on viewing them as heroes of wondrous virtue… until, of course, they come breaking down our doors, or the doors of our family, and we meet, face-to-face, the fact that they are, every day, in a planned and systematic fashion, going out and providing people with some of the most psychologically damaging events of their lives.

We are Preparing for Massive Civil War, Says DHS Informant – YouTube

Ah, yes, it’s becoming 1984 quite quickly around here. Personally I think Animal Farm does a better job of painting the picture of how our government becomes totalitarian. It’s just that we need to wake up here and realize what’s happening, how power-hungry and sadistic people are dominating our culture and manipulating the masses. And we’re not waking up to see it and try to put a stop to it. Maybe it’s partly because hollywood puts out so many amazingly entertaining movies and tv shows that we never have the time to sit and watch something of value like this video that’s basically a collection of news clips set up to tell the story of how our country is deteriorating into another totalitarian regime, right before our eyes.

Most people say it’ll never happen to them until it does. Then they become unable to deal with it. For many people, sometimes entirely law-abiding people, a run-in with a police officer can be the most traumatizing event of their entire lives, and every year that goes by those instances are increasing in both volume and intensity. Compassionate people should always oppose increases in the police force.

PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary by Ozymandias Media — Kickstarter

This is another post in my new style of just writing and not really editing, flying by the seat of my pants, if you will. As a result, this post starts off talking about this documentary about cops killing dogs and rambles on into a confession about my childhood.

PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary by Ozymandias Media — Kickstarter.

I read once many years ago, before the internet, that many police departments tell their officers to always shoot dogs when they are on drug busts because it intimidates the criminal and gets them emotionally worked up so they are more likely to make a mistake and get themselves convicted. It’s a pretty effective strategy if you think about it. Now I’m sure most people would read this and just assume that it’s too horrible to be true, at least in our country, but it’s not. Once you become a person who accepts that kind of violence and cold-heartedness, you generally don’t go back, and the scary thing is that it’s real easy to seem like the good guy and continue fitting in with society.

You're trying to tell me shooting dogs is all for officer safety?
You’re telling me shooting dogs is for officer safety?

Please take a look at the video on this page if you believe that police are the good guys in our society. Take a look at what is just a small sample of the suffering that they cause every day. These are not just isolated incidents but are a product of policy and a fundamental problem with the way we are going about crime prevention. While I very much support the goals of this documentary, I disagree with the clip that implied that the problem is a lack of training and that the officers don’t really want to kill these dogs. It’s not about the officer protecting himself, it’s about him being overcome with a primal, animalistic urge to have the ultimate power over another living creature and to feel that adrenaline.

And I must admit that the reason I believe this is because I feel that primal urge too. I recall as a child, a peer took me behind his house to a stream and we sat down on the edge of the stream and he pulled out a little saucer and filled it with some fingernail polish remover he’d gotten from his mom’s medicine cabinet, then he caught a fish and dropped it into the saucer so he could watch it suffer and die. He made it clear that he had done this before. That event still messes with my head some days. I think I remember him talking about capturing a cat or squirrel or something and torturing it but I’m not sure if he was talking about an idea he had, or maybe he was just trying to freak me out because he saw how I didn’t like the whole thing with the fish, or maybe it was something he actually did. There were certainly other things that made me question his character. Anyway, the guy is a respected police officer now.

But I think this may be the first time I ever told this story. I have a few of these kind of stomach-turning stories that I’ve never talked about. I assume most people have these kind of stories that they never talk about because it’s just not something you bring up at the dinner table, but I think why I hold back talking about these kind of events is that I don’t feel as disgusted as I should. A part of me was fascinated by this kind of thing. I never got into hurting animals because I never saw the point as they were already so helpless and innocent, but what I wanted to do was hurt people. That’s why I wanted to be a cop.

I don’t talk about it much because I don’t want to freak people out and shatter their view that I’m this wonderful, caring person, even if I am a bit emotionally distant, but when I was a kid I had a lot of really horrible fantasies that involved me doing awful things to other people like bombing their homes, killing their children in front of them, locking them in dungeons to starve to death, cutting off their fingers and laughing at their screams. They never transferred into real life, thank God, but they could have. However, in all my fantasies of horror, killing and torture, I was never the bad guy. Never once did I fantasize about being a serial killer. I was always a police officer punishing people who were even more horrible than me–like drug dealers–I was a fighter pilot bombing the russians to prevent the evils of communism or a government sanctioned terrorist, killing off the British because for some reason when I was a kid I thought we were still at war with the British. I was so convinced the British all deserved to die for supporting a government that tried to keep America from becoming it’s own nation. I was always a patriot, always a fighter for truth and justice. Even when I was smashing the skulls of small children in these fantasies, I was still the good guy, merely doing what had to be done to teach the hard lessons that need to be taught… except those were all excuses and in reality my fantasies stemmed from nothing more than a carnal, animalistic part of my brain that just wanted to feel that power, adrenaline and sadistic intensity.

I don’t know how I grew out of it, but I suspect it had to do with Star Trek and that one scene where Spock is behind the window and gives his life and says “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.” Or maybe it was my liberal, peace-loving parents, or a combination of things, but I grew out of it, thankfully, by my early teens. I wanted so badly to be a cop or soldier and when I grew out of my fantasies, I grew out of that desire. I believe that a large percentage of police and soldiers are people just like me who never grew out of that phase. They’re doing it for the action, because they enjoy it. The patriotism and “serving and protecting”, fighting terrorism, etc. are just the adult versions of the excuses I made up for wanting to kill all the British.

So a part of my anarchism stems from my fight against myself, but that part of myself is something I don’t talk about, another example I guess of how hard it is to talk about the real, deeper reasons we became anarchists. I’m an anarchist because I fear that part of myself. I’ve seen it myself and I know what it can do and I know how easily that kind of awfulness can seem like a good and necessary thing. I’ve seen how our brain can make up excuses for ourselves and believe them intensely. I don’t want to give too much power to people like me, because when given a license to do awful things, we will do awful things, we can do them without remorse and we can tell you our excuses with a straight face because we believe them ourselves.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eyewitness Testimony

I started following Neil deGrasse Tyson a few weeks ago on Twitter, probably because he said something funny about the belief in God. I’ve respected the guy ever since I saw him on some old Nova documentaries and now I think I respect him even more after some of his recent tweets.

Tweet #1 Dec 4:
Serving Jury Duty this week. Criminal Court, Manhattan. I wonder if they will pick me.

Innocent enough.

Tweet #2 Dec 4:
Last time, defendant was accused of selling 3000milligrams of cocaine. I told the Judge it was just 3grams. Was then sent home

Holy crap! 3000 milligrams of coke! That guy’s a monster! He must have a whole cocaine warehouse…

Tweet #3 Dec4:
FYI: Three thousand milligrams is about the weight of a penny. More tweets to come — in at least a few billion nanoseconds.

oh wait… three grams… well that’s not so much. Why do you think the judge would want it labeled as 3000 milligrams instead of the more concise 3 grams? Well, because he’s attempting to manipulate the jury’s and the public’s opinion. Does this seem honest to you, even though they are not technically lying?

Tweet # 4 Dec 5:
Things you might say if you flunked Astro101: “I’m not in control of my life. The stars and planets are.”

Um… okay, this has nothing to do with this post… but it’s a pretty true statement. It’s kind of a scary idea that someone on a jury might literally look at your zodiac sign to help make their decision, but I have known people who I think would do this.

Tweet #5 Dec 5:
Done with Jury Duty. I said I could not convict a person solely on eyewitness testimony. They sent me home. I’m now 0 for 4.

Now this is the tweet that made me write this post. This is something that I’ve been saying for years but it seems difficult for me to find people who recognize what a serious issue this is. Eyewitness testimony is unreliable. The true stories in the right column of this website are many of the events that defined my life, and yet when I was writing them I found it difficult to piece together exactly what happened, even though I knew the overall story and how it affected me. If you were to talk to the other characters in any of these stories, they would no doubt have notably different accounts, particularly when it comes to the emotions of the situations, despite the fact that I wrote these almost as accurately as I could. This is just one of the drawbacks of being human. This is why I feel it’s unreliable and therefore immoral to rely on anything other than a solid scientific set of evidence or a straight-up confession when convicting someone and sending them to prison. Unfortunately, our criminal justice system doesn’t agree with me.

…and he’s 0 for 4? That means four times he’s been dismissed as a juror? Is a world-famous physicist not smart enough for jury duty? A scientist like Neil deGrasse Tyson is not going to be fair and impartial enough? Does anyone have a link to the judge’s tweets explaining this?

Tweet #6 Dec 5:
After hearing my skepticism of eyewitness testimony, six other jury candidates promptly agreed. And they got sent home too.

Our system doesn’t look favorably on logic.

Tweet #7 Dec 6:
Eye Witness Testimony: High evidence to the Courts. Warped evidence to the Psychologist. Low evidence to the Physicist.


How do I Kill the Negativity?

A couple days ago I posted a Conversation I had with a Christian about God and the value of religion and I’m still thinking about it and hoping I didn’t notably hurt any feelings. I actually wrote to the Social IQ Lady, my favorite atheist blogger, and twelve hours later she’d written a thoughtful post about it. I asked her if it had been worth my time, but maybe what I was thinking more of is was it worth the hurt feelings? (It never occurred to me that the term ‘Dude’ could be derogatory but now that she points it out, it makes perfect sense.) Writing a blog post about a general concept is a lot different than arguing directly with someone because there’s no way to avoid the sense that you’re attacking and having a little battle.

The reason I like the Social IQ Lady so much is because she’s found a way to be mostly positive, avoids anything that’s purposefully insulting, but still manages to make meaningful atheist points. Most other atheist sites I’ve found either dilute their message, or resort to insults and accusations of evil. I used to read BlagHag, but after elevatorgate 2011, I couldn’t handle the nastiness anymore.

One major reason I never revived my previous website was because it had become so negative. It was marijuana-focused and atheism was a side-issue, so most of my readers came looking for info about weed, then the religious ones got offended by some of my articles and would say nasty things, then I would try to show my superior writing skill by out-insulting them. Then the next person would see those posts and it would serve as an invitation for more nastiness. (Ironically my first website started as a celebration of God and faith but it turned into anti-religious nastiness.) I’m doing a whole lot better with kalinbooks. I can’t think of any point where I’ve been purposefully hurtful, though in a lot of ways I’m saying things that are more harsh than I did on my previous site. I have not received one death-threat since I revamped this site in 2010 so I’m not doing too horribly.

But still, I’m so negative all the time. While i don’t say anything deliberately hurtful, all my posts seem to be about what’s wrong with things. I talk about police brutality and all the things that are wrong with criminal justice. I talk about atheism, but instead of focusing on the benefits of mental freedom and equality, I focus on the ways religion has harmed myself and society. I really want to write a series of posts about my vision of a Utopian society and outline how humans could live peacefully without laws and religion. I have so many ideas in my head, but instead I just attack our current society without offering alternatives 🙁

I keep thinking about another negative post I want to write about Ted Bundy and how reading a couple books about him cemented my anarchism, explaining how criminal justice inspired him to kill and how the police helped him get away with it.

But there’s a part of the Ted Bundy post I need to remember to include. Most people don’t know that he actually volunteered and worked tirelessly at a suicide hotline, saving possibly as many people as he killed… but even fewer people know about the story of one of the women who got away.

Ted Bundy, in the midst of his killing years, stopped to pick up a young female hitchhiker. Once she realized he had lied about where they were going, he admitted that he intended to rape and murder her. Something about her state-of-mind, however, was different than his other victims. Perhaps the situation was so surreal that her brain somehow skipped over the fear. Instead of screaming and crying and calling him names, she started talking to him like a person, asking him about his childhood, about his motivations, about how he feels when he’s killing people, and how he thinks his victims feel. Despite the fact that he was about to brutally murder her, she remained relatively respectful and continued calmly talking to him about the situation until finally he pulled off to the side of the road, told her that she’d earned his respect, and let her go.

Part of me wants to ask how it’s possible that someone can admit to a random stranger that he’s a serial killer and the cops still can’t bust him, but what’s really important in this story is the fact that one woman did in a half hour conversation what millions of dollars of criminal justice could not, and the key to her success was the fact that she respected him, despite what a monster he was. This is the kind of thing I want to talk about on this site, those beacons of hope, and the fact that so few people have faith in these days, that every person, no matter how evil or insane, can still be reached through communication and compassion. I have no idea if I’ll succeed.

Injustice Everywhere

Injustice Everywhere.

This is a site providing a daily news feed of police brutality and misconduct. You can see that every single day in the US there are twenty or thirty different stories of police officers doing awful things. Everything from beating up their wives to falsifying evidence, tazering children or having sex with kids. Here’s some examples just from yesterday (March 18 2012).

  • Edinburg TX cop gets probation in official oppression plea for shaking down a motorist in order to get his customized cooler full of beer.
  • Collinsville IL cop shown manufacturing cause to search motorist’s vehicle in home video made by that motorist.
  • Yakima WA police are accused of intentionally misinterpreting state law as an excuse for keeping a police sergeant’s misconduct and the investigation into it a secret, and it isn’t the first time they did so.
  • Youngstown OH cops are accused of cuffing & arresting a grandmother in front of her grandchildren without charges.
  • NYPD officers shown on video slamming an Occupy medic head-first into a door window, breaking the window while arresting him for unknown reasons.
  • Orlando FL cop suspended w/o pay for unspecified period of time for throwing a woman to the ground on video, breaking her teeth in the process.
  • Newark NJ cop accused of hitting mentally ill man in the chest with a running leap punch before he died.
  • Del City OK police are being accused of a coverup after witnesses claim they fatally shot an unarmed teen in back while his hands were raised.

So my question is, where do these stories come from? Are they just crowd-sourced? I have a feeling this is not an exhaustive list and there are even more stories that never make it to this site because they just can’t keep track of every paper and community in the country.

Then take into account the basic idea that only a tiny percentage of criminals are ever caught for their crimes. I’ve read that statistically the average child molester assaults dozens of children before ever getting caught. Some research indicates similar numbers for rapists. I know from personal experience that the average drug dealer can make hundreds if not thousands of deals without ever getting busted and without even taking basic precautions. I’ve read interviews with police who claim the numbers are similar for murders. There is no reason to think police brutality and misconduct is any different than any of these other crimes, except for the fact that police are in a much better position to hide their crimes and understand how to get around the laws far better than the average criminal, and because the majority of victims and witnesses are too terrified to come forward.

For every article of police abuse and misconduct posted here, I think it’s reasonable to assume there are a hundred more that go completely unnoticed. As I’ve said before, this is not an issue of a few bad apples and being more vigilant about reporting misconduct. This issue runs far, far, deeper. If we ever want a peaceful society we must make a fundamental shift in the way we think about and deal with criminal behavior.

Too Scared to Say Anything to Your Face

A few days ago I got a couple replies on my story, Cops have no Morals–which I’ll admit may be a somewhat inflammatory title–from a police officer. In the most recent (a response to my response), this is what the officer said:

Thank you for the honest reply.

I agree that not every offense falls into my personal range of ethics. However the majority of the offenses and laws that I enforce everyone agrees are necessarily and ethical.

The main reason I came to your post was I saw it linked on Reddit, a site that I often browse but seems to be infected with irrational cop hate.

Probably the worst side effect of the anonymity of the internet is how people demand the cops treat them fairly, be respectful and not lump them into broad stereotypes. However they then turn around (many times in the same post) and inflame peoples sensibilities by stating a personal experience where they felt they were treated poorly. They then state that all cops are this way and demand sweeping terminations or outright revolt.

It gets to me when I work all day going to domestics, arresting drunk drivers, directing traffic, freezing my butt off in the snow and not had an argument or bad experiences with anyone. Then I come home and just want to read some funny rage comics but end up depressed over how much the internet seemingly hates me.

All I ask, ALL is that you judge me by my actions and not the 1% of cops who cause trouble or break the law.

“You have to admit that if you were assigned to arrest someone for a crime you did not believe was wrong, or if you believed the person was innocent, you would still have to go arrest that person”.

This happens with marijuana laws, I just write people tickets as long as they are polite and cooperative about it. Now if your driving and smoking or selling to people under 21 I’m going to take you to jail.

I agree they should just duplicate the laws of alcohol and apply them to marijuana. So there we got that out of the way.

Same applies to speeding, I start writing tickets at 12+ which in my opinion is pretty common sense.

Do I honestly think your brand new car is dangerous and going to fly out of control when your doing 81 in the 60 in the middle of the night. No.. but you agreed to not speed when we gave you a drivers license so man up and take your ticket.

The guy you met in your story sounds like a jaded burned out drugs and vice cop. I wouldn’t want to work with him with that attitude and I don’t think his department would like him acting that way.

Please give your support to hard working average cops, when you meet the bad ones be polite and an adult and then go inform his department if you think they behaved inappropriately.

So I came up with another response that might not perfectly address all the issues in the comment, but I felt justified its own blog post:

Yeah, anarchists can get nasty with the name calling toward police. It doesn’t help our case and just makes us look like children. It’s a problem with most controversial issues, though and unfortunately comes with the territory. I posted the story to the anarchism sub-reddit and I don’t know if it got re-posted or something, but a police officer browsing the anarchism sub-reddit is kind of like an abortion doctor browsing the pro-life sub-reddit. You’re bound to find something offensive. You must understand that criminal justice is inherently controversial. I know this sounds harsh but you make a career out of pointing guns at people, taking away their freedom and destroying people’s lives. I’m sorry I have to put it like that, and you can argue that it’s a necessary evil, but that is literally what you do. You need to accept that not everyone supports that. While we anarchists may have serious difficulties communicating our position, it doesn’t mean our anger doesn’t have a valid source.

Unfortunately police are at more of a disadvantage than other controversial individuals because you’re so sheltered from the people who are morally opposed to the things you do. We’re too scared to say anything to your face and the media doesn’t take us seriously, so it comes out in anger and frustration over the anonymous internet. The only weapon we have against the guns and prisons are our words, and most of the time we don’t even have that.

I feel like most of us became anarchists as an emotional response to a traumatizing event caused by criminal justice. Police brutality and misbehavior is only a small part of the issue. Even when everything is done by the book there can be tremendous emotional damage. Perhaps they lost a loved one to the prison system, or were wrongfully accused of something. As another example, I had a gun pointed at me point-blank over a plant that grows from the ground. When you stare down the barrel of a gun into the eyes of someone who is ready and willing to splatter your brains across the pavement but society insists they’re heroes, it changes you inside. It can be hard to deal with and I’ve never heard of any programs to help criminals deal with this kind of emotional trauma and ensure they don’t take it out on society.

On a side note, you said that people should just report wrongdoing from police, but I think you know that’s not realistic. Police rarely abuse anyone who has not committed some kind of crime, and once you commit a crime, society pretty much discredits anything you say. If a meth addict accused your partner of planting evidence, I’m sure you would have a hard time taking him seriously. And look at cases like Rodney King. We can’t watch that video and still feel safe when we accuse police of wrongdoing.

If you read my article, 35 Ways Criminal Justice is Counter-Productive to Peace on Earth, you’ll see I have a list of specific reasons why I think modern style police-work is morally wrong on a fundamental level. Whether or not you think they’re valid, you should be able to tell that I’ve put serious thought into it. I didn’t just decide laws were evil over a couple traumatizing events. In order to truly claim that you care about right and wrong, you need to put serious energy into forming your moral opinions, being careful to hear both sides of the story, and your actions need to reflect your morality.