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William Stoecker / October 20, 2014

A Caste Apart

On 10/3/13 dental hygienist and single mother Miriam Carey drove her car, occupied by herself and her infant daughter, onto a narrow street leading to the White House. Apparently she had done so by mistake, and tried to turn around and leave, whereupon a plain clothes officer attempted to stop her (why?), throwing a barricade in front of her car. She panicked, drove over the barricade, and led Capitol Police and the Secret Service on a chase that ended when these heroic warriors riddled her car with bullets, killing the unarmed woman, and narrowly missing her child and several bystanders. No one was held accountable for this cold blooded murder, nor even for the poor fire discipline. Ms. Carey was Black, but, strangely, the media and the usual race baiters, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, so quick to feign outrage when any White kills a Black thug in self-defense, were silent, and Eric Holder failed to investigate the incident. This is one of the most obvious examples of extreme police brutality in recent years, but it is by no means the only one. I realize that many police officers are courageous, humane, dedicated, and disciplined, and I realize that police are often accused of overreacting in cases where force, even deadly force, was necessary. But there is a disturbing trend toward greater and greater brutality and less and less accountability.

The first modern police force, as opposed to night watchmen and soldiers tracking down highwaymen, was created by British Prime Minister Robert Peale, who established the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1814, and then the Metropolitan Police Force of London in1829. Since then, most towns of any size have created police forces, joining town marshals and county sheriffs (formerly Shire Reeves). In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most police officers walked a beat, bringing them into continual, eye-level contact with a great variety of ordinary citizens. Often, they knew the names of people who lived or worked in areas they patrolled, and, while police corruption and brutality were not unknown, the police were less likely to see themselves as a caste apart from and above the people. The development of the automobile changed that, as the police needed squad cars to catch criminals in cars, for now the police were physically separated from the people.

Over the years, law enforcement in the US has become ever more federalized, beginning with the Secret Service and Federal Marshals, followed by the creation of the FBI under Washington insider lawyer J. Edgar Hoover. Later came the DEA and the BATF, and today the Federal Government has dozens of alphabet agencies, each with its own heavily armed police, often dressed in German-style helmets and the ever-popular SS black. And police all across the land are becoming ever-more militarized, with armored cars and automatic weapons. Those who do not fancy black usually wear woodland or desert camouflage, ever so practical in a city. As they have become more federalized and militarized, abuses have become more common and more horrific…remember the babies burned alive by the FBI and BATF in Waco? In addition, the latest generation or two of police are the products of a society that has largely abandoned its religious heritage and Judeo-Christian morality, and of schools that have degenerated into indoctrination centers, where children are systematically dumbed down, morally degraded, and indoctrinated in leftist ideology. Perhaps it’s a miracle there are still so many good and honorable officers.

But could local communities at least, if they so desired, reverse this trend? What follows is, I admit, merely anecdotal, based on my own observation, but police officers whose jobs require them to be in daily face to face contact with a broad spectrum of citizens, seem to be far better behaved than those who remain apart from us commoners. Some of the most decent officers I have met have been California State Police at the Capitol, who guard the entrance and patrol mostly on foot. Police who patrol Sacramento’s American River Parkway on bicycles, coming into contact with walkers, joggers, and other cyclists, seem downright friendly.

Perhaps we need to rethink the whole concept of police as a professional force set apart from the rest of us; perhaps we need to blur the lines a bit. Imagine a big city force with a cadre consisting, at the most, of perhaps a few hundred carefully selected and highly trained full time police, who would not be allowed to dress as Nazi SS men or pretend to be camouflaged SEALs or Rangers. They would be police of the old style, and each one, even the Chief would be required to walk a beat one work day each week, typically in a shopping mall, museum, park, or school, bringing him into constant contact with the folks. Cadre members would also be required to be active in some civilian organization, be it a church or synagogue or a gardening club or whatever. The cadre would be backed up with fully trained reserve officers, who would be full time or part time students or workers at private sector jobs, and would serve as part time police, typically in the evenings, weekends, and summers…times when there is more crime. Then there would be citizens trained at their own expense in gun safety and law, openly carrying firearms, perhaps with badges verifying their status, and, finally, a large group of citizens with concealed weapons. Criminals planning a mugging or carjacking would always have to wonder if the intended victim and/or any bystanders in the vicinity might be armed.

This, I believe, would keep the cops fairly honest and most criminals afraid to leave the safety of their own homes. Decentralization and de-federalization of law enforcement will have to wait until our former Republic (which I fear we have lost) is restored.

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