Does this task force make me look angry?

The other day I was talking with a friend that associates with known Officers of the Law about the people that aggrevate police during stops and I mentioned that I make it a rule to never antagonize the police to which he replied “You mean, you make it a rule to never antagonize the police that can arrest you.”

A subtle distinction or a cautious reminder?

Turns out that apparently I piss off the police.

Why? Because I write about police activity, a big no-no which has grown into a taboo. We are supposed to respect, even fear, the police and be happy when, in the event of a criminal wrong doing, they show up and do their job.

You see, it’s gotten to the point where everyone is afraid of the police. The most innocent person gets nervous when trailed and tailgated by a police car, no matter that the driver wasn’t breaking a law. Just the mere presence of Police, aka those that are supposed to protect us, makes most people nervous. I think that isn’t right.

We live in a time when a bad teacher breaks a law and they get a harsher sentence because they “need to be held to a higher standard”, but when a bad cop breaks the law they need to be shown leniency. This effectively equates to the police are held to a lower standard and at a position above the law. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Yet few, if any, journalists ever take on this miscarriage of justice. Why? Is it because they don’t want to become targets? Wouldn’t that imply that the police target people that aren’t criminals? (Unless you think all journalists are criminals which very well may be.) Why is it that as a society we accept this abuse of power?

Not long ago I asked if our state forfeiture laws should be suspended and a grand total of 8 people voted.

Despite the widely known fact that with current forfeiture laws police can take cash money, not charge the person with any crime, and the individual still won’t be able to get the money back in court.

Well today another bigger and badder report was released by the state ,Report: Strike Force rife with misconduct, letting us know once again that justice is not being served. The report revealed large scale property seizures that were either kept for personal use by law enforcement or held and sold cheaply to their friends and family.

The report concludes,

Something went terribly wrong at the Metro Gang Strike Force, and it should not be allowed to happen gain,” the report said. It recommended that there be no stand-alone Strike Force units that are untethered from a law enforcement agency, and the report urged the Legislature to consider revamping the state’s seizure and forfeiture laws.

I have questions and so should you.
Why is it that when I am outraged by this sort of activity and call for it’s end it’s because I don’t like the police?

So then what’s it called when the state investigation comes to the same conclusion?

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate the Police or cops. I realize that for the most part they babysit the scum of the earth. It’s a tough job, but it’s not like when filled out their application they promised to do the work for free and somehow forgot to check the “Dancing With Stars” option.

Also, let’s get right to it not pretend this sort of stuff isn’t rampant and isolated to one small group or a couple of rogue cops. If that were the case grandmas wouldn’t be afraid when trailed by police and soccer moms wouldn’t be getting tased. Everyone has a story

As long as there are events like this Task Force debacle and wrongly raided houses leading to medals of valor, I just can’t see much justice in our Justice System.

The featured commenter at the Strib complains,

Why aren’t these cops being prosecuted?
They are stealing – “not mis-appropriating”!!!! I hate the double-talk – call a thief a thief!

I guess the answer may very well be because the stealing in question was done by a bad cop, and not an ordinary citizen or someone held to a “higher standard”, like a teacher.

You know polls don’t mean much in reality, but it’s interesting that my recent poll about Brett Favre got three times more votes than the forfeiture poll which involved citizens of the country having their Constitutional Rights violated and their property stolen by those that are supposed to Serve and Protect.

You can chew me out in the comments, if you’d like, but save your typical arguements of “If you ever have a burglar, don’t ever call the police then . . .”

Those arguements are B.S.

Speaking of B.S. I can’t help but wonder why the Feds don’t investigate every judge that signs a search warrant, every confidential informant that gives secret testimony, and prosecute lies and collusion using the same RICO laws they use to fight organized crime. Recent events seem to reinforce the old joke about the most armed dangerous gang on the streets being the police.

And I’m supposed to be worried about pissing off cops for not liking their abuses of the law with the citizens they are supposed to protect?

That’s funny, because all I feel is disgust.

Someone let me know when it’s safe to go back in the water.


Here’s the full report H/T

7 Comments so far

  1. sloped on August 21st, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

    Excellent post David, and you’re right, no one seems willing to point out the double standard. I don’t know what you do about it though, the blue wall may not be real but the thought that it exist probably keeps journalists from writing about the double standard. I think this is a place where citizen journalism could make a difference. I don’t know if it will but somehow we need to get to the point where police aren’t feared because there is no reason to fear them unless your doing something wrong.

  2. David (jacc) on August 21st, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    Thanks Conner, I have to admit reticence. I almost didn’t post it. A) I don’t like to post out of anger. B) Fear

    “somehow we need to get to the point where police aren’t feared because there is no reason to fear them unless your doing something wrong”

    Parts of Europe have gotten to that point and some European friends joke about how it’s damn near impossible to be jailed or harrassed by the police in Europe.

  3. David (jacc) on August 21st, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

    P.S. – “I almost didn’t post it” but it was worth it for the muppet vid.

  4. inkey41 on August 21st, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

    Good and courageous Blog! I believe, absolutely, that the police should be held to as high a standard as teachers! In fact, any of society’s leaders: teachers, police, priests, ministers, etc., should be held to the sort of standard they are advocating by the very ministry (non-religious sense) which they have chosen. We have the same sort of abuses in California as you are deploring in Minnesota.

    However, not all police are bad or scary. In my many years of living, by the way, as a teacher, I have met and heard of, for the most part, the good policemen who are living up to the ideals for which their badge stands. Unfortunately, there are others who abuse the power. And, there does seem to be a sort of code whereby these abusers are protected. That is wrong, and does hugely blot the otherwise good work of the rest of the police.

    As to seizing and forfeiture abuses, I don’t think that any law enforcement agency should have the right to keep items they seize!!! That would do away with the temptation. Instead, another method should be found for disposing of these goods, if and after, it is determined that they don’t belong to the person/s from whom they are seized. Maybe a charity, or something akin.

    As to more people responding to your Brett Favre poll than your forfeiture one, that is why this country is in the shithole it’s in.

  5. David (jacc) on August 22nd, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    @inkey41 Well put.

    “However, not all police are bad or scary”

    I’d even go out on a limb and say most are good. It just seems like there’s a higher percentage of bad ones than in the past or maybe that they have more unchecked power.

    “As to more people responding to your Brett Favre poll than your forfeiture one, that is why this country is in the shithole it’s in.”

    Hear that Favre? You’re ruining our country.

  6. Brianne (brianne) on August 24th, 2009 @ 10:09 am

    “it’s interesting that my recent poll about Brett Favre got three times more votes than the forfeiture poll”
    I can’t remember if I voted in either poll, but my guess is that the discrepancy is due to the amount of brain power required to make a vote in each poll. Most football fans already have an opinion about Favre and they’re usually eager to voice that opinion. However, I imagine most people haven’t thought in-depth about property seizures and may not feel it’s worth their time to log in to the site just to make a semi-uninformed vote.

  7. greg on August 24th, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    I’ll admit to getting super nervous when trailed by the popo, even though I have nothing illegal in car and have done nothing wrong. That’s more my issue than theirs, though.

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