As he often does, Radley Balko chronicles the latest and greatest outrage of police abusing their power. This time, there is the additional twist that the courts, which are the bulwark against governmental abuse of power, facilitate it through disingenuous rulings predicated upon dubious “fact findings” that are obviously made in bad faith, simply to achieve the desired result.
The desired result is, of course, to favor the government and do its bidding.
Once the “fact finding” is made, it’s as if it had been written in stone, no matter how ludicrous it is compared to the actual evidence. Once again we confront the mindset that there is really no such thing as a “fact”; there is only the power to declare facts while pretending to “find” them.
Radley sums it up nicely, from this case called Crossland:
The dreary lesson from this case and the Nicholas Peart op-ed: Police need only the flimsiest of suspicions to stop you on the street, detain you, and search you. But even if they don’t even have that, they aren’t likely to suffer any serious sanction for an illegal search. Nor is a court likely to believe you should you try to complain. If you resist—physically or verbally, whether the search was legal or illegal—they can bring the hammer down, with damn-near impunity. And after the violence, you’ll be the one going to jail.
Indeed. Then Scott Greenfield runs with this ball to the goal line:
At WeLoveDC, the question is raised in the extreme:
In other words, once that officer tells you you’re under arrest, shut up and take it. In 2008 the Dolson case upheld that law when it was applied to a man who held a gate shut against an officer – after telling the officer he did not consent for the officer to enter without a warrant – and, after the officer forced his way in and reportedly began choking him, broke the officer’s nose. Whether or not fighting back against an officer while being raped is similarly illegal – assuming they are simultaneously arresting and assaulting you - is still an open question.
Of course, there is a practical aspect to fighting back to prevent your being raped or murdered by a cop, that being the concern over arrest for forcible resistance pales in comparison to being raped or murdered. Conceptually, however, a police officer engaging in illegal conduct, whether merely choking a man (who might well have been killed had he not fought back) is, under the rule, entitled to engage in crimes without fear of challenge.
As Scott says, “There is no conceptual basis to distinguish a police officer who uses his authority to rape or murder from the police officer who merely seizes a person without basis, puts him against a fence and searches him.“
Just so. The point that is being made here is that the day to day banalities of police lying and judicial complicity, occurring in just about every case, every time, run out to their natural conclusion, necessarily result in official rape and murder with impunity. And then at some point, this is no longer just an argument or a theory.
What do you do then? Go on to the next case and hope the same thing doesn’t happen again, knowing that there’s not only nothing you can do to stop it if it does, but also that the very process designed to address and remedy such things has been turned on its head, and instead mindlessly and revoltingly facilitates and ratifies them?
Is there nothing left but to sit back and enjoy the show, as the title of Scott’s post suggests? Submit to your tormentors and torturers and beg for mercy, and counsel others to do the same?
Any government in history that has behaved this way or required this of its people has quickly collapsed in a frenzy of destruction, consumed by the very madness it unleashed in the first place. And good riddance.
But it’s usually not a pretty sight.