Law Enforcement Laments: Americans Informed About How We Abuse Their Rights Are Hurting Our Ability To Abuse Their Rights

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The Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation stood before his law enforcement peers Sunday and warned them that they were all in danger of losing their technological toys in the ongoing effort to spy on non-suspects and to create probable cause out of thin air. The revolt of public opinion elicited by Edward Snowden’s revelations about government’s spy methods has simply made secret surveillance too unpopular and has attracted too many fresh sets of watchful civilian eyes.

Of course, GBI Director Vernon Keenan spoke of this as a bad thing, in the process revealing just how comfortably ensconced American law enforcement has become in its echo chamber of police-culture entitlement.

Speaking at the conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (a gathering that also features draconian surveillance cheerleaders such as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder), Keenan talked about how the law enforcement community must be careful in the near term if it wants to hang on to wonderful technologies like facial recognition software, license plate scanners and unmanned surveillance drones.

From Reuters, which reported on Keenan’s weekend speech:

“The scrutiny that the NSA has come under filters down to us,” Keenan said at the annual gathering that draws top law enforcement from the United States and elsewhere with workshops, product exhibits and conferences.

“…If we are not very careful, law enforcement is going to lose the use of technology.”

Watching the watchers is, in other words, a momentary public relations nuisance that, if negotiated skillfully by the police, will blow over. The only reason police need to be careful about abusing their powers right now is because all eyes are on them. Eventually, they’ll win the day — if they don’t make too great a spectacle of themselves in the meantime.

“Law enforcement should join us, instead of fighting us, as we seek to advance privacy protections for everyone in the United States,” responded a blogger for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. “After all, if they are only interested in spying on the ‘bad guys,’ what do the police have to hide?”

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • equestrian_colt

    The only threat to this country IS THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

  • Alan

    I guess George Orwell really could see into the future. The all knowing, all seeing government feels it must know what everyone is doing every moment of every day.

  • FreedomFighter

    The police are just the same as everyone else with the exception of one thing: authority to use force, given by the citizen thru government. They work for us to serve and protect, not harass and abuse.
    Laus DeoSemper FI

    • Blank Reg

      It’s a shame even the Supreme Court disagrees with that, in their imperious decision that cops have NO obligation to “serve and protect”. And indeed they don’t. When they’re not proactively harassing and hurting people, they just take notes at the crime scene and have the bodies hauled away. Remember, when seconds count, the cops are minutes away.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        You have anti police bias. Do you not realize that it is your personal responsibility to protect yourself and your family and your belongings. Added to that it also behooves you to know the character traits of the people you either live with or live around and in some cases it is better to move away from the human predators as far as possible even if it causes you economic distress. You can always replace things, your life you cannot.
        Another thing, why do you want to live among human predators and then complain that the police aren’t protecting you or are harassing you? The assumption by police is that if you can live among human predators then there is a possibility that you may be one as well.

      • Vis Fac

        I remember reading an article that someone was experiencing a break in and called the police the dispatcher told him he’d have to wait 45 minutes for an officer to arrive He hung up and redialed saying hots had been fired and the police were there within three minutes.

        The cops asked where the shots came from and the guy said there were no shots fired the cop says I said the dispatcher thought you said shots were fired, the guy said I no I had a break in and I thought the dispatcher said I wouldn’t have an officer here for 45 minutes

        The man was arrested for filing a false report yet cops falsify most everything in their reports.

        The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

        You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

        Libertas inaestimabilis res est
        Semper-Fi

    • Vis Fac

      I usually do not disagree with you but I have to now. Police see themselves as being above the law. Case in point images of protests come to mind and I recall seeing police shoving (assaulting) bystanders just standing around.

      The police can assault anyone at anytime but if the person being shoved (assaulted) reacts the other police swarm and beat them like flies on dog poop. The “victim” is then charged with assault on a police officer resisting arrest and a myriad of other trumped up charges. This is done to quite the victim and have them cop to a lesser charge so they (the assaulting parties) don’t have to appear and lie in court.

      No the police are NOT the same that don’t work for us they don’t protect us. They’re no better than those thugs who they claim to be after. I suggest you try and stay out of trouble and under their radar.

      Should you believe the police are there to save you the best they can do is fill out a report inventory your valuables and call the coroner. Even if they arrive in time for they won’t risk life and limb for you.

      The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

  • 1baronrichsnot1

    The gestopo was created when the ss and brownshirts couldn’t control the masses with their rights taking! The gestopo had the power to shoot first and ask questions later!~ It’s kinda like that here, and getting worse, look at the murder in DC of the mother? Right in front of her daughter, She was driven delusional by the gov’t! Best thing, just blow her away! There is story after story popping up in the online media, but not in MSM! Doesn’t fit their little pukey agenda!

  • Peggy

    Hey Freedom Fighter, so does the government (suppossedly), but look at what they are doing, starting with the White House, and we just sit idly by and let it happen. OK, the people are just sitting idly by and letting it happen. When the masses unite, the Idiots maybe will finally get the idea that we are serious about the wrongs being heaped upon us, until then………..

  • lookinmirror

    I always wonder when people will stand up and put a stop to this police state. However we tend to allow small groups of people to be abused and feel if it is to promote a safer society sure that is ok. As long as they can say it is for public safety they can sidestep the constitution. So if they do this for some small group and it was ok then maybe that was a green light to do it to everyone. Well they are and it has been a green light. So every time we choose to look the other way as if it doesn’t directly affect me it’s ok. at some point it will.

    • Vis Fac

      I hate to say this massive firepower They use a platoon of body armored paramilitary unit to assault one person. This is why they want their “personal protection weapons” which they classify as an “assault weapon” and us having no means of defending tyranny inflicted by the police.

      The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

  • securityman

    there are still some good cops out there.

    • Vis Fac

      I have yet to encounter one and Iknow many personally !!

      The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

      • securityman

        well, I also know quite a few. I was one after nam, and I can introduce you to a few of them around this part of the country. I can also introduce you to some that are pure horses-a**es. but to lump them all into one pile is like putting all marines in one pile. the only thing is that the news idiots don’t report the good things that some of the cops do. they don’t want to do anything but stir up the pot. I am as patriotic as any one out there. I fought for this country once and my guns are still loaded and ready to go again but I will not lump all into one.

        • Vis Fac

          I’d be safer limping all Marines in a pile than lumping all cops in a pile. Yes I know there are good and bad but the ratio of bad cops as opposed to bad Marines are light years apart. KUDOS to you for being one of the good ones both a patriot and a cop.

          Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem. – Ronald Reagan

          The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

          You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est
          Semper-Fi

  • chrisnj

    There are good cops (perhaps most, still), and bad cops.

    What we have is a creeping culture of lawlessness and disregard for the proper limits of government, that is being encouraged and promulgated by a lawless and corrupt president and his Owellian-named “Justice Department” under Holder & Co.

    It is not necessary to give up liberty in search of security. It is a false choice. In fact, our liberties are among those things which should be secured.

    • sootsme

      Good cops’ job includes, especially, policing bad cops- just like the good Muslims should expose the bad ones. Until this happens, they’re not good- cops or Muslims or anyone else who knows about BS and does nothing. Not really trying to pick on anyone, there’s an equal share for us all…

      • Vis Fac

        Cops “policing” cops is tantamount to having an arsonist in charge of extinguishing a house fire

        The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

        You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

        Libertas inaestimabilis res est
        Semper-Fi

    • Vis Fac

      I haven’t seen too many cop I would consider to be good mostly they keep quiet until an incident takes place only then you’ll know how they are by the way they conduct themselves.

      Read my comment above it projects my observations and feelings towards law enforcement I feel the government and the militarized police more than I fear any criminal!!!

      The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

  • IBCAMN

    all cops are bad,that is the way they are being trained to be,a lot of these cops are now coming forward and telling the truth about what’s really going on in the way the police are being trained!some are quitting and telling their stories,most still hide and continue doing their work to destroy your rights and privacy(by just barging into your house w/out warrant and arresting you and hauling you off)or pulling you over on false charges or asking for ID for no reason or stop n frisk!that must just be the bad cops,so what are these supposed good cops doing?and where are they?

  • jeff BROWN

    The public must not be divided on this most critical issue. They must not fear being persecuted for standing for what is right. If you shine enough lite in dark places, the dark will vanish. Security, and success both ensue liberty.

  • Patriot_Dave

    “Watching the watchers” must be a requirement as checks and balances are REQUIRED in our existing Government Structure…. If these Police Forces don’t want to be watched while “doing” their jobs then they don’t get the High Tech toys to use at their DISCRETION, They don’t get paramilitary training….They Don’t get to USE MILITARY TOOLS in the pursuit of their jobs, which is to PROTECT and SERVE!! … IMO and Simply PUT, they have become the Paranoids of our society and act without common sense while expecting to be ‘above’ the Law as they charge into BATTLE every time the call comes in….

  • Paul

    Just remember folks, Sheriffs are elected by the people. Remember to ask the next one how they feel about protecting our Constitution and not politicians! We can surely vote them out, too.

  • Vis Fac

    Police are inherently self serving egotists. The personality traits that law enforcement attracts is somewhere between the devil and a control freak They are not their to serve and protect but there to boost their fragile egos by “busting heads and inflicting pain most are would be mercs who cannot face adversity or danger so they become cops.

    I’ve posted this before and it is always apropos:

    The point of this isn’t to judge whether cops are justified in doing what they do. This article has nothing to do with police training. And this isn’t just about American cops. This is about the perception that we, the public, have of you when you perform the following actions. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with these perceptions, because right or wrong, they exist. The point of this posting is to simply let you know that we’re watching, and this is how we see things.

    1. When ten of you show up to make one arrest, it makes you look like cowards. On my way home from a bike ride, I saw three arrests being made in under an hour in a relatively safe part of the city. At one of the incidents, eight police cruisers responded to make one arrest. The guy who was arrested was ejected for being too drunk in a bar. Just one guy and he was drunk. He had a stupid moustache, hadn’t hurt anyone and was drunkenly walking home when he was tased and tackled by 3 cops before 6 police cruisers showed up in addition to the two that were there, for a total of 8 cruisers and 10 cops. The man was unarmed.

    How much backup do you need? It’s one guy. If you can’t handle one drunk guy by yourself, you shouldn’t be a cop. Training tells you otherwise? Well stop being trained by sissies.

    2. When you tase somebody who IS NOT trying to escape, it makes you look like lazy cowards. A taser IS NOT a remote-control for people. Want to talk to someone? Then walk over to them and talk. Don’t tase them and expect them to cooperate. Also, when someone is being tased and is writhing in cardiac arrest on the ground, they aren’t “resisting arrest” by not getting on their knees and neatly kowtowing to your demands. They’re incapacitated. You look like idiots barking orders at them when they can’t move.

    Being a cop has certain risks associated with it. If you aren’t comfortable with those risks, don’t take the job. Always trying to minimize your risk of injury at the expense of others by being a taser-happy lunatic makes you look like lazy sissies.

    Tasing everyone you see because they might pose a risk to you is like spraying everything with a fire extinguisher so it doesn’t catch fire. Part of the problem might be that many cops are overweight and out of shape. If you fatsos can’t chase someone down, then you shouldn’t be cops. Studies have shown that not being a lardo is just as effective as using a taser.

    3. When you set up speed traps, it makes you look like you don’t have anything better to do. I get happy every time I see a speed trap, because I assume it means all criminals have been locked up, you’ve caught the guys who broke into my car on three separate occasions and my stolen property will be returned shortly, right idiots? Good job guys, take a break and make some scratch for the city. Because why the hell else would you be sitting on your butt in a ditch if that wasn’t the case?

    People who speed are awesome. The last thing this world needs is more slow drivers. Traffic jams occur because of idiots braking prematurely. And when you pull people over, how about doing it in a place that doesn’t obstruct traffic? You know what’s just as “unsafe” as speeding? Having to swerve into another lane because your stupid car is blocking traffic.Every time I pass another cruiser parked in two lanes, backing up traffic for miles, it makes me literally punch myself in the jaw until I pass out.

    4. When you give out imbecilic tickets for rolling through stop-signs at 3 AM, or closing down lemonade stands, it makes us think you’re morons. We know that “the law is the law.” We also know that you’re not instruction-executing robotic automatons. When you harass us with nonsensical fees and fines, it makes us question your judgment. We know that this kind of trash is all about the money.

    Remember that case in Florida where a pair of LEOs closed down a lemonade stand operated by a 6 and 9 year old girl, because they didn’t have a permit? The legal age for entering into contract in the United States is 18. So that effort to charge them fees by making them apply for a permit? Illegal. Law is the law, right? Arrest yourselves. And speaking of nepotism…

    5. We know you guys use the buddy system to get out of speeding tickets. And it infuriates us to no end. Cops have a code that basically amounts to always letting fellow cops go.

    When a cop pulls over an off-duty officer, the officer who was pulled over discreetly flashes his badge to let him know that he’s on the force, and he’s simply let go. You think we don’t know what’s going on, jerk-wads? It’s a courtesy not extended to anyone else, lest the officer is having a particularly good day and isn’t PMS-ing all over the highway.

    Sometimes you write tickets for going 1 Mile over the speed limit, sometimes it’s 10 Miles. Then when you get called on doing something stupid like writing a ticket to someone for a law that shouldn’t be enforced and rarely is (like jay-walking in New York), you hide behind your tired mantra that it’s the law and that you have to be consistent. Except when you aren’t.

    6. When you flash your lights just to get through intersections, you look like scumbags. I’ve followed cops who’ve done this, only to see them park their cruisers for coffee or lunch. And speaking of lunch…

    7. When you park in a red zone to eat, it makes you look like lazy scumbags. The argument can be made that police officers need to be near their cruisers at all times in case of an emergency. Fine, but that doesn’t entitle you to eat at the most popular restaurants. If you want to eat at some trendy restaurant, park at a meter and pay, like everyone else. Can’t find a meter? Tough luck, go someplace else. Doctors, surgeons, rescue workers and security all have important jobs where people’s lives are at stake, and you don’t see their cars popped up on the curb, obstructing traffic and parked illegally so they can fill their fat faces with lunch. We know you’ll never get written a ticket (see #5),
    it infuriates us, and it makes us trust you less, and cooperate less.

    Now this is the part where I say “I know that police officers have a tough job,” but they don’t. Being a cop isn’t hard, it’s dangerous. There’s a difference. Being an engineer, teacher or airline pilot is hard. Being a logger, deep sea crab fisher, coal miner or firefighter is hard and dangerous. Being a cop is dangerous, but usually not hard. Driving around, issuing moronic tickets and filling out paperwork isn’t hard, it’s annoying.

    This is also the part where I say “now I know that most cops are
    good,” but I don’t. I only know two cops in real life, and they’re both awesome, but so is anyone I choose to call my friend. Most cops I see abuse their power every day by parking illegally, talking on their cell phones while driving, drifting in and out of lanes without turn signals, flashing their lights to get out of intersections and power tripping like crazy. If you’re a cop who’s reading this, rather than being butt-hurt by people’s perceptions of you, do something to change it. Write a fellow officer a ticket. Stick your neck out for us, rather than your colleague for a change. Do the right thing. We notice.

    And as for us: record cops. Record them all the time. Record them even if they’re not doing anything. Cops are cracking down on this and they’re trying to change the laws to make it illegal so they can’t be held accountable for breaking the law. They look up your plates every time they’re behind you at a stop, even if you haven’t done anything, just to check up on you. It’s time we started checking up on them. Who watches the watchers, if you will.

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

    Libertas inaestimabilis res est
    Semper-Fi

    • paendragon

      Great post!

      All cops only joined up to be paid to pre-judge everyone else “guilty until (never) proven innocent!”

      They’re all scared little big blue gangsters, who only want to hide behind their shields and to be the only ones allowed to have and use guns on everyone else.

      Serve “the public?” Nonsense – they always want to micro-manage everyone else, to only serve themselves.

      Obviously, these people believe the best defense is a good offense.

      TIME TO PUT SOME RESPONSIBILITIES BACK INTO THE EQUATION:

      All cops in general DO think they are getting paid to pre-judge everyone else as guilty until (maybe/never) proven innocent; to slander everyone else.

      Thus their initial desire to arrest first, ask questions later, is based more on the civil law onus test (‘balance of probability; which is 50/50; i.e: “If they COULD have done it, assume that they DID do it!”) and not on the criminal one, (‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ which is way beyond 50/50) which is always left up to the courts to decide, usually at great expense to only the accused.

      I feel the accusers (even the cops) should be held responsible for being wrong: if they fail to prove guilt, then THEY should have to pay for the (falsely-accused) defendant’s wasted time/missed opportunity costs, lawyers’ fees, etc!

      i.e: HOW MANY SCURRILOUS CHARGES WOULD THEY DARE MAKE IF THEY’D END UP PAYING FOR THEIR MISTAKES?!

      ;-)

      • Vis Fac

        NONE You might want to ponder this little bit of information. Whenever the police commit a crime and cause damage it behooves the victim to sue the offending party and not the city or the police in general. If the offending party knows that he will be paying for his own defense instead of the city he will less likely to be as aggressive as he would if the state or city foots the bill.

        If enough people sue the individual officer word will travel and we might see a change in attitude. Yes in the US anyone can sue anyone else for anything.

        The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

        You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

        Libertas inaestimabilis res est
        Semper-Fi

        • paendragon

          Exactly. That’s what’s behind these idolatrous group-might-makes-rights criminals’ always embracing those; (criminal cops, in these cases) – they try to dilute and avoid real personal human individual responsibility for their crimes, insisting that:

          “I didn’t do it – ONLY The GROUP did it! Whee!’

          Government bueaucrats use similar similes & synonyms:

          “We didn’t do it – ONLY The Procedures did it!”

          &/or:

          “It was a Systemic Problem! (We didn’t do it – ONLY The System did it!) Whee!”

          Unfortunately, often the legal/court system insists that, by simple dint of their employment status, individual cops cannot be personally sued, but only their groups!

          Which of course means the taxpayer is also footing their opponent’s legal bills (all paid for by our taxes)!

          It basically means some jobs (cops) do guarantee having rights without responsibilities. And didn’t the Supreme Court recently rule cops have no longer any obligation to risk their lives for the public? If so, I ask, then how is it they maintain their responsibility to be authorities, to issue commands (“Stop Resisting! Stop Resisting!”) and give us orders, and “earn” (extort) their paychecks from us?!

          SEMPER PARATUS.

          ;-)

  • KG

    What many so-called ‘conservatives’ gripe about when it comes to law enforcement is exactly what THEY wanted in the first place! Who hasn’t wished that a cop was nearby when someone runs a red light? Or when they see a group of young people walking down the street? Yep, yous guys have exactly what YOU wanted to ensure “Law and Order”. Remember that term from the late 60’s and early 70’s? We all went to the movies to see Clint Eastwood do police work like ‘it should be done.” Well, Mr and Mrs Conservative American – welcome to the Dirty Harry school of Police work.

  • Michael Shreve

    I’m SURE there is humor in this situation SOMEWHERE.