You probably don’t need to be reminded that America is becoming a police state. Reports of police misconduct throughout the country are consistently on the rise. But the questions remain: Why isn’t the public outraged and why aren’t elected officials moving to quell police misconduct?
Here are some of the most recent examples of jackboot cops abusing their authority:
♦ In New York City, it is likely not uncommon for innocent bystanders to be punched in the throat by members of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “personal army” — the New York Police Department. But, New York’s finest probably don’t often screw up and do it to one of New York’s honorables.
From Wednesday’s New York Times:
Thomas D. Raffaele, a 69-year-old justice of the New York State Supreme Court, encountered a chaotic scene while walking down a Queens street with a friend: Two uniformed police officers stood over a shirtless man lying facedown on the pavement. The man’s hands were cuffed behind his back and he was screaming. A crowd jeered at the officers.
The judge, concerned the crowd was becoming unruly, called 911 and reported that the officers needed help.
But within minutes, he said, one of the two officers became enraged – and the judge became his target. The officer screamed and cursed at the onlookers, some of whom were complaining about what they said was his violent treatment of the suspect, and then he focused on Justice Raffaele, who was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The judge said the officer rushed forward and, using the upper edge of his hand, delivered a sharp blow to the judge’s throat that was like what he learned when he was trained in hand-to-hand combat in the Army.
Note to New York City judges: Wear your robes at all times; it may be the only way to keep from being beat down with the rest of the proles.
♦ Often, people complain that “walking while black” still raises suspicion from law enforcement. Well, in Louisiana it appears that showing up at a GOP event while supporting Ron Paul will also earn you a beat down. At least that’s what allegedly happened to Henry Herford, a Louisiana GOP Chairman and Paul supporter who got kicked out of the State convention and arrested by Shreveport police after calling to order a re-formed convention approved by duly elected Paul delegates.
See for yourself:
Herford, who reportedly was fitted recently with a prosthetic hip, appears to be well into middle age — not exactly what one would picture when he hears Republicans complain about the raucous, rude and unkempt young Paul supporters who keep “ruining” their conventions.
The guy recording the first video wasn’t driving a car — if you couldn’t tell — so what does the cop need his driver’s license for? Maybe it was an intimidation tactic to encourage the man to hand over the “evidence” on his phone? After all, it did contain video proof that at least four officers joined in taking down a man who repeatedly complained of a hip injury and who appears to be trying only to avoid falling to the ground.
♦ When police tell you that you better be sure that you tell them the truth, they know from experience that even cops lie to cops. Anthony Gerardi Jr., a 24-year veteran of the Fairfield Police Department in New Jersey, lied to cops after the friends he was hanging out with — members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang — hit a man in the back of the head with a beer mug and then tried to punch his wife in the face. According to NJ.com, he is resigning from his job. Maybe he can get a gig with the Angels.
♦ In New York City, cops stop and frisk at will. In Aurora, Colo., they don’t even bother with frisking if a crime has been committed; they just cuff random people. But rest assured, these illegal detention tactics aren’t used unless they have “virtual certainty” (whatever that means) that the suspect is nearby.
Some police in Indiana are upset over an National Rifle Association-backed law that recently went into effect in that State that allows individuals to shoot police in response to the “unlawful intrusion” by a “public servant” to protect themselves and others, or their property. According to a report on Cleveland.com police departments in the State — the first in the Nation to enact such legislation — are changing the way they operate to avoid situations that may leave innocent citizens feeling threatened by law officers. But given the frequency of law enforcement abuses of power throughout the country, some people may argue that other States should pursue similar legislation.