Written by: Former Law Enforcement Officer
So I set out to research and report my findings on the impending police state in America. I’ll get to this momentarily, however I feel the need to touch upon a few housekeeping items first. We’ll start with my background. I was a police officer for the better part of a decade. I hold degrees in Public Administration, Law Enforcement and have a couple thousand hours of training in everything from defensive tactics, active shooter, riot control and dozens of other law enforcement topics. That’s as much as I can reveal and remain anonymous at the moment. Needless to say, I have a unique perspective on police politics and the direction it appears that we as a nation are heading, in reference to the militarization of civilian police forces. It is a complex issue and cannot be fully explained in a single sitting. The social, political, financial, ethical and specific situational factors are all connected and important relationships here often go overlooked. All are pieces of a much larger puzzle that we must recognize and incorporate if solutions to problems are to be found. You’ll find I speak quite vaguely at times but for good reason. The fundamental problems we are having all relate to communication, understanding, compassion and empathy between us and those who we find ourselves oppressed by. It’s a two way street. That is all we have ever asked for. That is all we strive for. When you have these things, the trust and freedom that we all want will follow. I digress, however I hope to touch upon these topics in the future.
I cannot proceed without first talking about the elephant in the room; Ferguson. I still have friends at the police department where I started my career. I have discussed with them at great lengths, both sides of the situation. As at the time we did not have all the facts, much of the conversations were more philosophical in nature. There is no doubt about it. This situation sucks. I know what it’s like to be in a situation that jumps off and you feel your heart thump like it’s in your throat. Trust me, cops get scared. They have to in order to stay alive. Every one of these situations that pops up, where an officer apparently used excessive force or disproportionate force, there is a single particular moment that determines the outcome of the event. There is always a transition during an encounter when an officer interprets his subject’s actions as hostile and has to make a decision as to what is appropriate action to take to overcome said hostility. This moment is where situations are either resolved correctly or the officer succumbs to the adrenaline dump which just occurred and goes all Dirty Harry. This moment is where lives are saved or lives are lost.
An officer needs to be able to navigate, observe, respond and remain clear minded, regardless of what is happening to him or around him. The ability to focus under extreme stress and make accurate assessments of threats, then act accordingly is what police need to be able to do. Well guess what? From my experience, the majority of cops throw everything out the window when the shit hits the fan. Not all, but most. I’d say, around 25% of all cops I have encountered have the experience, knowledge, understanding and judgment to handle the most intense of situations correctly. The other 75% aren’t monsters (though some are), they are just unintelligent, untrained, and panic when the heat is on. These 75% make it through the encounter but usually in a manner which demonstrates poor safety technique or stomps on the rights of the accused. Disproportionate force is a daily occurrence across the country, but you never hear about these cases because they are not news worthy and usually, through creative articulation, are covered up within the incident report. One thing that can prevent incidents where officers totally lose their shit when the heat is on, is training. This is where politics enters the equation; internal politics, that is, usually between departments within a police agency or between the governing body and the police department. Budgets determine training allowances, and who controls budgets? Politicians. I’ll go into the ins and outs of budgets and politics at a later time. Anyway, just remember that whoever controlled the police budgets in Ferguson also has blood on their hands, as I promise you, police training in Ferguson is most likely non-existent. Additional budgets for police almost NEVER result in more cops on the street, especially now. Additional budgets usually go to raises, equipment and training. Trust me, I have seen more cowboy cops with no training then I care to admit. You want your police properly trained.
When police act using proper methods, incidents like Ferguson DO NOT HAPPEN. If the incident went down in Ferguson like I heard it did, then Mike Brown was murdered, plain and simple. If Brown was running away from the scene, regardless of the crime, shots are not authorized. Period. If this is actually what happened, there will be justice. Trust me, police departments will eat their own at every opportunity. One last observation of the initial Ferguson incident before I move on; Why the hell is the media calling his actions in the convenience store a robbery? I am not familiar with Missouri law, but from my experience, Brown’s actions were not consistent with a robbery. For a robbery to have taken place, the use of force had to affect the taking of money or property from the person of another, blah blah blah statute stuff. That did not happen here. Brown appears to have taken the cigars and attempted to walk out with them. Snapshot: an attempted retail theft is occurring, a misdemeanor at best. The clerk then follows Brown and attempts to recover the cigars. Brown grabs him by the throat and pushes him back during his attempt to get away. Snapshot: Brown did not take any money or property from the cashier, therefore no robbery occurred. What he did commit was called resisting a merchant and possibly a battery but usually the resisting a merchant charge contains the battery charge itself. The media is attempting to portray Brown as a gangsta hoodlum who goes around robbing stores. I have even seen Facebook pictures of him with a gun, posted by the media. An unarmed kid gets shot and the media treats him like another Travon. Disgusting, regardless if he jacked some blunts or not. As I sit here, they just announced the curfew which will be imposed from midnight through 5 am. Big mistake. By the time this is published it will have happened already. I hope no one was hurt.
Now I am going to attempt to tackle the subject of the impending police state in America. Is it coming? Is it not? The answer is….I hope not. When one looks at trends in crowd control and the factors that have led other nations to a police state, one would absolutely determine that the current path we’re on is taking us there. Hell, if one were to trace the rise and fall of civilizations over the past few millennia, it would be a no-brainer to determine the inevitable police state, regardless of what’s going on today. It is difficult for me to explain the situation without pointing out some fundamental factors that often go ignored. There is a micro view and a macro view, much like everything else in life. The police force is made up of individuals. Individuals who all come from different backgrounds, education, beliefs and personal moral value. On a daily basis, the individual is forced to adapt to a police culture, which often conflicts with the personal belief systems held by the individual. Some adapt better than others. I myself took great pride in helping people and arresting people who truly deserved it. There are some situations where the officer has no choice in his actions. If an officer responds to a domestic disturbance, odds are someone is going to jail. Not necessarily because they deserve to, but agency policies are governed almost completely by a CYA mentality, and an unsupported allegation can lead to a physical arrest regardless. Due to policies like this, the individual is sometimes forced to go against their own moral beliefs and make an unsupported arrest because if they don’t, they risk losing their career, pension etc. A single incident can sink a police career and no cop is willing to lose everything just to save a single innocent person from going to jail. I point this out because it is necessary to separate the individual officer from the organization which he is representing. As much as we need understanding and compassion from our oppressors, we need to be as equally understanding of the dilemmas the individual officer has to deal with when he is forced into situations by his superiors that he fundamentally disagrees with. This is important because when protestors turn violent, they are not hurting the agency involved, they are hurting the individual. I guarantee that there are officers in Ferguson who are forced into a situation that they never thought they’d be in and don’t want to be there. None of those officers, however, are willing to lose their everything and disobey their commanders. They are just following orders. The problem is, where have we heard that before? This dilemma is what troubles me most when I see protestors and police clash. Individuals get hurt and the system just churns on, unaffected.
Many of the signs of a police state are already in effect. Surveillance is everywhere. The CIA and NSA, even after being caught spying on Americans illegally were just like “oops” and then continued completely unabated and backed by congress. I can’t even get started on the totality of the system and disgusting crimes committed by those who are supposed to be looking out for us, we’d be here all week. I will say however that the actions of these agencies are the single biggest indication of an emerging police state. Personally I hate the term police state, as when the term comes to mind, I envision SWAT officers on every corner asking to see my papers. This is not the reality of a modern police state, not in America anyway, not yet. The reality of a police state in America is much more subtle. I choose to refer to it as an integrated police culture. It starts with the invasion of privacy, the monitoring of communications, implementation of laws like the Patriot Act and extends as far as manipulation of the media and outright and intentional deflection from real issues that matter to the cheez whiz we are bombarded with every day on television. I have even read what I determined to be credible evidence that international news figures Anderson Cooper and William F Buckley were CIA plants. I personally watched a video of former CIA chief William Colby testifying before a congressional oversight committee. When asked if the CIA has ever planted operatives in the US news media, he responded by saying that he would prefer to answer that question in an executive session, which means the public will never hear his answer. You tell me, what scares you more, SWAT officers on every corner or the intentional manipulation of your mind through a carefully controlled media? I can’t answer that, but the latter is already in effect and has been for decades. It’s these subtle societal shifts that indicate a police culture more-so than the outright intrusions by police.
Now there are several other factors which would lead one to the conclusion that we are heading toward a police state. The change in appearance and function of police has gone from your happy go lucky Andy Griffith police figure, to the officer who looks like he took a wrong turn somewhere near Baghdad. The intimidation of citizens is an absolute sign of a police state. The external tactical vests are becoming more prevalent for everyday street officers. The AR-15 is now a standard issue weapon for most police departments. The appearance of modern day police officers scares people. The shift from feeling protected by police to being afraid of them is widespread. All of these are micro level shifts that are again indicators of an emerging police culture. I have first hand knowledge that the militarization of police forces is being driven by the military industrial complex and not for reasons you might think. The last agency I worked for was in the process of acquiring multiple armored humvees from military surplus. The bottom line is they were cheap and the agency was approached by US government military surplus salesmen. So the war machine churns on, perfectly good military supplies are surplussed to make way for brand new weaponry and machinery. Completely unnecessary but those government contractors need to get paid right? The financial greed of military manufacturers is definitely a contributing cause to the emerging police culture.
I could go on all day pointing out the signs of the integrated police culture that is saturating our society. I choose, however, not to continue to put forth all the reasons why I believe this cultural shift is occurring. It is. I choose to stand up and shout all the things we need to do to prevent it. In this day and age, the fight cannot be won with guns and Molotov cocktails. This fight can only be won with words and ideas, with psychology and technology. Get out of the house and protest the federal government’s “legal” invasions of privacy. Protest the military industrial complex and it’s reach into your hometown. Protest the manipulation of the media by our intelligence community. Stand up for what you know is right. Remain peaceful but make your voice heard. This is your life and your country. Do not let your freedoms slip away. Get out and vote. We still have to use the system to beat the system. Our time is now. Always remember, knowledge is free.
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Excellent article, written by someone with the expertise to back it up. I am very, very glad to see this, and I will ‘share’ it on Facebook.
I’d like to see this video of James Angleton, since he hasn’t been chief of the CIA since 1975. He’ll he’s been dead since 1987. I would also love to see whatever credible evidence you may have read determining CIA plants in today’s news media.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzNGc7vH_ME Happy now?
I am. Now I will never, ever question anything ever again. Thank you so, so very much for clearing that up for me. You’re the bestest Lewis.
Well this is a good article written by a person who was or is in the belly of the beast and knows what he or she is talking about. I believe like many of the protesters are saying, were all Mike Brown living this nightmare the author was discribeing, soon if we don’t do something about it all our cities will be named Ferguson.
I completely agree with Manuel on this issue and the author in particular, these days the officers of the united states are turning on their own citizens even if they haven’t done anything wrong. me being a Canadian citizen though isn’t all it is cracked up to be either. we are getting to the same point as in the states. only here we fight back…well…at least I do anyway. and I do know the US does as well. but I we cant stand together and fight for OUR rights and not be puppets of this god forsaken continent we all live on…what will become of us? and what will become of those who fall with us and because of our stupid mistakes and us not taking risks? yes we can die doing this…but Is it really worth losing more civilian lives over the reasoning of corrupt law enforcement officials. I agree with the author of this article and I am in no way condemning their views. I have been watching news for a long time and this is getting out of hand…we need to make a stand for our freedom as we know it.-Silence 17yrs old
I agree, I really like how he had both sides, they’re just people taking orders. thats why an officer doesn’t really intimidate me as much as most. If you treat them like a person, usually they react to you in a more humane matter. The easier we make their lives by reading through what were voting for and truly setting up a good system for ourselves that is sustainable, the less people will have to worry about a “police state”. Good article.
Let me start out by saying I am no fan of the police. I once looked up to them but over the decades I have met too many dirty, bully, law breaking cops to look up to them any longer. IMHO the % of bad cops is more than 40%.
With that said I am not a cop, never was a cop, and I am not a lawyer. I am a fairly intelligent being and I analyze question most of what I read. Not to be negative, confrontational or argumentative. My career choice demands that I do logical analysis of situations, documents statements etc.
My questions for the author (I will cut and paste his own writing to prevent any misinterpretationson my part) are as follows:
From the author:
“for a robbery to have taken place, the use of force had to affect the taking of money or property from the person of another, blah blah blah statute stuff.”
As the author points out himself Mr. Brown was taking cigars from the store. Therefore the cigars did not belong to Mr. Brown, therefore they belong to someone else, since physical items do not produce themselves out of thin air and are typically purchased by someone, to keep use or resell. I assume the cigars belonged to the shop owner therefore they are his property. If I walk up to someone on the street and take their shoes I would consider that a robbery. From this point forward I will use the phrase “From the author” to denote where I have cut and pasted the author of the articles own words.
From the author:
”The clerk then follows Brown and attempts to recover the cigars. Brown grabs him by the throat and pushes him back during his attempt to get away.”
So we all use the word “robbery” with the same meaning it is defined by Webster’s as:
– the act or practice of robbing; specifically : larceny from the person or presence of another by violence or threat
– the unlawful taking of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it permanently
Now after reviewing the video and reading the stories I think the shop owner felt threatened, one of the items that define “robbery”. I would consider being pushed, shoved, or thrown by the throat an act of violence. Since it does not appear Mr. Brown was going to return the cigars, at least not in the same condition as when he took them, he met the definition of larceny also. If there was no robbery what was Mr. Brown trying to “get away” from?
From the author:
“Brown appears to have taken the cigars and attempted to walk out with them. Snapshot: an attempted retail theft is occurring, a misdemeanor at best.”
Using the logic of this statement I can go into any store or someone’s home and take his things let’s say cigars and I am not stealing, robbing those cigars?
From the author “Brown did not take any money or property from the cashier, therefore no robbery occurred.”
Were the cigars not the shop owner’s properties? He bought them to re-sell them for a profit so he could make a living, pay taxes and buy goods himself. These are all things that help others have jobs and the taxes the shop owner pays helps pay for social programs for others.
“From the author:
What he did commit was called resisting a merchant and possibly a battery but usually the resisting a merchant charge contains the battery charge itself.”
I have never heard of “resisting a merchant “ but again I am not in a legal profession, however in the 50+ decades I have been around taking something that does not belong to you has always been known as stealing or robbery.
I don’t know the facts and I have not been following the case closely, but we have sent 40 FBI agents to Ferguson we are sending the attorney general meanwhile we never sent 1 FBI agent to investigate Ben Ghazi, the IRS, the VA, or to investigate all the guns that went across our southern border illegally.
the cops are anti American thugs fascist shit
Great article! Nice work!
The author said that a robbery didn’t occur, and it didn’t. A theft did. A robbery involves physical force exerted upon another person. Meaning that he would have had to physically take it from the cashier. He allegedly took it off the shelf. That makes it a theft. Semantics, yes, but still different.
I don’t agree with your assumptions about the Ferguson incident before any credible evidence was released, but as a current police officer of almost a decade, I can wholeheartedly with you on everything else. The government is getting bigger and bigger, and if you say anything against them, you’re labeled as a domestic terrorist. It’s supposed to be by the people for the people, not by the corporately funded politicians, for their own benefit. It’s sad. The officers do need more training, and you hit every nail on the head as to why we are not getting it.
Great article. Thank you. and thank you for your honesty. I know an ex-cop and he’s a great guy, yet overall I don’t like cops because of a bad personal experience where I was one of the two who had to go to jail. I was assaulted by a visiting officer so I responded and was charged with assault. my life was never the same after that. My point being that the legal system is fed by this overall mentality of “someone has got to go”. it’s ridiculous, someone has to go is OK to prevent potential loss of life in domestic disturbances, yet a holding tank without prosecution of all kinds would do the trick.
Don’t get me started on Social Services in America and the stupid laws on the book and the abuse of parents and children in the name of I don’t know what because it’s not for the good of children in more than 50% of the cases.
So, militarization of police forces, warring all over the world, internal abuse of families nationwide, corrupt political class, etc..
Rome fell once before……
I also was a cop in a large city and proffesionally trained. I saw some fellow officers who were bullies. and others who missused their authority. Also some who were good police officers. I am now 78 years old and was in law enforcement back in the sixties and early seventies. I now fear what the police are becoming. I believe that with the patriot act and the militarization of police that a police state is here and getting stronger each day to be used against the citizenry when people begin to rebel against their government as more freedoms are lost. This is now far from the country I grew up in. I fear for my children, grand children and great grand children.
Read this and you will see that there is a lack of training that is going on in the police departments academies etc. If they took some of the money that is spent on “brute force” and used it to properly train these people there would be a better outcome. Instead whenever the shit hits the fan../ 75% of the people that are supposed to be properly trained go and panic and make rash decisions.