Fuzz Follies

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Seems DC has survived another "National Police Week." I’m trying to decide whether that’s good or bad.

From Tuesday, May 8, through Wednesday, May 16, "tens of thousands" of cops from around the country partied in the nation’s capitol. Naturally, they drank. A lot. But that didn’t stop them from climbing behind the wheel to cruise dark streets with sirens blaring. They gunned motorcycles and skirled bagpipes till 3 AM, yelled, fought, and generally broke laws they force the rest of us to follow. Their excuse for this annual rioting is that by annoying, inconveniencing, and even terrifying DC’s civilians, they commemorate officers killed in the line of duty. Well, why not? Those cops likely annoyed, inconvenienced and terrified folks while they were alive.

Alas, after several sleepless nights, some citizens ran short of sympathy for the grieving survivors. They navely complained to the District’s police, who responded by joining the fun. One canny taxpayer finally videotaped the lawlessness for youtube.com. This embarrassed DC’s police chief into taking stern measures: she posted fliers asking the drunks to play nice. No doubt that had ‘em trembling in their jackboots.

National Police Week has plagued us since 1962, when a "Joint Resolution… authorize[d] the President to proclaim May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of each year during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week." We already pay these petty tyrants and bullies, but Leviathan wants us to kiss their butts, too:

"Whereas the police officers of America have worked devotedly and selflessly in behalf of the people of this Nation, regardless of the peril or hazard to themselves…"

Oh, right, and all those benefits, overtime pay, early retirement with lifelong pension, meals extorted from restaurateurs, and drugs swiped from the evidence lab have nothing to do with it.

"… Whereas these officers have safeguarded the lives and property of their fellow Americans…"

Poppycock. By law, cops don’t have to "safeguard" anything. Attorney and author Richard Stevens emphasizes, "[Cops] don’t even have to come when you call. In most states the government and police owe no legal duty to protect individual citizens from criminal attack. The District of Columbia’s highest court spelled out plainly the u2018fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.’"

But most Americans blindly believe that cops protect us from criminals. In reality, cops protect the State from us. That’s been their purpose since the first police departments were organized in the early nineteenth century. Prior to that, kings relied on their armies to fight their enemies, foreign or domestic; witness the Redcoats patrolling colonial Boston. Then in 1812, George III’s Chief Secretary for Ireland created the "Peace Preservation Police" to subdue Irish peasants upset at the British government’s stranglehold. Nor has that purpose shifted over the centuries. Cops still keep muttering serfs from rising against Their Rulers:

"…Whereas by the enforcement of our laws, these same officers have given our country internal freedom from fear of the violence and civil disorder that is presently affecting other nations…"

Yeah, especially when they’re liquored up.

"…Whereas these men and women by their patriotic service…"

I don’t know about you, but subjugating one’s fellow citizens isn’t exactly my definition of "patriotic service."

"…and their dedicated efforts have earned the gratitude of the Republic…"

Or at least of its leaders.

And so cops annually invade DC. They raise many a bottle of Bud to those who "paid the ultimate sacrifice" during the preceding year — all 160 of them. That small number is the nation’s annual average of cops who die in the line of duty. Has been for years. About half are shot; the rest might arguably be excluded from this figure because they perish in car crashes.

We can only envy such low fatalities since cops kill many times that number of civilians each year. And "justifiably," too: though it’s "murder" when a citizen kills a cop, it’s "justifiable homicide" when they kill us. A report from the US Department of Justice contains this stunner: "the use of deadly force against a police officer is almost never justified, while the use of deadly force by police often is… [K]illings by police are referred to as u2018justifiable homicides,’ and the persons that police kill are referred to as u2018felons.’" What handy logic! Cops kill felons who are felons because cops killed them. "Police justifiably kill on average nearly 400 felons each year."

That estimate is low. It’s also unreliable. Despite a 1994 law ordering cops to report all shootings, precincts "voluntarily" report only "justified" killings to the FBI. A neat trick, but you have to work for Leviathan to get away with it: when we murder, it’s reported. And "felons" are merely the beginning of the casualties. What about the innocent bystanders these reckless drivers and poor marksmen slaughter? Or their murderous "mistakes," like 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston of Atlanta or bridegroom Sean Bell of New York City? Dead civilians might as well be roadkill. Their deaths literally don’t count.

While cops drown their sorrows over their fallen fellows, let decent folk honor the fallen felons. It’s easy enough: just understand who the real criminals are.

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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