The police do not care about keeping you safe. If they did, they wouldn’t put innocent people in danger every day by driving unmarked cars, behaving unprofessionally, and performing no-knock raids. All these things make it quite easy to impersonate an officer in order to commit a crime.
People know their lives are literally in jeopardy if they disobey even the most minor order from a police officer. Innocent people are no exception, and simply questioning an officer, or asserting one’s rights has gotten people beaten, arrested, and even killed.
Because of this environment created by an overbearing oppressive police state, a perfect opportunity has opened up for criminals to easily exploit their victim’s fear of police. Criminals simply need to pose as police, and any resistance on the part of their victims melts away.
Posing as Cops to Commit Crimes
It’s not just for big heists like in the movie The Town that criminals dress as police to commit crimes. It actually happens terrifyingly often.
The practice is so common in Miami-Dade that the police have a special task force to investigate instances of criminals impersonating officers. A family in Miami-Dade earlier this year suffered a home invasion after they opened their door to three men in police uniforms.
Last year in Tampa a 28-year old woman was pulled over by a fake officer and raped.
In April thieves in Tuscon dressed as police to invade a home. In May three suspects still on the loose did the same in Honolulu.
A Los Angeles man was convicted last week of fondling two women while posing as an officer and attempting to force another to take her clothes off while pretending to be a detective investigating counterfeit money.
In early June a man and a woman were arrested for dressing as federal agents and attempting to break into an apartment in Fresno California.
In Cleveland Ohio, a man was recently arrested and charged for handcuffing children on many different occasions in what appears to be a fake “scared straight” operation. The man was not a police officer, but wearing a gun and vest convinced school and court officials that he was an officer.
Even police have been fooled by fake officers, including a 14-year-old boy who simply walked into a Chicago police station and showed up for roll call.
Officers handed him a radio and told him to ride along with a female officer. The teenager even helped make an arrest.
“After four or five hours, she asks, ‘Who is this guy?’ ” recalled Jody P. Weis, who was the Chicago police superintendent at the time. “He’s in a uniform, he has a goofy badge, he doesn’t have a weapon and he’s a high school kid. It was so embarrassing.” (The embarrassment did not end there for Mr. Weis, who said he had recommended against punishing the teenager in juvenile court because no harm had been done. Three months later, the boy was arrested and charged with stealing a car.
Impersonating officers is not uncommon as you can see. This blind obedience to officers has caused women to be sexually assaulted, and homes to be invaded. But it is not just the fake cops you have to worry about.
Actual Police Commit Crimes Too
Real police commit crimes too, which is all the more reason not to place some members of society above fellow citizens.
If a police officer engages an innocent person, that person must essentially ask permission to walk away from the encounter. The fact that police demand unquestioning obedience, and act violently enraged if their authority is challenged only helps criminals get away with their crimes while posing as police officers.
But this same bullying extralegal behavior is used by police to commit crimes. Last year a Texas officer sexually assaulted a female driver, and a Honolulu officer was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.
Unfortunately, rape and sexual assault by police officers appear to be extremely common. And even when the case is “resolved” with a conviction of the officer, the sentence is a miscarriage of justice.
One woman was offered a ride home by an officer after an incident had been resolved without any arrests.
She said she didn’t consent, but didn’t resist or say no because she was scared for her life.
“If I would’ve fought him back, yes, he would’ve murdered me. He would’ve took my life and I have kids,” she said.
The officer ended up being convicted and sentenced to one year in prison.
61% of all victims of police crimes are women. In San Diego, patrol officers working alone at night committed a number of sexual assaults against women they pulled over.
…of all the officers arrested, for offenses ranging from murder to drunken driving, only 54 percent were fired, and 37.5 percent arrested for domestic violence lost their jobs.The study also found that roughly two-thirds of all the arrests were made by an agency that didn’t employ the officer…
Police also invade homes. An 80-year-old-man was shot to death by police after they broke into his home in a no-knock raid. They had obtained a search warrant with the only evidence being that they smelled chemicals associated with making meth. Hearing a home invasion, the elderly man picked up a pistol and was shot to death in his bed without firing a shot. No meth was found. The officers were not charged with the murder and were found to have acted appropriately.
This highlights how the drug war, no knock raids, and militarized police also contribute to the problems faced when trying to protect your life from thugs in real or fake uniforms.
But sometimes cops don’t even get a trumped up warrant before murdering innocent civilians.
One man was murdered by police when he took his legally owned firearm with him to open the door after a loud knock late at night. The officer did not identify himself, but seeing a gun, shot the man to death. For some reason, the officer was not charged, and the court prevented the man’s family from suing him, citing qualified immunity. They said it was not clear that the officer had committed any crime in murdering the homeowner.
The problem with police committing crimes is so voluminous that we can only scratch the surface here. But one thing is for sure, you have almost as much reason to fear becoming the victim of a crime from a real uniformed officer as from someone posing as an officer.
Indiana passed a law in 2012 that allows citizens to shoot an officer who illegally enters their home. It is unclear why this law was needed since it is illegal for anyone to invade a home, whether they are a cop or not. Having to codify something so obvious shows just how far the government will go to protect their criminal officers. Still, at least Indiana offered some legal cover to citizens forced to protect themselves from police.
Of course, most government solutions simply double down on the divide; prosecute impersonating an officer harder, and simply make it illegal to buy a badge or police uniform. Maybe while they are at it, they should ban Dodge Chargers for civilians, and prohibit civilians from wearing matching shirt and pants in any blues, blacks, or tans.
As usual, the solution from the government is to make more things illegal and punish pre-crimes like owning objects that might someday be used in a crime. Never does the problem come from the government’s end! It is always the damn civilians getting in the way of our brave heroes!
But the reality of the situation is that it doesn’t matter how many police-like tools and clothing they make illegal, or how hard they punish people who dress up as cops for Halloween. There is a divide between the police and the average citizen, and only by holding police accountable for their actions will the dangers of fake police be mitigated.
The only reason criminals have such success with this tactic is the population’s blind unquestioning obedience to police, beat into them over the course of years by bullies in blue who ignore the law to assert their will. It’s not the uniform, it is that we cannot tell the difference between the behavior of cops and criminals because they act in strikingly similar ways.
The solution is to stop giving police extra rights and privileges. It doesn’t make any sense that they are held to a lower standard for criminal activity than the rest of the population when they have more responsibility than most to behave appropriately. Any crime committed by an officer should be punished two-fold based on his position of trust and power over civilians, yet all too often they are not punished for their crimes.
A criminal is a criminal, whether his uniform and badge are fake or real. Civilians shouldn’t have to wait to find out if the officer is real, and they shouldn’t have to lay down and allow a real officer to have their way with them, with the only redress being later court action if they are alive to pursue it. This especially because people can be legally barred from pursuing civil action. Also, many police will not be charged or convicted of their crimes, or will receive ridiculously lenient sentences.
The two reasons people should not have to fear using such deadly force against home-invading cops is because A) if they are real police they are behaving criminally and everyone has the right to defend themselves from a criminal, and B) they might not be real cops at all, and everyone has the right to defend themselves from a criminal.
Not having to stop and wonder if this is a real police officer and wonder if you will be going to prison for decades simply for defending yourself makes you much safer and able to defend yourself and your loved ones.
If police are not given extra rights, there will be no reason to impersonate them.
Reprinted with permission from The Daily Bell.