It is no accident that police have become more brutal – in appearance as well as action – since they became law enforcement.
The term itself is a brutal syllogism. The law exists and must be enforced because it isthe law. I am just doing my job, only following (lawful) orders. People were hanged for using such reasoning to justify the enforcement of vicious, evil laws and went to the gallows baffled as to why.
Victor’s justice, they called it. And perhaps they were right, if a bit prematurely.
Today’s defendants – well, one hopes that they will be that, one day – are just as guilty in kind if not degree.
They enforce the laws. All of them. They do not question the rightness of any of them. The law is the law.
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Law enforcement countenances anything, provided the law says so. It is what has made it possible for law enforcers to seize people’s property without charge or due process of any sort – because the law (civil asset forfeiture) gives them the power to do it. Some do it perfunctorily – the banality of evil Hannah Arendt wrote about. Others do it zealously – this includes the rabid little man who is the chief law enforcement officer of the state, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
It is what enables “good Americans” (the same as “good Germans”) to stand in the middle of the road, halting every car at gunpoint (implied, even if not actually drawn; see what happens if you do not stop) and demanding “papers” be presented.
Without feeling ashamed of themselves.
Because the law says it is “reasonable” to do this. (If so, then it is not-rape to briefly penetrate an unwilling victim – which action by the way law enforcers also perform under color of the law but call it “looking for contraband” rather than rape.)