“Why did you call the police? They don’t help you.”

In May of last year, Los Angeles resident Veronica Cornejo called 911 to report that her mentally disturbed brother was agitated and could be dangerous to himself and others. Three Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched and, as is always the case when police intervene, things became immediately and immeasurably worse. The invaders barged into the home without invitation, dragged all five family members from the house, and threw them to the ground.

As she was being abused, Veronica — who suffers from a heart condition — tried to explain that she was the one who had called for help. Her father, Jorge, was justifiably infuriated by the treatment his daughter received and told the deputies that they should expect a lawsuit. that prompted one of them to punch the 53-year-old man repeatedly.

Since Jorge suffers from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, this unprovoked attack could have been lethal (although the coroner would have immediately ruled that it was the result of “natural causes” unrelated to the criminal assault by a costumed goon). Veronica pleaded with the deputy to stop hitting her father. By way of reply the assailant threw Jorge on top of his daughter, and all three of the deputies began to beat both of them. Jorge, his wife, and his daughter were kidnapped at gunpoint and charged with the no-crime of resisting arrest. It took the family seven months of expensive and frustrating legal hassles to get that spurious charge dismissed.

During the assault on his family, Jorge asked his daughter: “Why did you call the police? They don’t help you.” Indeed, every human problem can be transformed into a tragedy once the state’s armed enforcers intervene. Police and rapists — those groups overlap, of course — are the only aggressors whose victims are counseled to put up no resistance. The only substantive difference is that police have the supposed authority to prosecute victims who are regarded as insufficiently docile.

Statutes that punish people for exercising their innate and long-recognized right to resist police violence should be abolished immediately, of course, but this would only be a down-payment toward the eventual and badly needed abolition of government police agencies altogether.


12:35 pm on July 24, 2013