Thursday, April 06, 2006


Police State?

Found this link at Indefensible, David Feige's blog (and the title of his new book coming out in June, about his experience as a Public Defender in NYC). Watch the video that loads on the right side and see how "disruptive" the young man is who requests a complaint form and notice how "cooperative" the officer (a sergeant) is in response.

It's the kind of stuff I see all the time and the kind of stuff my friends who say "how can you defend those people?" never see or choose to ignore.

Lord Acton was right when he said "All power corrupts; absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely."

Think cops don't have too much power and aren't corrupted by it? Then test out your theory by doing what the guy on the video did: Go and ask for a complaint form, courteously, like this guy, and see how it goes. Chances are it will go well, as most of the officers I know don't act like this clown and do their jobs well.

What you might see (and what I see all the time) is that some cops are corrupted by power. Because they have the power to issue tickets, they can usually deflect situations like this by ticketing the guy for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace and then by saying that he threatened or "got in their face," like this officer clearly did.

Then, since there's usually no video evidence like this occasion, the ex-prosecutor judge (there's no Constitutional right to a jury trial if the potential jail time is less than six months!) believes the "testilying" cop, and you learn about the system the hard way.

Want to know how I can "defend these people?" It's because there are people like this cop out there right now corrupted by power and insulated from punishment. Keep in mind this guy's job was to respond to complaints!

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