Thursday, November 07, 2013

So, you think you live in a Democracy?

I want to tell you the story of two police related incidents.  One occurred in Chicago and one in New Mexico, Hidalgo County.

In Chicago, one Flint Farmer was shot by a Chicago cop.  He was lying on the ground, face down when the cop fired three rounds into Farmer's back, killing him.  The officer had two prior shooting incidents THAT YEAR, but had not been placed on leave, or charged or placed on any kind of special watch by his supervisor.  The Chicago prosecutor now says that since he could have mistaken Farmer's cell phone for a gun, he will not be charged with a crime.

In New Mexico, David Eckert was stopped for a minor traffic violation, coasting through a stop sign.  When told to get out of his vehicle, one of the two cops thought he saw Eckert "clinch his buttocks".  He was detained on suspicion of having narcotics and taken to a nearby medical center, where they waited for a search warrant for a cavity search.  Upon obtaining the warrant, the doctors at the center refused to perform the search due to ethical concerns.  So the two officers packed up Mr. Eckert and took him to another medical center, where doctors weren't so picky.  He was violated physically numerous times as late as early the next morning with doctor's fingers, enema paraphernalia, and finally, a colonoscopy tool with a camera while Mr. Eckert was under anesthesia.  The last took place after the time period of the warrant had expired.

In addition, the medical center in question was in ANOTHER COUNTY, rendering the warrant completely invalid on its face, since the warrant had been issued in an adjacent county by a county judge.

The problems with these two stories are legion.  Official misconduct in both cases, obviously.  A complete disregard for standard police procedures also in both cases.  A total disregard for the civil rights of the victims. (I refuse to call them suspects) A failure of supervising authority to both train and supervise their officers in proper legalities and procedure, and an additional failure of the management of the entire justice system in Chicago to restrain an out of control officer or even adhere to proper procedure in failing to administer a blood alcohol test ( the officer had been drinking before coming on duty) and by allowing a possibly alcohol impaired officer out in public with a firearm.

What is so different about these two cases?  Amazingly, nothing.  You can google various key words and get dozens of such stories almost every day across the country.  

Oh, well, maybe one thing;  both victims were white.

But really, nothing else stands out, which is the biggest problem.  Even with national attention, the cops in these cases will probably not suffer any more than some vague administrative penalty, if that.  Maybe an ass chewing by the boss, and that to the two in New Mexico, because the invalidation of the warrant kills any possibility of prosecution.  Not because they had him officially butt-raped, but because they took him to another county.

We have become inured to this kind of official violence.

So inured, in fact, that when several State legislatures, including the Virginia legislature, passed laws forcing invasive sonograms on pregnant women who want abortions, much of the public... yawned. The outrage was, for many people, the abortion restrictions, not so much the official rape the procedure involves.

Welcome to Theocracy, folks.  This is what it looks like.  Laws passed over the objection of a majority of the population (most Americans support some easy form of abortion by choice), police able to violate the rights of citizens (even white ones) without consequence and with mostly very little public outrage.

is this how the great American Experiment ends?  Not with a bang but without even a whimper?  Are we such wimps that we will allow our public officials to run roughshod over our rights, pass laws that ignore our expressed wishes, and gerrymander election districts so they can stay in office indefinitely?

I've written extensively about the Dominionists in this space.  Yes, I believe that there IS a right wing conspiracy to bring theocracy to this country, and I believe we are partway through their agenda.

No, I don't necessarily think that the stories I noted above are specifically the result of that conspiracy.  But they don't help us resist, either.  Corrupt and unaccountable cops are likely to play right into the hands of those theocrats, because if the cops are already accustomed to violating people's rights through sheer negligence without consequence, taking that extra step to deliberate oppression shouldn't be that big a step to make.  It certainly puts police officials into the position of being blackmailed into these kinds of activities, if they were to be reluctant.

Ignore these signs at your peril. Theocracy is at our doorstep, if we don't take deliberate action to forestall its installation.  Corruption in our government is not only bad in and of itself, but plays right into the hands of those who already call our government dysfunctional.

Let's work to fix that, huh?

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