Saturday, May 21, 2011

Close the federal spigot to free local cops

A May 19 article from Russia Times demonstrates, yet again, that calling 911 is a greater hazard to the health of the caller than simply choosing not to involve "law enforcement" authorities, reporting:
An Alabama police officer beat an 84-year-old man after he called 911 to report a car accident outside of him home that involved an intoxicated driver.

Dorsey Henderson called 911 to report the accident after he noticed that the driver was severely drunk. Henderson told the driver that he was under citizen’s arrest and told him to remain near the vehicle until the police arrived.

Minutes later Fairhope Police Officer Trent Scott arrived. Henderson explained the driver appeared to be very intoxicated and had been acting belligerent, and that he placed him under a citizen’s arrest. The officer however scolded Henderson and told him there is "no such thing as citizen's arrest in Alabama," and to "get out of the way, old man," according to the Courthouse News Service.

The man said he was merely trying to help. But, the officer did not care. He responded to Henderson’s aid by grabbing him and throwing him to the ground breaking both his nose and glasses, all while Henderson’s wife watched helplessly from her wheelchair inside the home.

His wife, on the phone with 911, told the dispatcher that the cop was "beating the hell out of my husband."

...When an ambulance arrived the officer sent it away, telling the medics that the "old man" had no need for medical assistance.

Sometime later a superior officer arrived at the scene and ordered the ambulance to return. After Henderson was taken to the hospital he was found to have a broken nose, multiple contusions and a torn rotator cuff.
According to the article, Officer Trent Scott "remains on duty without reprimand from the department." Should these news reports prompt the department to react, here is exactly what they will almost certainly do. The officer will be placed on "paid administrative leave," meaning he gets a paid vacation, while the department conducts an "internal investigation." After it is done investigating itself, the department will conclude that the officer followed the department's policies and no wrong was committed. He will be returned to duty after an extended period during which he collected a paycheck without having to work.

This is a pattern which has been repeated in hundreds of cases throughout the country. Perhaps Mr. Henderson will be monetarily compensated, very quietly and without involving media, for his pain. Yet brutal, sadistic and authoritarian cops are virtually never fired, fined, imprisoned or in any way penalized. In the very unlikely circumstance that Scott is fired, he will travel a few miles down the road until he finds another department willing to hire him.

Of course, these gorillas in blue may wear a local department's insignia, but they bear no loyalty to their specific region. They suckle instead from the great sow's teat, which is why local areas such as cities and counties no longer receive the level of law enforcement their inhabitants personally desire. After all, where stands the waterhole, there will gather predators and prey alike and whence flows the spring of green, there lie the loyalties of its recipients. Having first rooted every choice truffle from soil belonging to the people, the great sow doles out her stolen wealth to her offspring.

How else could a city like Fairhope, AL, home to barely 12,000 people, afford to keep a liability like Scott on the payroll? The answer to that is found in the federal government's ham-handed attempt — in this case, through the means of the Federal Justice Department — to expand the swamp of Washington into a national sty. A March 24 article in the Chicago Sun-Times reported:
The U.S. Department of Justice’s proposed budget for 2012 is far from its final form, but it does point to two possible changes that could affect Northwest Indiana.

One proposal is to double the money — from $300 million to $600 million — that is given to local police departments to hire more officers.

"I just think it appears to be on first light a very positive outlook for local law enforcement," Porter County Sheriff David Lain said.
Imagine a world where Northwestern Indiana, rather than receiving $600 million of taxes forcibly collected from Alaskans, Puerto Ricans, Texans and Montanans, instead fielded the constabulary for which Northwestern Indianans were willing to pay. There is one ray of good news shining from Illinois, however, since a May 11 bit of news suggests the mud may be too dry to permit further wallowing:
When the federal government slashed $38 billion from its budget last month, among those feeling the pain most acutely were local police departments.

The loss of hundreds of millions in U.S. Justice Department grants — a casualty of the 11th-hour spending compromise — will affect everything from obtaining bulletproof vests to maintaining already dwindling police forces for some struggling Chicago-area law enforcement agencies.
The local police can only be controlled by restricting them to local funding. For the sake of police accountability, the health of the public and the well-being of American society, federal funding of all city, county and state-level law enforcement departments must end. Just consider how quickly the federal deficit and debt might be reduced with the continued decline in the U.S. Justice Department's ability to manipulate local law enforcement through federal funding.