The Lawlessness of Law Enforcement
The Founding Fathers of this country believed strongly in the private ownership of property. After all, many of them owned their own lands before they revolted against the king. Much of the Bill of Rights deals with the rights of the individual when it comes to the police and court system. Protected rights against illegal search and seizure, self-incrimination, the right to face your accuser, and cruel and unusual punishment.
At some point, someone in the government figured out that if you were convicted of a crime, the government could just seize your property. Not just land, but any assets.
It seems like every time I turn around, law enforcement is trying to do something more, trying to blur the line a little more when it comes to catching crooks. Things that don’t look like they violate the Constitution on the surface, but are full of malice as you look deeper.
For example, Homeland Security, and more than a few local law enforcement are purchasing tanks, armored personnel carriers and semi-automatic rifles with large capacity magazines. The Federal government, across several departments is purchasing billions of rounds of ammunition, while the Pentagon is set to destroy millions more.
Perhaps most disturbing is how law enforcement is starting to act. In New York, they stop and frisk random people, mostly blacks, in complete violation of the Fourth Amendment.
In Los Angeles, the ATF had notified a gun dealer that they wanted their computers and customer lists, because the shop sold what’s called a lower receiver for AR-15s. The company went to court, and got a restraining order against the ATF, but the ATF raided the shop anyway, in defiance of the restraining order. It should be noted that these same lower receivers was what started the siege in Waco, Texas back in 1992.
In Chicago, I believe, they are trying to get a system up and running that can predict crime before it happens. That’s the basis of the movie Minority Report.
And to top it all off, they are beginning to seize the assets of people suspected of committing a crime. That’s right. You don’t actually have to commit a crime anymore to become a criminal. You simply need to be suspected of being one. I read a recent story about a man who owned a hotel, and the Feds want to seize it, saying it was suspected that it was a front for drug dealing and prostitution. The owner of the establishment says that if it is, he has had nothing to do with it, and that he is unaware of any such thing happening.
No matter, say the police. Seizing it from him will put an end to whatever may or may not be going on there.
Shouldn’t law enforcement have to prove, in a court of law, that these things are happening before they can seize it? Shouldn’t that fall under “illegal search and SEIZURE”?
These seized assets are then sold off and the proceeds are put into a fund for law enforcement. Sometimes, these funds are squandered. One police chief in Florida, I believe, bought himself a whole bunch of new toys, including a new office, then laid off some police officers, citing the lack of budget for them.
The police like to keep all things internal. I think this is because if we really knew what was going on, we would blow a collective gasket.
Of course, law enforcement claims that all of this, the seizure of property from people suspected of crimes, cameras, illegal wiretaps, and warrantless searches are all effective tools to nabbing the bad guys.
They are effective tools for nabbing innocent people as well. They might as well say “hey, it would be so much easier if you would just give up your rights”.
And that is exactly what they want. It would be so much easier if we could just tear up that pesky Bill of Rights, or modify some of them to give greater government control.
There are voices out there who say that tyranny is hiding just around the corner. You’re naive if you don’t see it.