American Police Are Out of Control

by Nick Hodge, Outsider Club American police certainly have a bad name lately. It isn’t all police, of course. The majority of them are great people. But there are more than a few bad apples. And the real problem is that the bad apples are routinely and unquestionably shielded by the good. Things would be a lot different if cops who broke the law, or were even perceived to break the law, were dealt with like common criminals. But instead they’re protected. Given the benefit of the doubt. Given administrative leave, not fired. Investigated by one of their peers with no real follow-up. Often an incident boils down to “he said / she said,” with judges and juries historically siding with the one with a badge. And it’s led to a litany of problems with police. Absolute Power Make no mistake. Police in this country have absolute power. They are able to kill someone in broad daylight largely without consequence. And you know what happens when you give someone absolute power… Over the past decade or so there have been a growing number of what can only be described as atrocities committed at the hands of these public servants. Just for two examples… Last year, police in Brunswick County, North Carolina were called to a family’s home because of a situation with their mentally-ill 18-year-old son. Two officers arrived and tased the boy to get him under control. They told dispatch several times the boy was under control. When a third officer arrived on the scene, he shot the boy dead while he was being held down by the two other officers, and boy’s father noted him saying, “We don’t have time for this.” In Miami recently, 23 cops fired 377 bullets at two men who had no guns. In total, U.S. police have killed more than 5,000 people since 9/11. These killings are so accepted that we don’t even keep exact figures. Interdiction Beyond excessive use of force, American police have a new disgusting trick up their sleeve. It goes by the name of “police interdiction,” “civil forfeiture,” or “asset forfeiture.” Here’s how it works… You get pulled over. The cop says he thinks you possess drugs or are otherwise involved in other illegal activity. He searches you and the car. You have $1,000. The cop intimidates you, saying that money came from illegal activities. Out of fear, and in lieu of being charged with a crime, you sign a piece of paper forfeiting your ownership of that $1,000. The cop and his department get to keep it and do with it what they wish. You’re never charged with a crime. You don’t fight because that would cost more than the cop stole from you to begin with. Believe it or not, this is a national epidemic. Police have padded their pockets with over $2.5 billion since this practice was made legal after 9/11. But I don’t think it — and many other unsavory police actions — will last much longer. Call it like you see it, Nick Hodge

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