Bayou Renaissance Man posted regarding the recent interactions between the constabulary and suspect(s), the protests that followed, and the police political assassinations that followed THOSE actions.
And, as usual, he did so with aplomb. You should go to the link above and read him. (And, if you are not regularly reading him, why not?)
And he brought up a recent court decision and the Peelian Principals. (Sir Robert Peel being the founder of Modern Law Enforcement.) They are:
- To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
- To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
- To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
- To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
- To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
- To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
- To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
- To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
- To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
And here’s Peter’s money quote:
I can already hear the scoffing from police officers that those principles are utterly outdated when dealing with a society that regards the rule of law as nothing more than a polite fiction. I can’t blame them; our politicians and leaders in other spheres often appear to honor our laws more in the breach than in the observance. Needless to say, our citizens all too often take their cue from their leaders (or is it the other way around?) Nevertheless, any officer of the law who enters upon his career regarding the people he’s called to “protect and serve” as the enemy rather than his peers and fellow citizens is riding for a fall. Sooner or later, someone’s going to provide one for him. (end)
It does appear as though we as a Society have transcended into pre-civil war status. That is, that those charged with ‘protecting and serving’ the public are ‘protecting and serving’ each other, to the exclusion of the public (not entirely) and engaging in rampant abuses of power and authority not seen in many years. In The United States, anyway.
Including wholesale surveillance of cellular telephone and email communications. Restrictions placed on travel (elimination of 4th Amendment protections at border crossings, airports, ‘sobriety checkpoints’ and even some railroad and bus stations)! And lets not forget misused or misapplied warrant services. Does the name Jose Guerena come to mind? Rendition and torture, in violation of both civil and military law.
And punishing of those who wish to bring such facts to light via the Internet or even cell phone cameras.
And now the remaining folks in blue who actually do their jobs and refrain from abuse are being subjected to political assassination, in the name of social justice?
Isn’t this what some Internet bloggers have been suggesting for the past few years? Just because it’s painted in race doesn’t make it any less real.
Can we as a Society fix this before it’s too late? Before cities, towns and States are overrun with folks tired of the governmental abuses?
Ask not for whom the bell tolls.
It peels for thee, Republic.