Every hour of every day somewhere in the United States there occurs an example of why our criminal justice system is badly in need of a complete revision. As with many other organizations and situations, methods and policies of the past do not fit in the 21st century. Law enforcement is poorly trained and continues to use force before intellect. Whether it is a grand jury or an officer of the court, legal decisions are slanted towards police in support of their actions; seldom does a victim of unnecessary, and often lethal force receive justice.
The last resort for many victims of police brutality is the man or woman sitting on the bench making judgment. But the faith of the American people is dwindling. In general, belief in our legal system is disappearing.
Today, if an individual has a phone, they have a camera. Law enforcement can no longer hide its actions with paperwork. Although the evidence may be clear, perpetrators of illegal action who wear a uniform are frequently exonerated for their crimes.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania has forbidden the filming of actions by police officers. Judge Mark Kearney said: The law “does not recognize a First Amendment right to observe and record without some form of expressive conduct and photographing police is not, as a matter of law, expressive activity.”
The case before him involved the filming of a fracking protest. Richard Fields and Amanda Geraci were filming an arrest when police retaliated against them.
It is obvious that the authorities are not protecting individuals from harassment by law enforcement. If ordinary citizens are not allowed to expose illegal or immoral actions, our nation will continue to make advances towards becoming a ‘police state.’ No longer is a man or woman in a blue uniform visible in your neighborhood who is respected and welcome. Today when police arrive in urban areas, they are in full combat gear and the only emotion everyday citizens experience is fear.
Judge Kearney’s ruling, and complaints by police officers across the nation after Beyoncé’s performance in the Super Bowl, are proof that law enforcement fears exposure of the truth. The motto: “To serve and protect,” no longer applies. Far too many officers have adopted an old west attitude of ‘shoot first and ask questions later.’
Thanks to extremists in Washington our nation has become and oligarchy, and locally our law enforcement agencies have become enforcers; they no longer respect those they are intended to serve.
Reading too much may be a bad thing. The way I see our nation is not progressive. Thanks to our state, local, and federal government, the safety and welfare of people is no longer the top priority of those in authority. We are a nation of people who live in fear; hope no longer exists for many of our citizens. We have been trained to accept what government gives us instead of demanding ‘liberty and justice for all.’
It’s time to take our country back from politicians who only serve themselves. Independent voters are the key to our future. Foolish Americans who vote for parties instead of people are the reason our nation is devolving.
By James Turnage
Photo Courtesy of ComputerGuy – Wikipedia User
Read ‘James Turnage’ on the free Amazon Kindle App