Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And you wonder how people can be distrustful and hostile towards the police?

In North Dakota videoing police in public gets you arrested:

On May 6th I began shooting film for a new video project about unwarranted raids in Wahpeton nd, I was standing on a public street filming a notorious officer (Dustin Hill) who commonly practices unwarranted searches and seizures. He asked if I ‘needed something’ I responded by telling him ‘no, I’m just filming a story about unwarranted raids in wahpeton’ . He immediately placed me under arrest for interfering with a police investigation, or hindering as he also coined it. There was no investigation going on, he was simply talking to a citizen on public property. I was taken into an interview room where I remained cuffed for roughly an hour, I was questioned by an officer without ever being read my miranda rights while he harrassed and grilled me.

On the whole, the vast majority of my encounters with LEO have been positive, even pleasant.  However, it took only one instance of being the victim of an illegal search and seizure to push me right into camp of distrust and (non-physical or violent) hostility towards LEOs.

I can't defend myself against the police except by taking civil action, which is expensive.  I let the incident that involved me go, which was stupid, but I was afraid of further harassment (it was small town cops in a small town I worked in at the time, and still frequent).

You want me to trust LEOs and other government officials?  Make a it felony, with mandatory prison sentences upon conviction, for a government official at any level to in any way violate the Constitution of the United States or the State within which they reside AND work. 

That'll be a start.

Personally, I think LEO are rather useless at the patrol level.  Below detectives we don't need them.  They are only useful in two instances; first, in societies in which citizens cannot legally defend themselves (and even then, they're pretty damned useless), and second, for capriciously enforcing malum prohibitum laws and regulations that could be just as well enforced with a fine delivered by mail rather that the threat of a gun toting enforcer.   

H/t Instapundit

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