Takin’ It To The Streets

Since the Patriot Act, Drug War, presidential actions and executive orders, and court decisions have effectively rendered most of the Bill of Rights as obsolete as the Edsel, there is no long any reasonable check on the abuse of police powers. One way to measure the level of such abuses are in the increase of stories about beatings, kidnappings (arrests sans due process), and needless deaths at the hands of our police agencies. Another way to measure the increase of such activities is to look at the attitudes of those doing the policing.

I see more and more stories where the attitudes of police forces, ranging from local cops to federal goose-steppers from a variety of departments, seem to indicate that they are totally above the law. Here’s a recent example:

A local school employee said a rough run-in with a couple of Homeland Security officers has left him with a strong sense of insecurity. Leander Pickett, a teacher’s assistant at Englewood Elementary, said he was manhandled and handcuffed by two plain clothed Homeland Security officers in front of the school Tuesday for no reason at all.

But there was a reason. Pickett challenged the authority of the “security” goons.

However, Tuesday afternoon Pickett’s niceness turned to anger, disappointment, and betrayal when, as Pickett was directing bus traffic, he said he was handcuffed and roughed up and humiliated by the very people that were supposed to protect him.

“I walked up to him and said, ‘Sir, you need to move.’ That’s when he said ‘I’m a police officer. I’m with Homeland Security … I’ll move it when I want to.’ That’s when he started grabbing me on my arm,” Pickett said.

They certainly showed him a lesson. Perhaps we need to start showing the security goons a lesson by demanding our rights with each and every similar encounter. We do a pretty good job of protesting such mistreatment of citizens on the Internet. It’s about time to start organizing local protests on the streets for encounters such as these.

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