I've commented repeatedly in the past about the growing power of law enforcement in this country — the ability and willingness of police to abuse their authority, ignore contutitional protections and use excessive force. This, of course, has not been limited to the DUI field, but has been a widespread phenomenon. The rate of shooting deaths by police has skyrocketed, for example, and the spread of SWAT teams and the adoption of military and paramilitary equipment and tactics has spread across the country. Due to the prevalence of cell phone cameras, more and more of these senseless killings by police have been clearly documented.
Is this due to an increasingly lawless citizenry — or to an increasingly authoritarian mentality among police agencies?
The following is a highlighted quote from a full-page Jacksonville, North Carolina, newspaper ad from a sheriff seeking re-election for a fourth term:
Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power and authority over you, your life, you family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future, and everything precious to life.
The following is a letter to the editor in reply:
I read Sheriff Ed Brown's full-page ad in the paper Feb. 2 edition of The Daily News. All freedom-loving Americans should be scared of what it says.
In the ad, Brown states, “Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power and authority over you, your life, your family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future and everything precious to life.”
Ed Brown must want us to live in a total-domination police state.
It is our Constitution and Bill of Rights that guarantee our freedoms. Any politician who believes in Ed Brown’s statement is not worthy of any public office.
I totally reject Ed Brown’s claim that law enforcement has complete power and authority over me. As an American, I trust in the guarantees of our Constitution and believe in our democratic way of life; and I will fight against those who would want to impose their tyranny over us
Well said. But let's hope the writer of this letter is never stopped by a local deputy sheriff…