Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seeking Justice, and Finding Abuse

There is a general climate of dislike for police around here, and I’m not surprised. Anarchists believe in a parallel society, and it seems like they think crime can be handled without any form of authority or use of force.

Authority, in the sense of being above the law, is indeed a fundamental abuse. But how is crime handled by non-governmental agents?

Private security is every bit as corrupt as state-run police forces, and in many cases they are worse. Just as Blackwater’s mercenary soldiers are responsible for the very same (and sometimes worse) human rights violations that US armed forces are often accused of, private security abuses the use of force on a daily basis.

Below is the story of a security guard who raped a teenager and then pushed her over a 6th floor balcony.

And good luck if you have a skateboard with you. Your chances of just being asked to leave without an ass-beating seems slim to none, judging by the countless videos of such on YouTube.

Expect to be punched repeatedly and have a knee pushing your face into the pavement, even if you’re a little girl.

Speaking of girls, there are countless incidents of security guards molesting and sexually harassing women. One of my girlfriends in high school was detained for 3 hours and strip searched by two male guards on suspicion of theft, as a minor. Do you think she appreciates private security?

Here’s a case of a school security guard harassing a 14 year old girl.

And below is a case of a boy who was beaten by a security officer, then detained and threatened with more violence if he should tell anyone about it.

The bottom line: enforcement is a tricky job. I know for a fact that most security guards are not bad people and most do their job well. Most have almost supernatural patience for jackasses who scream in their face. Many are struck, stabbed, or shot while peacefully and properly doing their job. And the police are no different.

Basing your opinion on scattered stories is the weakest argument one can make. Sociologists and statisticians call it “anecdotal evidence.” It is often compelling to the emotional human mind, which internalizes horrific events and formulates a “fact” for future reference. But anecdotal evidence is not evidence at all.

“I saw a cop hit someone, therefore police officers are violent and should be feared/hated.”

That isn’t realistic. By this logic, no one should ever drive a car, because 14,000 auto accidents will happen today. Meanwhile, out of millions officers and security personnel, a few dozen a year will abuse their position of power. Nevermind the millions of people they catch and put in jail.

And yes, the drug war is bad, but cops have nothing to do with that. Blame your shitty legislators on that one. Blaming cops for the war on drugs is like blaming the soldiers for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: they have nothing to do with it, they are just doing their job in good faith. The fundamental laws being enforced should be addressed, but it is not the job for officers to selectively enforce anymore than soldiers can refuse deployment.

Regardless of the system enacted, the pursuit of justice will necessarily involve the use of force and the inevitable abuse of that force by individuals who are either not properly trained, unaware of the law, or (most likely) are just assholes who would be criminals whether or not they had a badge.

No one who hurts another innocent person is justified in doing so, whether they are an officer, a security guard, or any other kind of citizen. Fighting to end police abuse is a noble cause, but pretending that the privatization of the police will result in any less abuse is as stupid as saying that banning guns will decrease crime.

If you criminalize police, only the wealthiest capitalist criminals in our society will have security.


  1. Well fuck you all and your privatization fetish.

  2. Here is our biggest problem with the state enforcement arm (police).

    They have devolved into a criminal enterprise.

    Without exception, every police officer, sheriff, deputy, federal officer, and local constabulary knows other officers that have committed felonies in under the color of authority or have themselves committed felonies under the color of their authority. This activity is not only covered up and not prosecuted but in many cases encouraged.

    This "Blue line" has become a brotherhood of corruption from top to bottom creating a new class of "more equal than others" the resentment will cause severe problems in a breakdown. They will reap the lack of mercy they have shown to the "other livestock" in the end.

  3. That's right Bret, all that corruption only happens in the movies. What planet are you living on?

  4. Not the one where sleeping with a gun under my pillow is the highest form of security.

    How is Pandora this time of year?


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