Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Every Cop's A Criminal

(Warning: if your boss is the picky type then this post is Not Safe For Work, because it includes a certain obscene word mentioned multiple times. But that rude, potentially NSFW language doesn't come from Your Humble Writer Here; no, YHWH is merely quoting verbatim transcripts from New York police officers at work and interacting with law-abiding members of their own community. If you find disturbing the thought "So if we're an ostensibly free country, yet can't even quote our own police officers at work without risking our own livelihoods, then what if anything are the implications of compatibility between such police behavior and 'free country' status," well, me too.)

One of the great things about my no longer living in Connecticut is, I'm no longer tempted to take day trips into New York City. Too dangerous. And, as with my reluctance to go on airplanes so long as TSA still diddles everyone who flies: it's not the Official Criminals I'm afraid of, but the law-enforcement extensions of my government. If an OC attacks me, at least I have the legal right to try to either escape, fight back or at the very least yell at him to get the hell away from me; do any of this with a cop flexing his authority muscles and you're under arrest.

Over at the Daily Dot, I give an introductory explanation of New York City's longtime "stop and frisk" program while discussing the latest police-abuse story: an audiorecording of New York's finest accosting an unarmed black teenager, threatening to "break [his] fucking arm" and "punch [his] fucking face" and arrest him for "being a fucking mutt." Such police behavior in a stop-and-frisk is not atypical but having a recording of it is; the New York Civil Liberties Union has released a free phone app so future stop-and-frisk victims will be able to record their experiences, too.


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