Dear PoliceOne.com readers/supporters,
Hello, my name is Ademo Freeman. I’m a contributor at CopBlock.org, which is a decentralized organization that provides an outlet to share and discuss police encounters. CopBlock.org is for everyone to use and therefore has several goals, depending on who you ask. My intention for CopBlock.org is to educate others about their rights, rights that are all too often stomped on by police officers, and to show others how to monitor the police. I wish the site didn’t have the demand it does, but there seems to be a clamor for better policing.
Which is what I’d like to address, with respect to the recent blog post titled: Letter From the Editor: Abuse On PoliceOne’s Facebook Page.
PoliceOne.com members are upset that “cop haters” are trolling their FB page. There was one man, Matt, that was making threats and being hateful, but I haven’t seen him comment there in quite a while. Still, one person is hardly a problem, and even with the limited tools FB offers, he could’ve easily been removed. Also, the majority of people are merely trying to talk with each other and the PoliceOne.com staff on the FB page, precisely what it is there for. I think PoliceOne.com and its commenters are blindly labeling anyone with a different point of view on policing as a ‘cop hater’ – CopBlock’s own Brett Perry was banned from posting there and I know he’d never engage in anything other than civil debate.
Why I’m NOT a Cop Hater and why Cop Haters are not trolling PoliceOne.com:
It’s not individual cops I dislike, rather, I feel the institution itself (including federal and state government) is the problem. The police have a nearly infinite number of tasks that put them in very dangerous situations on a daily basis. Police are routinely put in harm’s way during everything from basic traffic stops to full on SWAT raids. Not to mention the means by which modern policing is funded, which I’ll touch on later, but it’s another reason why people are asking so many questions of those who “serve and protect” these days.
A significant contributing factor to PoliceOne.com’s FB troll problem is themselves. They label anyone who doesn’t immediately offer their undying support of LEO’s and their families a “cop hater.” This type of behavior only reinforces the US vs THEM mentality that already persists between LEO’s and civilians. This is likely a direct reflection of police officers’ training, since they are taught to treat everyone as a potential suspect. When in the real world this just isn’t true, the vast majority of people are peaceful and non-violent.
The Police Officer’s Argument:
Officers often resort to statements like the ones made by Tammy Miller (right), “You can’t blame cops for doing their job.” She goes on saying, “that [drug laws] isn’t our fault, we didn’t decide to do that.”
To me, this is extremely hard to understand. Everyone is responsible for their own actions, are they not? But applying Tammy’s logic, if I hold a gun to someone’s head – because I’m told to by my employer – and then I shoot them because I’m ordered (or bound by law) to do so, am I not ultimately responsible for that person’s death. Again, under Tammy’s (and many officers’) logic, I’d be able to say I was just doing what I was told to do, it’s my job and I can’t “pick and choose” which orders to follow or laws to enforce.
That’s just ridiculous, you can’t remove the responsibility from yourself because you were instructed to do something. If you don’t say NO, I won’t shoot this person and you instead shoot them, YOU ARE responsible for their death. You and you alone.
The same goes for police officers who arrest people for using substances the government deems illegal. People should have the freedom to put what they want into their bodies, without fear of being dragged off by men with guns. Yet an officer routinely tells those in opposition to these laws (and the concomitant duties of an officer to enforce them) to take it up with lawmakers. Politicians then do the same thing -pass the buck – stating, “I represent the people and this is what the people want.” When the point is you own your own body, no one, not a politician, a cop, a teacher or your parents for that matter have the right to tell you what you can or cannot put in your body. And they don’t magically get that right by getting together and taking a vote, either.
The fact is that a LEO is the only profession that is allowed (because the governments exempts itself ) to get away with such direct, personal abuse of others right to do as they wish with their own bodies. Even still, this disagreement wouldn’t even be an issue if protection was left to the consumer to decide. Those who wanted to pay for such services could, and those who didn’t want to, wouldn’t. Instead, everyone is forced to pay taxes, and we have little to no say at all in what the police do.
Where We Agree (or so I hope):
I think we would agree if people (not just LEO’s) would look openly at protection from a business perspective. Above anything else discussed on PoliceOne.com or at CopBlock.org, the number one issue for those opposed to the institution of government policing today is the funding. Regardless of whether you would pay more, less or anything at all for protection, the fact is none of us are allowed that freedom to choose. The government has monopolized the protection industry and provides us with a one-size-fits-all solution. None of us have the choice to instead buy a gun(s), security system or to hire a private agency (for more, less or the same as now) to look after our property, persons, ect.
Is it “anti-cop” to want to spend my own, hard earned money how I see fit? Wouldn’t it be a better solution, not only for the consumer, but those in the industry (LEOs) as well, to allow individuals to set the price and level of services for protection agencies by market demand? Maybe then police could focus on real crimes with actual victims, finding that stolen car or TV, monitoring people’s property at their request, keeping stores safe from robberies and much more. Then when Police Agency A does something I dislike or feel is a violation of my rights, we can skip the big debate on who’s right or wrong, all the griping about how hard it is to be an officer, and avoid spending millions of dollars in legal fees. I can simply make my decision, based on my experience, to hire a different agency (or choose another method) to protect myself. That would cost Police Agency A revenue, and if they kept that behavior, up they would eventually go out of business when everyone took their money to Police Agency B, C or D.
So I ask today’s LEO’s these questions:
If you didn’t write the law and I didn’t sign the law (nor agree to it in any way) then what are we doing? Someone you and I don’t know told you to arrest me, though I haven’t done anything to you, because they pay you with money they get from me? Do you see how removed those legislators who make said laws are from the actual act of enforcement? Not to mention the pure madness of being forced (via taxation) to pay for people with guns to came and take you to jail, or to throw others in jail who haven’t harmed you, and that you wouldn’t voluntarily pay to have incarcerated.
At what point will you say no? If the line isn’t what a person puts in their bodies, a basic concept of self-ownership, then where is it for you? For example, if the government said possession of ketchup was illegal, would you still arrest people for possession of ketchup? Would you still use ketchup?
Should police be paid for by taxes, via the government? What are the benefits of this? Do you think police would still exist as they do now if the government didn’t provide for them? Is there anything your job requires that you absolutely don’t like doing? And what is it?
We’re open to conversation here and hope that more LEO’s provide feedback to us because we’re not anti-cop, we’re pro-people (allowing the freedom of choice) and believe in voluntary agreements, instead of the one-sizes-fits-all “choice” (with an extremely high price tag) that the government has been offering us.
The times are changing, the government is broke and at some point you might have to make a choice between your employer (the government that gave you your badge) and the rest of society. I hope that before that day comes, you see the role you play in the government’s continued oppression of people’s rights. Remember that most of us, the large majority of us, want the same things you do out of life, we’re not your enemy.