What Makes A Police State?

Police Line

I have long tried to convince people that the United States is well on its way to being a full-fledged police state. I’ve even written on “How Police States Are Born.” Despite the signs, people who I usually think of as intelligent still think I’m being — at best — eccentric. At worst, they just write me off as a nut job.

The truth is, the United States actually already is a police state. We just haven’t all been put on lockdown yet.

But we’re getting there. This past week, we’ve taken a major step forward, and the process has kicked into a higher gear.

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The Way SWAT Does Business

Lenco Bearcat G3

An article on Wikipedia — usually, if not always, a fair source of reliable information — notes:

The establishment of a standing army in Britain in 1685 by King James II and the later assumption of control over the British colonies in America by the British Army were controversial, leading to distrust of peacetime armies too much under the power of the head of state, versus civilian control of the military, resulting in tyranny.

Thomas M. Cooley, a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and the Jay Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, complained in his book, first published in 1868, that for those employed in such armies, “insult and outrage may appear quite in the line of duty.”

Today, few consider such namby-pamby concerns, fewer still even remember that the concerns were once prevalent amongst Americans, nor why.

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For Our Safety

Kick Ass Cop

One of the more frustrating things about being a criminal defense lawyer is that you get to see how sausage is made justice is undone on a daily basis. Ordinary people don’t see the great breadth of daily and banal violations of due process and other basic constitutional protections now epidemic in the United States.

But it does have repercussions….

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Goose-stepping Our Way to the Fourth Reich

Over on my other blog — I maintain FresnoCriminalDefense.com as my website and blog relating to more regional issues specific to my Fresno criminal defense office — I had the chance to respond to one of my readers who complained, among other things, that I was not being fair to law enforcement officers because I made allusions to the similarities between them and the enforcers of totalitarianism in Nazi Germany.

The timing could not have been more perfect.

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