Wednesday, 07 April 2010

Protecting Us From Pregnant Speed-Demons

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Becky AkersSo how many cops does it take to subdue a “visibly” expectant mother? Three, in the police State of Washington — providing their trusty Tasers are handy.

Malaika Brooks was driving her 12-year-old son to school when a couple of cops pulled her over for doing 32 MPH in a 20-MPH school-zone. Ms. Brooks “insisted it was the car in front of her that was speeding, and refused to sign the ticket because she thought she'd be admitting guilt.” Speeding and insisting on her Fifth-Amendment rights: talk about a crime spree! No wonder our two gutless wonders “called for backup.” You know how dangerous pregnant, uncooperative lead-foots can be. When Sgt. Steven Daman of the Seattle Police Department arrived, he joined his subordinates in browbeating Ms. Brooks; one of the trio asked their victim, who is black, if she could read.

Even law-and-order fanatics must admit that Ms. Brooks’ “offenses” are about as minor as they come; a judge would later call them “trivial” and add that the lady “had no weapons and had not harmed or threatened to harm a soul.” Yet three leeches had nothing better to do on a Tuesday morning than mock and abuse her.

Meanwhile, “school zone” is only another of the State’s infinite array of ploys for robbing us of the pittance we retain after paying taxes and licensing fees — though this one comes wrapped in the sacrosanct excuse of children’s safety. Odd, then, that there’s so much fluctuation across time and location in the speed our rulers deem “safe”: apparently parts of California with their limit of 25 MPH care less about kids than 15-MPH Florida in the 1970’s (and other areas of California as well as Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania and several other states that currently impose 15 MPH).

If a variance of 60 percent isn’t enough to persuade us that these silly laws have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with revenue, there’s this from a study “sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services”: “Many jurisdictions establish special speed limits for streets in the vicinity of schools during certain hours of the day in response to the public perception that lower speeds improve safety…" I italicized “perception” because that’s all it is: “Studies of the effectiveness of school zone limits, however, have generally found poor driver compliance, particularly when the limits are set very low, and no relationship between pedestrian crashes and the special limits….” Even Leviathan confesses that the vaunted “school zone” serves no function beyond rooking drivers.

So let’s say Ms. Brooks was incorrect and speeding as police allege: she still menaced nothing beyond her own pocketbook. No doubt that’s why our valiant public servants decided to arrest her. And when Ms. Brooks contested that bit of tyranny by refusing to leave the safety of her car, the cops threatened to Taser her.

And did, no less than three times after one of her assailants “employed a pain compliance technique,” — oh, the jargon by which State cloaks its viciousness! Plainly put, the ruffian deliberately hurt her to show her who’s boss — “bringing Brooks’s left arm up behind her back, whereon Brooks stiffened her body and clutched the steering wheel in order to frustrate her removal from the car.” Really? When thugs try to dislocate your arm, your body reflexively “stiffens” regardless of plans to “frustrate” anyone. “Officer [Donald M.] Jones discharged the Taser against Brooks’s thigh, through her sweat pants, which caused Brooks ‘tremendous pain.’ She began to yell and honk the car’s horn. Within the next minute, Officer Jones tased her two more times, against her shoulder and neck…,” permanently scarring her. No matter: the redoubtable “Officers [Juan M.] Ornelas and Jones …dragged Brooks from her car and laid” this seven-months’ pregnant mother “on her stomach in the street. She continued yelling for help and told the Officers they were hurting her stomach. They held her down until they had handcuffed her…” Ms. Brooks “was immediately” — or so the State claims — “seen by medical professionals, and two months later delivered a healthy baby.” That despite the best efforts of Seattle’s police.

There was a time when cowards who ganged up against a pregnant woman, let alone roughed her up and tortured her, would never dare show themselves in public again. If the beatings other men dished out didn’t kill them, the scorn and ridicule would.

Yet we are so far gone in totalitarianism that these brutes not only continue stalking our streets, they even have their defenders. Indeed, two such sociopaths sit on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They overturned a lower court’s finding that “Brooks' rights were clearly violated,” decreeing instead that “we find the Officers’ use of force reasonable and not excessive under the Fourth Amendment…” For shame, that these pusillanimous poltroons slander the Constitution to justify barbarity. “Sergeant Steven Daman, Officer Juan Ornelas, and Officer Donald Jones (collectively ‘the Officers’)” are not rogue cops, the few bad apples who spoil an otherwise fine organization. No, we have it from the 9th Circuit that these bullies “acted reasonably and in accordance with the [Seattle Police Department’s] Use of Force Training Guideline.”

Increasingly, cops do not protect, they subjugate; they do not “serve,” they steal us blind for the State. Give me a good, honest thief any time: at least he’s smart enough to keep all of what he loots for himself, nor does he pester us with twaddle about how his assaults benefit us.

In his Notes on Democracy, H.L. Mencken lampooned the average American’s “veneration for policemen, in all the forms they take — his belief that there is a mysterious sanctity in law, however absurd it may be in fact. A policeman is a charlatan who offers, in return for obedience, to protect him (a) from his superiors, (b) from his equals, and (c) from himself. This last service, under democracy, is commonly the most esteemed of them all.”

That makes cops as fatal as democracy to freedom.

Becky Akers, an expert on the American Revolution, writes frequently about issues related to security and privacy. Her articles and columns have been published by, The Freeman, Military History Magazine, American History Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Post, and other publications.

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