What is now happening to motorcycle outlaws in Australia and to a lesser extent in the United States illustrates the power of recently democratic governments to create a scapegoat class and punish members of that class as a public spectacle. The arrest in Vegas the other night of a lawyer named Stephen Stubbs illustrates the same underlying assumption – that the police can do whatever they want to you.
But, it is no longer just motorcycle outlaws and their lawyers who have every reason to fear and hate the police. Whether you are a left winger, a right winger, a tea partier, an occupy activist or a mealy-mouthed moderate, it should be obvious that the fundamental relationship between citizens of reputed democracies and the police has changed dramatically since nine-one-one.
The case two weeks ago of a New Mexico man named David Eckert should have proven that to the moderates who just want to live their lives in peace. Eckert was accused by police of clenching his buttocks after allegedly making a rolling stop in a Wal-Mart parking. Using that articulable, if fantastic, suspicion as a pretense a local judge issued a search warrant. Eckert was then detained for 14 hours and subjected to an abdominal E-Ray, two anal cavity searches, three forced enemas, anesthesia and a colonoscopy.
What happened to Eckert illustrates the reality of the new Sadistic State – a dysfunctional state that can barely govern but which jealously retains its unique power to control and punish. Because the Sadistic State is incapable of accomplishing basic governmental tasks like negotiating a budget or publishing a simple website it becomes ever more concerned with asserting its power over its citizens as an end in itself. That’s what is happening in the United States and there have been three banal examples of that in the last week.
The most broadly publicized of these was the attempted murder by police in New Mexico of a 39-year-old mother of five named Orianna Ferrel. Ferrel is not the most sympathetic of police victims. She was stopped for speeding near Santa Fe, got into an argument with the cop who stopped and her and drove off.
She was pursued, pulled over a second time and ordered out of her car. A brief and stupid drama ensued which included a brief scuffle between Ferrel’s 14-year-old son and the arresting officer. Ferrel, her son and her other children tried to lock themselves in their car and the policeman responded by smashing out her side windows. The window smashing prompted Ferrel to drive off again. As she did so a second policeman fired three bullets into her car.
The second pursuit lasted ten minutes. Ferrel’s lawyer says she ran because she was afraid for her children’s safety. Ferrel and her son were both arrested and Ferrel was charged with child endangerment, resisting arrest and reckless driving.
It should be clear to most reasonable people that Ferrel was guilty of multiple traffic violations. It should also be clear that she was shot at in order to punish her for disobeying the police.
Jim Howe, a 40-year-old father who lives in Crossville, Tennessee was arrested last week after trying to pick up his children from South Cumberland Elementary School.
Students at South Cumberland are done for the day at 2 p.m. But a recently implemented and remarkably stupid school policy requires students to stay at the school for an additional 35 minutes unless parents pick up their kids by car. The idea of the new rule is to prevent students from walking home by themselves before 2:35 p.m. But the new rule has created very long lines of traffic and Howe thought he could avoid the traffic by picking up his children and walking them home himself.
When attempting to retrieve his kids Howe was confronted by “School Resource Officer” Avery Aytes. The authoritarian Aytes resented Howe’s insistence that his kids were Howe’s responsibility and arrested Howe for disorderly conduct.
A woman named Kim Cope in Fort Worth has become a symbol of the national effort to collect DNA samples from all Americans. Although the Constitution asserts that Americans have an absolute right to be free of unreasonable searches the Sadistic State has begun to collect bodily fluids from citizens and database the information those fluids contain.
Cope was pulled over in North Fort Worth at a police enforced road block sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The idea of the road block was to determine how many drivers are driving drunk at any time. Cope’s blood alcohol level was measured by “passive sensors” at the time of her detention.
“It just doesn’t seem right that you can be forced off the road when you’re not doing anything wrong,” Cope, who was on her lunch break when she was stopped, told NBC affiliate KXAS. “I gestured to the guy in front that I just wanted to go straight, but he wouldn’t let me and forced me into a parking spot.”
Cope was offered $10 for a cheek-swab DNA sample and $50 for a blood sample. She declined both offers but agreed to blow into a breathalyzer for free. Technically, Texas is one of twelve states that forbids sobriety check points.
“I finally did the Breathalyzer test just because I thought that would be the easiest way to leave,” Cope told KXAS. “It just doesn’t seem right that they should be able to do any of it. If it’s voluntary, it’s voluntary, and none of it felt voluntary.”