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Ferguson SWAT Team: No Photos, or You Go to Jail

Written by Gary North on August 15, 2014

A reporter in a McDonald’s took a photo of a SWAT team member in Ferguson. The cop roughed him up and then arrested him. The cop would not say who he was. The story is here.

Cops have carte blanche when there are riots outside. This includes inside a McDonald’s.

Lawyer John Whitehead describes what is happening. The voters are on the side of the cops. Precedents get set. The ratchet of state power moves up a notch.

The ratchet moved up sharply after 9-11. It is now moving up in home towns.

The difference between what happened in Boston in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosion and what is happening now in Ferguson, Missouri, is not in the government’s response but in the community’s response.

This is what happens when you ignore the warning signs.

This is what happens when you fail to take alarm at the first experiment on your liberties.

This is what happens when you fail to challenge injustice and government overreach until the prison doors clang shut behind you.

Consider that it was just a little over a year ago that the city of Boston was locked down while police carried out a military-style manhunt for the suspects in the Boston Marathon explosion. At the time, Americans welcomed the city-wide lockdown, the routine invasion of their privacy, and the dismantling of every constitutional right intended to serve as a bulwark against government abuses.

Fast forward 14 months, and Americans are shocked at the tactics being employed to quell citizen unrest in Ferguson, Missouri–a massive SWAT team, an armored personnel carrier, men in camouflage pointing heavy artillery at the crowd, smoke bombs and tear gas–where residents are outraged and in the streets in response to a recent police shooting of one of their own: a young, unarmed college-bound black teenager who had the misfortune of being in the wrong time at the wrong place.

Here’s the problem, though, as I explain in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, in the American police state that now surrounds us, every time and every place is the wrong time and the wrong place, especially if you still believe you have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

In the American police state, there is no longer such a thing as innocence. We are all potentially guilty, all potential criminals, all suspects waiting to be accused of a crime.

Why is this happening?

(For the rest of the article, click the link.)

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10 thoughts on “Ferguson SWAT Team: No Photos, or You Go to Jail

  1. Mixed feelings about this one. Cops acting with anonymity can easily ignore your rights with impunity. But the criminal element (be it rioters, druggies or garden variety thugs) being able to identify the cops puts them and their families in danger. Death threats against the still unnamed officer in the Ferguson case have been received since day one.

    "Fast forward 14 months, and Americans are shocked at the tactics being employed to quell citizen unrest in Ferguson, Missouri–a massive SWAT team, an armored personnel carrier, men in camouflage pointing heavy artillery at the crowd, smoke bombs and tear gas–where residents are outraged and in the streets in response to a recent police shooting of one of their own: a young, unarmed college-bound black teenager who had the misfortune of being in the wrong time at the wrong place."

    Until all the facts are in, I call BS on this statement. Forensics seem to indicate that the "victim" tried to take the cop's gun. What do they want, school crossing guards to confront the rioters and looters, most of whom came in from elsewhere at the behest of the "Runnin' Reverends"?

  2. Turns out the poor harmless black that was shot and killed was a suspect in a robbery moments earlier. There are still photos a video of the convenience store reporting the robbery, showing a huge hulking black roughing up a poor tiny convenience store clerk, who most likely is Indian or Arab. The suspect looks very much like the poor, decent "yoof" that was killed. So much for the phony black "outrage" which is nothing but cloaking for burning and looting.

  3. "Officer Friendly" was murdered by a SWAT team during a no knock raid on his home at 0-dark-thirty. Unfortunately, they hit the wrong address, but despite killing Officer Friendly, his dog, and his wife, and burning the house down around them, the SWAT officers were found to have done no wrong and to have conducted themselves in accordance with department policies and guidelines on the use of force.

  4. It's crazy, but our soldiers in combat (and border agents) have tighter restrictions and rules of engagement than some police departments do against legal citizens of this country.

    I believe that the vast majority of police officers are still reasonable, rational, and committed to both serve and protect – however there is no question that there is a trend toward a militarization of the police in ways that do not distinguish between criminal enterprises requiring that level of firepower, and law-abiding citizens sitting peacefully in their own homes or walking outside, breaking no law.

    You can make a good case that much of this stems from the ill-conceived efforts to enforce a Prohibition on certain substances, as well as from the legitimate threats to security and safety posed by the Islamist jihad, and you would be correct.

    Nothing has the ability to take what might have been a good or necessary idea at the time, and to corrupt and morph it into an atrocity, quite like politicians and bureaucrats acting under the rubric of "government".

    Government is a blunt-force instrument. As the saying goes, Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

  5. Our police are becoming the Gestapo & this has to be stopped-NOW!

  6. Not reveling the facts immediately is almost surely a coverup.

  7. It is time to prosecute anyone that take a Oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC.
    A few good cases with stiff penalties would reinforce that the oath is not just a formality, but a REQUIREMENT with consequences,

  8. Let's see, there are photos and videos of the "Good kid who was about to go to college" doing something illegal. But he was unarmed and innocent. The cop recognized him as a suspect and, because he was black, should have looked the other way. Instead, he was doing his job and you can bet he was defending himself against a big boy bully who was used to getting his way because of his size and being a bully. Can you say "Resisting arrest"?

  9. The courts have ruled police have “no expectation of privacy” when they are committing crimes in public (like the choke-hold murder of Eric Garner, or this one). Michael Brown was walking towards the cops with his hands in the air saying, “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” They killed him anyway.

    The police are killing conservative church-going whites, poor black teenagers and homeless people to send a message to all Americans.

  10. Robert What? says:

    I grew up at a time when we were taught that the policeman was our friend and we automatically looked up to them. I hate to say it but I don’t feel like that anymore. The bond of trust between the police and the greater public has been broken. I hope that it has not been broken irretrievably, but that is that is completely up to the police.