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Recently, 10% of the police force in Seattle, Washington claimed that they had a Constitutional right to use excessive force.
While the case was dismissed, there are a lot of issues that have sprung out of it that need to be discussed.
We delve into some of these issues, and hope to shine some light on a very touchy subject: are cops getting more out of control?
The following are the show notes used in the recording of this episode. They are here for your reference and convenience.
Seattle Police Claim They Have a Right To Use Excessive Force
In Seattle, Washington, 125 police officers are claiming that they have a constitutional right to use excessive force whenever they deem it necessary to do so.
In the past year or so, the Seattle police department has revised its policies on when police officers can use force, which stemmed from a Justice Department finding that police officers there frequently used excessive and unconstitutional force against suspects.
This has led to the filing of a lawsuit by 125 Seattle officers, challenging these new policies and rules.
In their view, the new policies infringe on their rights to use as much force as they deem necessary in self-protection.
this amount of officers represents 10% of the police force in Seattle.
Now, the previous findings by the Department of Justice was that 1 in 5 cases of use of force by the SPD was a violation of constitutional rights. They also said that a vast majority of these were against minority residents. No surprise there, right?
Personally, I think that this lawsuit is total justification for 125 officers to lose their jobs.
Like, right now. Before they destroy more lives.
Why should they be immediately fired?
Why? I’ll give you a number of reasons.
Because it’s the right thing to do, first of all. There is already an excessive amount of ass covering by law enforcement officers and their departments. Ever hear of the code?
The same report that said that 1 in 5 uses of force were violations of the constitution also stated hat they knew there were more, because the SPD has a habit of training their officers to under report uses of force.
How about this? Because the public trust has been violated enough. Not just in this department, but across the nation
We have to be able to trust that the person behind the badge that we are dealing with has the best interest of the public in mind when they are protecting and serving.
Until that happens, none of us can be sure that a simple traffic stop for having your tail light busted won’t end up with you being shot 600 times by 33 officers afraid that you are holding a gun, when you are holding a cell phone.
Or how about this… they should be fired, since violating our constitutional rights should have been reason enough for them to be fired in the first place?
How about the fact that the law enforcement officers should, first and foremost, NOT BREAK THE DAMN LAW?
Or, and maybe this one is the most important reason… how about because someone hired to be a law enforcement officer should not be a psychopath without any moral fibre or empathy, and those are the ONLY sort of people who would consider trying to defend and protect their “right” to behave badly toward those they are charged to protect and serve.
They damn well should be fired. Immediately. Out of a cannon. Into a tar pit. On fire.
But I digress…
It WAS dismissed, BUT…
The judge in the case dismissed the lawsuit, finding that they were without constitutional merit, and that she would be surprised if the allegations of excessive force had NOT led to stricter rules.
Now, and here I will be quoting from an article on this from Think Progress,
” The officers claimed the policies infringed on their rights under their Second Amendment and under the Fourth, claiming a self-defense right to use force. Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman pointed out that the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms — not the right to use them — and that the officers “grossly misconstrued” the Fourth Amendment when they claimed that it protects them, and not individuals who would be the subjects of police force or seizures.”
Before I go on with this further, I wanted to point something out in the article to you. In case you missed it, it would be this part…
” pointed out that the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms — not the right to use them”
You’ve gotta love that slippery slope way of thinking, don’t you?
Here’s a federal judge saying that, with this case, we do not have the right to USE the arms we have. We can have them, sure, all we want. Just not use them.
I could go on about this part for hours, but I’ll let you go stew with that little thought for a little while.
Back to the case at hand.
Now, granted, this case was dismissed, and it’s a dead issue, but I really think this is important to speak about. These cops represent a LOT of police officers out there. Look at the numbers. 10% of the force stood up and said this is what they wanted.
How many more were behind the scenes hoping that it would end up happening?
A lot more, I would wager.
Questionnaire To Police Reveals Startling Facts…
In a recent questionnaire put out to police officers, one of the questions asked was, “Have you ever read the Constitution?” 20% said no, they had never read the constitution.
That’s a pretty sad thing, considering that is what they are there to protect, is it not?
25% said no when asked if they knew what the Constitution contains.
When asked, “If you thought that a legal law or ordinance was obviously in conflict with the American Constitution, would you still enforce the law?
72% said yes, they would still enforce it.
Guys, these are telling numbers and statements. Right there, 72% of law enforcement officers would enforce a law if they KNEW that it was unconstitutional.
It also asked if they were ordered to enforce an unconstitutional law by a supervisor, would they?
88% said they would.
Facts About A Police Officer’s True Duties
So let’s get some facts out for these guys, shall we?
First, the police are employees of the the government, they enforce law and are agents of the government. For all purposes in a discussion concerning the constitution, the police are the government and rights are meant to protect people from government acts.
Second, the police are granted the authority to enforce the law because of statutes. They do not have any “rights”. Instead, they are granted the authority to enforce the laws, statutes and regulations in their district by their commission.
Next, the rule of law has a top-down hierarchical system. The Constitution sits at the top, followed by statutory law, then regulations and finally policies. Each one from the bottom up trumps the last.
The constitution sits at the top of the heap, and is inviolate. The people have rights, and those rights must be enforced.
Do you see, folks?
If you are a police officer, and you are not enforcing the constitution first, you are creating yourself a a law unto yourself, and you are not only in violation of your oaths, you are in violation of the constitutional law that you are sworn to enforce.
We’re on a downhill slide, guys, and we need it to stop. It’s not the military you havce to be concerned about if the shit hits the fan. It’s the dark side police officers that will be doing their own thing that concerns me.
For you good guy cops out there, I salute you. Keep up what you do. We need a hell of a lot more of you around.