Skip to main content _

Barry Crimmins

words to live near


political satirist Barry Crimmins

True Stories From the Files of the Police State Wednesday, September 19, 2007

True Stories From the Files of the Police State
Generally I'd place this story in the "news you don't need" dumpster but I have a crazy idea concerning OJ Simpon's latest arrest. Give him a fair trial and don't prejudge him. The last time Simpson faced criminal charges, he skated because the African-American community knows how the system is rigged. The racist Mark Furman (hope I misspelled his name) guaranteed Simpson's freedom by simply smelling like the evidence-planting pig he was. In all likelihood a murderer walked free because of it.

When the issue of crime comes up we're always hearing how our society has become too permissive-- I couldn't agree more! It's become much too permissive -- for the police. It's reached the point where 'peace officers" have no qualms aboutshooting bachelor partiers or tasering students asking questions of public officials. They rifle our e-mail with caprice, listen into our phone calls as if they were on our friends and families plan and lurk everywhere in hopes of adding incredible surcharges to our daily commutes.

They seize property in a manner that would give Genghis Khan pause and round up and confine adolescents of color as if they were Cornish game hens. They cast a sullen pall upon all who dare enter their presence. I recently heard of a man who was pulled over for "making eye contact with an officer."  There are some cops who are still OK but more and more of them look upon the civilian population as an enemy -- an enemy that needs some justice.

If you think we need drug testing I agree-- we need drug testing for cops-- specifically for steroid using cops. Anyone who was at the protests surrounding the 2004 RNC Convention in New York had to have seen the seething, no-necked, pimply, buzzcut, probable illegal drug users of whom I speak.  

I have long wanted to see the unexpurgated footage from that show COPS. Considering how stupid the police sound when they're just driving along explaining their views of society, I can only imagine the idiocy that's left on the editing room floor. I'm guessing there are at least a few treatises on "the coming race war.". And a crew of MIT Doctoral candidates couldn't reasonably estimate the number of times "get that nigger!" (not to mention , "Take that, nigger!") has been snipped before FOX airs the show that celebrates the men and women of law enforcement.

In fairness, some big city uniformed cops can be quite reasonable, simply because the realities of the street put them into a position where borrowing trouble just means more paperwork. But the undercover narcs? Screw them. If they want to do something about the drug problem then they should become social workers because until there is a war on despair, the war on drugs will always be a waste of time and a losing cause.

Worst of all is the put-upon attitude projected by law enforcement, cops behave as if they are always the wronged and misunderstood parties. This is particularly true on those rare occasions when they are faced with the possibility that they might actually be held accountable for their misdeeds. When a cop faces charges, the defense fund's coffers swell, the news is overrun with jingoistic spokespersons talking about the mistreatment of an officer who "puts his life on the line for us." We're told that we are ingrates if we expect police officers to be held to the same rule of law that they are supposed to be enforcing. Challenge a cop and learn  the strength of his union. Of course when your union goes on strike that same cop will be standing in front of your place of work, looking for all the world like an employee of the company that's screwing you over.

Slowly but surely the police have become societal drill sergeants and all but the very wealthy have have become their battered recruits. And you know what? It's a bunch of shit.... and far too many cops still dine on it.

So excuse me if I take no glee in what looks to be a set-up of OJ Simpson. And mark my words-- if this case goes to trial and the jury has people of color on it, he will walk again. This time it might actually mean that justice was served.

Now for another True Story From the Files of the Police State please check my good friend Paul Krassner's latest offering.