We are a "Do-it-Yourself" society
The police - like all government officials in the United States - get their power from We The People. Our forefathers made that clear in their writings and speeches. That was the essential element of our founding. Our forefathers wanted to make sure that the government they created knew where their power originated, and wanted to ensure that government power was subject to checks and balances. That is why they created co-equal branches of government, and why election of the leaders of two of those branches was the right of the people. Unfortunately, history's lesson on unchecked governmental power seems to have been forgotten in today's society.
I wrote a blog post today on my DWI Dude blog about an incident in Austin where a grandfather was detained by authorities for nothing more than walking his granddaughter down the road. The grandfather is white, and his granddaughter is black. Police told him they were investigating a possible kidnapping. Apparently, the officers are not aware that interracial relationships are commonplace in today's society.
Police today seem to be going to greater lengths with every citizen encounter to find a criminal charge to level on those they stop and detain. I don't know if they are using this as a secret tax - although I have argued that is precisely what they are doing in DWI enforcement - or if they are being trained to do this for some other governmental purpose. The problem is, however, that when the government we put in power treads too heavily on our backs, distrust and division are the eventual outcome. That only leads to more severe encounters, and eventually that tension will have to be released in one form or another.
This is an election year. And, while the economy is on the minds of many, our freedoms should be as well. All level of government is facing decisions whether to cut services or increase revenue. Raising taxes in an election year is not a feasible way to line government coffers for those officials who want to get re-elected. Thus, they have to find creative ways to generate the funds. You will likely see this with announcements of new and higher fees for services and information, and in the judicial and police arena you will see it through more arrests.
The best way to protect yourself against government encroachment is to know your rights and responsibility when it comes to dealing with the police. I encourage all readers to learn how to properly tell the police no without the fear of going to jail. America was founded as a "do-it-yourself" society. Our forefathers set up a system where those with the skill, drive, and determination could write their own destiny. Protecting your freedom is no different - it starts with you!
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