Oh, look, a Houston police consultant telling us all what is not the beginning of a police state…
Stop-question-and-frisk must yield in the face of the Fourth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Despite its detractors, the approach is more of a velvet glove than an iron fist. This policy has its faults but, in my opinion, it is not the beginning of a “police state” that the civil libertarian critics would profess it to be.
…but conveniently fails to provide the answer to the question: “If this isn’t the beginning of a police state, then what is?” One of the commenters to that piece pretty much beat me to the punch:
How do you think police states start? Do you think they start one morning when a bunch of jack-booted thugs in uniform descend on the populace with no advance warning?
Of course not. Police states start when the ruling elite of the state realize they can get the people to give up their rights by promising them safety and security. As the people become more and more dependent on the state to protect them from who knows what, more and more rights are given up, until the population is completely cowed by the authority of the state.
In our country today, the civilian police forces have become militarized to the point that they are now a standing army in our midst, a situation warned against by the founders of this nation. The war on drugs continues to provide justification for militarizing the police, and spews out money for their armaments. Once the police have military style armaments, you can bet they’ll find any excuse to use them. SWAT teams these days are called out for trivial incidents, and the police seem to be taking an “us versus them” attitude toward the citizens they are sworn to protect.
Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have been able to convince people like you that it’s better to give up constitutional rights in exchange for the illusion of safety and security. They have disarmed the people of New York in violation of their Second Amendment rights, and are denying them their Fourth Amendment rights by subjecting them to unreasonable searches. Police have unlawfully entered peoples’ houses and stationed themselves there during manhunts in violation of the Third Amendment. Which amendment will fall next? Maybe the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury, as the police decide to execute “street justice”? How about the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble?