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Blood in the Water

Blood in the Water

Some people seem think: "Whatever you do, don't provoke the police officer. Otherwise it's your fault."

Funny, I thought police were human beings, not sharks who smell blood in the water whenever you assert your rights.

It does not matter what happens, what a police officer does, you will find in any comment stream no shortage of defenses and justifications for the actions of the police officer.

This is usually done in the context of a white police officer clearly going overboard against a black suspect. In these cases, you will routinely hear that the victim, in fact, brought it upon themselves. The police officer is assumed to be an honorable person, just doing their job. A hard job, they'll say, which pits the police officer against the worst of humanity.

Strangely, no such compassion or attempt to understand the victim is ever given.

But what bugs me most is this: The idea that even if it's unreasonable, you should just do whatever the police officer says, otherwise what happens to you is your fault.

To attempt to appeal to these authoritarians, these people who seem to blindly accept that whatever a police officer requests, you should do, or else you had it coming, how about a different, more right-wing example?

Let's say you are carrying a gun, walking down the street. You have a license for it, you have a clean bill of mental health, you have never been accused or guilty of any crime, except for, say, something non-violent you did once when you were younger.

Let's say a cop comes up to you, and asks to see your license for the gun.

Maybe you live in a state where that isn't required, and you are of the opinion that giving in to unreasonable requests is the surest way to lose your freedoms, so you inform the officer that unless he suspects you are guilty of a crime, or are about to commit a crime, he has no right to ask you to produce your license. Where it is, in fact, illegal for the officer to detain you for that very purpose.

(Yes, in Georgia, though it is illegal to carry without a license for your gun, officers are not allowed to stop you for the sole purpose of confirming that the gun you're carrying has a license.)

So let's say you refuse, because you know your rights. You inform the officer that according to HB60 subsection c, the police officer in question is not allowed to detain you for this purpose.

Let's say the officer then tells you to step to one side of the sidewalk. Let's say you refuse, citing that it's a public sidewalk and he has no authority to require you to do that, as you have committed no crime, and that everything you are doing right now is absolutely, by the book, "legal".

Now...you might be a ballsy sonofabitch. You might laugh in the face of danger. You might be a stupid idiot who is happy to get just this sort of confrontation so you can educate the police on just what they are, and are not, allowed to do.

But you are carrying a gun. The cop asked you to step to one side of the sidewalk.

Now....are you in any way obligated to move to one side of the sidewalk, simply because the police officer demanded it, though you have committed no crime?

No, you are not.

But should you?

You should only if...

You assume that cops will routinely violate the law, and that not doing so may lead to your arrest, or death.

You should not, however, if...

You expect that cops will know the law, and will not routinely violate the law, and that they will, in fact, be punished severely for violating the law that they are sworn to uphold.

Anyone saying that the person who has done nothing wrong, who fully understands their rights, should comply with a police officer's every request that is contrary to the law clearly expects that police routinely violate the law.

So maybe the problem isn't that people are asserting their rights.

Maybe the problem is that police routinely violate the law.

And maybe the bigger problem is that there are people out there who routinely let them get away with it, and blame the outcome on the victim.

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