Sometimes, I get passionate about a stance, and it can give an impression about my beliefs that isn’t true. So, in an effort to clear up some confusion, I’d like to give you a clear understanding of my thoughts on law enforcement, motorcycle clubs, and understanding the power of power.
First, cops. I believe this country would be shit without them. Of course we need law enforcement!! If someone is breaking into my apartment, I want to pick up my cell phone, dial 9-1-1 and have them rush to my rescue. We really do have one of the best systems of justice in the world.I can reasonably drive safely because fear of traffic tickets has begotten the wisdom for us all to drive a certain speed, in certain lanes, and obey traffic signals. If everyone does their part the way we were supposed to, then the chances an innocent person would get railroaded going through our justice process are really slim. Justice is meted out to the guilty in proper measure. Ahh..but there’s the catch, right? With a multi-faceted system, there is an increased chance that someone along the line is going to do something wrong. It could be anyone from the arresting officer all the way up to the judge. But because we do have such a cool system, we citizens can kick and scream whenever short-cuts are taken, or authority is misused.
Like the bikers, there are actually law enforcement members of my family that I have no beef with. My sister Alexa is married to cop, and he loves her. He has supported her through the loss of their baby daughter, her cancer, and taking care of our sick mother. I know Alexa, and she isn’t too different from me when it comes to those in authority over us. Lol… No one was more surprised she married a cop than I was, except maybe Alexa herself! But this guy, who has been in our family for a long time now, has something other cops don’t have in my world – a face, name, history, triumphs and wounds. I don’t see a cop when I see him. I see a brother. On the other end of that specter, I’ve been targeted more than once by law enforcement agents who felt that it just didn’t make any sense that I wasn’t a drug mule for the mob, and because they had such a scary, narrow view of who the people were in this large organization, they felt the ends justified the means. They followed me around for months, walked into my home without knocking, and I suspect, listened to my phone calls for at least a couple of years. All for what? I wasn’t the kind of person they ASSUMED I would be, and they set out to prove my guilt, never questioning whether or not I truly was innocent.
It is always a fine line between deciding the importance between two things — protecting the innocent or punishing the guilty. Which should a person err on the side of? Should innocent people be locked up just so that the one or two criminals in their midst are taken off the streets? Is that the kind of justice any of us want? To me, that is the turn we are taking as a society. Obviously, I’m not the only one who thinks this. Americans all across this nation are questioning tactics, motivations, and by doing so, they are holding at bay the ability to collect too much power by these authoritative agencies and their agents.
It is okay to ask the people put in charge of our security questions about their tactics, their motives, and their general opinion of the people they are supposed to protect and serve. Only those with something to hide would take offense to that. If we as a society want to hold on to our freedoms, we’d better get comfortable questioning the standard line, and make sure those in charge over us are comfortable answering to us.
One response to “Protecting the Innocent vs. Punishing the Guilty”
[…] conjunction with Where Do We Draw the Line? and Protecting the Innocent vs. Punishing the Guilty, I found this story today that really drives home the subversive way we are manipulated by the […]