An Open Letter to the Police
I recognize the risk officers take every day they put on their uniforms. There is the potential for each work day to be their last. It must take a considerable amount of courage to accept that possibility and continue to serve the public. I am writing to you as someone who firmly believes in the philosophy of self ownership and the non-aggression principle. I dedicate a lot of my free time to educating people about those two things in hopes of making our lives and your job easier.
Your profession requires a noble undertaking dedicated to the protection of property and persons from aggression (robbery, rape). Certainly most of you became a police officer to help and not harm people. It's unfortunate that your department heads and politicians both in D.C. and locally have perverted your purpose. They've done this by passing laws that constitutionally (both federal and state level) have no legal standing and by ordering quotas for arrests and tickets. The pressure to fill these quotas is great. Your superiors would rather you arrest someone even though they aren't breaking a law just to artificially lower the crime rate for the sake of their own pay raise.
I'd like to assure you that this is not your job. It is not your duty to break the law when ordered to nor is it your duty to enforce a law that isn't legal. So much public disdain has been created for the police force because you're asked to disregard probable cause, because you're ordered to violate the 4th amendment. Politicians have tried to legislate the individuals ability to defend themselves against aggression (robbery, rape) and left you solely responsible for every one's well being. You are a human being. You are not omnipresent. If someone pulls me into an alley to harm me, I am my own best defense primarily. Because NYC in particular frowns upon self-defense and punishes harshly in court, the burden and public outrage falls on your shoulders for not having the magical ability to materialize at the onset of danger.
I'm disturbed and saddened when I see instances of police brutality for a couple of reasons. 1) it's harped upon in the news to create a division between the public and the police. Hatred for the police is nurtured by the media, the consequence of enforcing illegal laws. Never do they bother to explain how this strife could have been avoided in the first place had some politician chosen not to meddle with the liberty of the individual. 2) Any person aggressing upon another is immoral and a crime and 2)
I am a 4th generation resident in the Bronx. From my parents to my great grandparents, my family knew police who didn't waste time giving people tickets for a hasty parking job to run into the laundromat to grab their order. The police they knew were primarily concerned with responding to peoples houses being broken into instead of ticketing someone for drinking a beer on their own front lawn. They were determined to track down car thefts instead of trying to dissuade someone from filing a report of theft. The police were friendly and approachable and could give you accurate directions if you needed. That is what I want again.
A police officer who is knowledgeable about my neighborhood and is primarily concerned with serving that neighborhood by bringing those who violate property rights to justice rather than have to be burdened with the BS of making a quota by any means necessary.
I want this so badly because I know there will be much protesting in the future. The protest going on currently on Wall st is peaceful. Yet, police have been ordered to pepper spray protesters, and arrest them. A growing number of officers are refusing to follow these orders. Anyone asking or demanding you aggress against a peaceful protester is a criminal themselves and you'd be better served putting them in cuffs. Those demands make your job harder because it breeds distrust and resentment of you by the rest of the public. It makes you a villain instead of the hero you intended to be by taking this job.
I know your job isn't easy, but it can be made a whole lot easier.
If you have any questions, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org