Ferguson: The Safety of Citizens is Lost with The Unaccountability of Police

Paul Craig Roberts (A Short Comment)

Events in Ferguson unfolded as most aware Americans thought they would. A white prosecutor guided a grand jury to the decision that the white policeman who shot and killed a young black male had just cause and committed no crime.

The black majority but politically powerless community in Ferguson consists of Americans who are constantly harassed and abused by police. The black community responded predictably to the exoneration of the white policeman. The results were riots, looting, and the destruction of property.

This response hardened the whites in their view that black people are criminally inclined and a threat to the safety of the lives and properties of whites. The issue has been cast as white-black racism. Actually, the situation is far more serious than racism.

I can remember times when police in America were reliable. They had themselves under control and saw their role as helpful to citizens and investigators of crimes. They took care not to bring charges against innocent people and to kill citizens without cause. Police would put their lives on line in order to avoid making a mistake in the use of their power.

Those times are gone forever. The police have been militarized, especially after 9/11, but even before. Police are taught to regard the public, especially any suspect or traffic offender as a potential threat to the police. The new rule taught to police is to apply violence to the suspect or offender in order to protect the police officer, and to question suspects only after they are safely secured, it they are still alive after being beaten, tasered, or shot.

This police training, together with police incompetence, which is difficult to understand in these days of GPS addresses, results in massive assaults in the homes of totally innocent American civilians who have done no wrong, but, despite their innocence, lose family members and pets to gratuitous police violence.

Taxpayers pay the police to investigate crimes, not to attack members of the public. But the police have been taught to see their role as protecting themselves from a criminally-inclined public, black and white.

Police reside in the executive branch, and since 9/11 the executive branch has succeeded in removing itself from accountability to law and to the Constitution. This unaccountability has filtered down to the militarized police who can now murder with impunity as their numerous murders of citizens are given a pass.
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Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President François Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution: An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct. His latest book is: How America Was Lost.
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Source: Paul Craig Roberts' Blog. Photo: © Getty
URL: http://www.a-w-i-p.com/index.php/2014/11/26/ferguson-the-safety-of-citizens

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