Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do not trust the police (Wendy McElroy)

Wendy McElroy has two more examples that vividly illustrate why we should never trust the police:

Two more news items that illustrate why you should not trust "the authorities" (by which I mean, governmental authorities) this case, specifically, the police.

News Item One with the moral...expect the police/authorities to steal from you if they think they can get away with it; keep receipts and do not needlessly display your goods. Do not expect the authorities to be punished if caught in outright theft.

A headline from the Inquirer (Nov. 20): Copper stole my XBox. A black man Kenyatta Hillman was pulled over for speeding in Florida but, instead issuing a speeding ticket, the deputy confiscated his XBox. Why? Because the deputy claimed to smell marijuana. None was found but, nevertheless, the deputy concluded that a discovered XBox with 8 eight games was stolen property. A check on the serial number did not produce a report of stolen goods. The policeman confiscated in case a report came in.

As commentator Nick Farrell observes, This is a novel police tactic. You have no evidence that equipment is stolen, but you can take it anyway. On that basis we would have thought that coppers could empty a large number of people's homes on the basis that some gear might be stolen.

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