Police Have "Complete Power Over You"by Will Grigg
May. 07, 2014
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There is a tidy, one-word description of a system of government in which the state claims power over every aspect of a subject’s life: Totalitarianism. Ed Brown, the incumbent sheriff of North Carolina’s Onslow County, unwittingly displayed a totalitarian mindset in an advertisement for his re-election campaign.
According to the ad, which was written by the sheriff himself, “Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power over you, your life, your family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future and everything precious to life.”
After some local citizens objected to Sheriff Brown’s all-encompassing definition of law enforcement powers, Brown claimed that his critics had taken his words out of context. The sheriff insists that his intent was to say that the criminal justice system “covers and protects” every aspect of a citizen’s life. But this paternalistic view doesn’t alter the claim that police have power over citizens – in other words, that they are masters, rather than servants.
Peace officers are citizens who assist others in the protection of person and property. Such people are to be appreciated. Law enforcers view themselves as overseers of lesser people. That conceit has no place in a genuinely free society.