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Article posted Feb 16 2014, 3:17 PM Category: Tyranny/Police State Source: Logan Albright Print

Free Speech and the Police

by Logan Albright

The traffic cop stands alone as one of the most unpleasant and unnecessary forms of law enforcement. Under the halfhearted guise of protecting public safety a pretense that no one really buys into these government agents spend most of their time extracting revenue from motorists for violating arbitrary and unscientific standards, and who are for the most part posing no significant risk to anyone.

Still, it is one thing when a passing policeman happens to witness a traffic violation and takes action to correct it, and quite another when he lays a deliberate trap to catch unwary drivers a sneaky and, it seems to me, rather unsporting way of conducting the business of law enforcement.

Even worse, however, is when the same officers lying in wait to spring one of these speed traps attempt to penalize an honest citizen who, apart from following the law himself, encouraged others to do the same. This was the situation in Missouri when good Samaritan Michael Elli faced a fine of $1000 for flashing his headlights in order to warn drivers of an upcoming speed trap.

It's a little baffling how, in any sense, such an action could possibly be considered a crime. After all, the effect of Elli's actions was undoubtedly to reduce speeding, as drivers slowed to avoid getting ticketed by police. If the purpose of speed limits is to promote safety, then surely what Elli did must be considered a public service, mustn't it?

Of course, the existence of such a fine indicates in no uncertain terms that public safety is not, in fact, the goal behind most traffic laws. The only explanation for why police should be upset about the warning is that their department was deprived of the revenue from ticketing those caught in the speed trap. Speed traps have nothing to do with making us safer, and everything to do with taking our money.

Thankfully, a federal judge has since ruled that Elli's punishment cannot legally be enforced. After all, the only action the man engaged in was communicating information to others, a form of speech protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It is unquestionably the right call, but the fact that it even had to be made is troubling in itself. In a less enlightened case, last year, a man was sentenced to eight months in prison for teaching people how to beat polygraph tests, even though they are a grossly flawed form of evidence not admissible in any court of law.

The fact that law enforcement officials think it is appropriate, not only to entrap people for minor traffic violations that infringe upon the rights of no one, but to forcefully punish a man for actually reducing criminal activity, is a sad commentary on the true agenda of our supposed protectors.

More knowledge is always in the interests of freedom, and speech, whether it be expressed verbally, through writing, over the internet or even in the form of flashing lights, is how knowledge is spread. We should always be highly suspicious of any efforts by the state to limit speech, and by extension the spread of knowledge.

The function of law enforcement it's only proper function is the protection of individual rights. When the law is used to harass, to bully, to squash the spread of information and to extract money from the citizenry so that the government can spend it, it ceases to be about protection and becomes instead a tool of oppression.
_
Logan Albright is a writer and economist in Washington, DC.





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Comments 1 - 5 of 5 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 16 2014, 5:21 PM

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174254 <The function of law enforcement .....is the protection of individual rights.> - Logan Albright

More contradictions.... Who are the individuals, that the police are protecting "rights" for?
Police are employed by the state, they enforce the state's laws, and, their job title does not even exist, without a system of law; (brought about by government / the state). Needless to say, the notion that police protect "individual rights," is nonsense, when speaking on behalf of the masses. And, when applied to the *rules of logic* the notion is completely obliterated, for "rights" are inherent; cannot be protected, nor, written-up by statutes.

The government is running low on cons, this story speaks to that. I suppose this means, Obama's head is on the chopping block again? It astounds me, the lengths government will go to, in order to avoid the truth; especially, with all the chemical and mind-busting weaponry they have at their disposal.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 16 2014, 6:50 PM

Link
99132 Do you have these symotoms?

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GET RID OF THESE FUCKING DISTURBING ADS.


Anonymous

Posted: Feb 17 2014, 2:02 AM

Link
174240 @99132, do you have a link?

If government were to simply rid themselves of exceptions, people like you, and, your offspring, would regress to the primal herd, would they not? I'm not opposed to letting human beings disband and regress; seems like the right thing to do, in my view anyways, however, before you throw in your 2 cents ("1 cent" actually, for your mirror is synthetic) you might consider the implications to your own position on the hierarchy.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 18 2014, 3:13 PM

Link
108242 The government is US. Not them. So in essence, we allow this to continue. We have the power to stop it, if we chose not to be afraid anymore. Police are not even Constitutionally authorized, deputies/Sheriff's are, but not police officers. So why do we allow them? Because we're idiots for not doing our homework and then getting rid of them, by force. You can't vote out bureaucrats, which is what cops are, street-level ones, but bureaucrats nonetheless whose allegiance is to the government who pays it's paycheck (us really) and to the unions who protect their asses. Cops aren't needed & society could get along just fine without them.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 21 2014, 11:49 PM

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10842 @108242, "The government is US." Forgive my rudeness here, but "US" is both a group word, and, an acronym for: United States; neither of which, I ever agreed to play a part in. There's more to this site *than meets eye* - similar to the "Transformer's" theme song.

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