Support Your Local Slave Patrol

by William Norman Grigg

Phyllis Bear, a convenience store clerk from Arizona, called the police after a customer threatened her. The disgruntled patron, seeking to purchase a money order, handed Bear several bills that were rejected by the store’s automated safe. Suspecting that the cash was counterfeit, Bear told him to come back later to speak with a manager.

The man had left by the time the cops arrived, and Bear was swamped at the register. Offended that she was serving paying customers rather than rendering proper deference to an emissary of the State, one of the officers arrested Bear for “obstructing government operations,” handcuffed her, and stuffed her in the back of his cruiser.

A few minutes later, while the officer was on the radio reporting the abduction, his small-boned captive took the opportunity to extract one of her hands from the cuffs, reach through the window, and start opening the back door from the outside. The infuriated captor yanked the door open and demanded that the victim extend her hands to be re-shackled. When Bear refused to comply, the officer reached into the back seat and ripped her from the vehicle, causing her to lose her balance and stumble into the second officer.

Bear, who had called the police in the tragically mistaken belief that they would help her, was charged with three felonies: “obstruction” – refusal to stiff-arm customers in order to attend to an impatient cop; “escape” – daring to pull her hand out of the shackles that had been placed upon her without lawful cause; and “aggravated assault” – impermissible contact with the sanctified personage of a police officer as a result of being violently dragged out of the car by the “victim’s” comrade.

The first two charges were quickly dropped. During a bench trial, the prosecution admitted that the arrest was illegal. Yet the judge ruled that Bear – who had no prior criminal history -- was guilty of “escape” and imposed one year of unsupervised probation. That conviction was upheld by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which ruled that although the arrest was unwarranted and illegal, Bear had engaged in an illegal act of “self-help” by refusing to submit to abduction with appropriate meekness.

Decades ago, when Arizona was a more civilized place, the state “followed the common-law rule that a person may resist an illegal arrest,” the court acknowledged. But that morally sound and intellectually unassailable policy was a casualty of what the court called “a trend … away from the common-law rule and toward the judicial settlement of such disputes.” Referring to the act of unlawfully seizing another human being and holding that person by force as a “dispute” is a bit like calling assault rape a “lover's quarrel.”

“Permitting an individual to resort to self-help to escape from an illegal arrest, rather than seeking a remedy through the legal system, would invite violence and endanger public safety,” pontificated the court -- carefully ignoring the fact that arrest is a violent injury, and illegal arrest is nothing more than an abduction. “The same public policy that permits a conviction for resisting arrest even if the arrest is unlawful should authorize conviction for escape despite the unlawfulness of the underlying arrest.”

Furthermore, it’s not necessary for a police officer to explain why the arrest was made; according to the court, “only the fact of [an] arrest is a necessary element” for the victim to be charged with “escape.” In an earlier case, the same court ruled that a woman who jerked her arms away from a police officer committed the supposed crime of resisting arrest. Anything other than immediate, unconditional submission to the demands of a costumed enforcer is treated as a criminal offense – even when those demands are not valid as a matter of law.

From that perspective, all citizens are incipient slaves, subject to detention, abduction, and other abuse at the whim of uniformed slave-keepers.

A slave is somebody who cannot say “no” – as in, “No, I can’t talk to you right now because I’m on the clock and there are paying customers ahead of you.” This is because the slave doesn't exercise self-ownership in any sense in the presence of a slave-keeper.

A slave-keeper is somebody who claims the legal right to take ownership of another person at his discretion, and use physical violence to compel submission.

This is the specific definition of the peculiar institution called “law enforcement,” as demonstrated by the following statement from the annual report of an entirely typical sheriff’s office: “A law enforcement officer’s authority and power to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights is unmatched anywhere in our society.”

The conceit that defines law enforcement is that all claims to self-ownership evaporate in the presence of a police officer. Some people have internalized that message to such an extent that they immediately assume the position of a submissive slave whenever a police officer approaches. Among them is actor and literacy activist LeVar Burton, whose breakthrough role – either ironically or appropriately, I can’t decide which -- was the fictional escaped slave Kunta Kinte.

“This is a practice I engage in every time I’m stopped by law enforcement,” explained Burton during a panel discussion on CNN. “And I taught this to my son who is now 33 as part of my duty as a father…. When I get stopped by the police, I take my hat off and my sunglasses off, I put them on a the passenger’s side, I roll down my window, I take my hands, I stick them outside the window and on the door of the driver’s side because I want that officer to be as relaxed as possible when he approaches that vehicle. And I do that because I live in America.”



Burton describes his ritual of self-abasement as his strategy for physically surviving an encounter with police. In order to avoid arrest it may be necessary to plumb further depths of personal degradation.

Dale Carson, a defense attorney, former cop, and former FBI agent, has written a revealing manual entitled Arrest-Proof Yourself. That book is replete with significant insights into the institutionalized sociopathy called police “work” – and it abounds in even more revealing advice about the kind of self-inflicted humiliation expected of Mundanes once their self-anointed slave masters appear.

In an interview with the Atlantic magazine, Carson described law enforcement as a “revenue gathering system” in which predatory officers compete to see “who can put the most people in jail.” His most emphatic advice is to avoid attracting the attention of police officers – something that is becoming nearly impossible in our Panopticon society.

In the event that avoiding the police proves to be impossible, Carson offers etiquette tips for Mundanes seeking to avoid an arrest: Make eye contact, but don't smile; don't react when (not if) the privileged thug deliberately provokes you through foul, confrontational language and calculated acts of battery; be accommodating and extravagantly respectful.

If all of these tactics prove unavailing, then Carson recommends that the Mundane surrender what residue of personal dignity remains by crying or, if possible, deploying other bodily emissions. He suggests that you could foul yourself “so that police will consider setting you free in order not to get their cruiser nasty,” urinating in your pants, or, if possible, vomiting.

Remarkably, Carson's tactics for avoiding arrest track very closely with the notorious rape prevention advice provided by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The college faculty, piously discouraging “violent self-help” (such as carrying and using a firearm), urged women confronting a potential rapist to “Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating” and that “Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacked to leave you alone.”

In similar fashion, Carson’s advice on avoiding arrest assumes a limitless capacity for self-denigration on the part of the Mundane. But it only applies to public encounters with police. It provides no direction for people victimized by lawless police violence in their own homes, something that is becoming commonplace.

Last May 28, 72-year old Fort Worth resident Jerry Waller was shot and killed in his garage by Officer R.A. Hoeppner.

Displaying the competence for which government law enforcement is legendary, Hoeppner and his partner, Ben Hanlon, had responded to a burglary alarm by going to the wrong address.

Hearing prowlers on his property, Waller grabbed his gun and went out to investigate. A few minutes later he was dead, shot multiple times by Hoeppner when he refused to disarm himself. A grand jury declined to indict the officer.

In describing the events of that evening, Hoeppner, a neophyte police officer from a multi-generational family of law enforcers, displayed the reflexive perplexity of a freshly-minted slave catcher confronting someone who didn't see himself as another person's property.

“His attitude toward us was very malicious – It, it was not pro-police at all,” recalled Hoeppner. Although Waller was on his own property, and the police officers were the intruders, Hoeppner described the victim’s posture as “very aggressive toward us – and I mean like almost … attitudish.” That assessment makes perfect sense once it’s understood that Hoeppner had been indoctrinated to view any non-cooperation as “aggression” because police, in some sense, own the rest of us.

After Hoeppner made the unlawful demand that the alarmed homeowner disarm himself, Waller quite sensibly asked, “Why?” This struck the cop as an act of irrational defiance:

“What person in their right man – mind would ask a peace officer – a, a law enforcement officer `why' when he tells you and gives you verbal commands.... Your law-abiding citizen is not going to tell – going to ask you, why.”

From the cop’s perspective, the expression “law-abiding citizen” is a functional synonym for “Properly obedient slave.” Not only did the uppity Mundane refuse to submit, he actually behaved as if he was the rightful owner of his person and property: “It was almost like he had the attitude of you – you cannot tell me what to do with my gun in my, you know, in my castle.”

Slave-keepers don’t have to ask permission to invade the servants’ quarters, and slaves have no right to protect the sanctity of their person or effects. In his study of 18th Century slave patrols – the largely unacknowledged ancestors of today’s “professional” police agencies -- historian Philip L. Reichel points out that “patrols had full power and authority to enter any plantation and break open Negro houses or other places where slaves were suspected of keeping arms; to punish runaways or slaves found outside of their masters’ plantations without a pass; [and] to whip any slave who should affront or abuse them in the execution of their duties….”

No-knock midnight raids; gun confiscation; “stop-and-frisk”-style demands for identification that quickly escalate to violence and arrest; summary punishment for “contempt of cop” – all of these practices would be immediately recognizable to 18th century slaves. They would probably find it incomprehensible that people who consider themselves to be free would allow such practices to continue.
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William Norman Grigg publishes the Pro Libertate blog and hosts the Pro Libertate radio program.





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Comments 1 - 12 of 12 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 21 2014, 7:03 PM

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9624 It is a bullshit decision when it can't be cited in case law. AKA being railroaded by the courts not not setting a precedent. This is not justice this is covering their ass, She can still sue $$$$$$$$
dougo

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 9:44 AM

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68107 most cops are the biggest problem facing the citizens of the U.S..now that the feds want to limit certian perscription drugs,the cops on prozac [more than you know] will be without and homos will really have us stripped of even more rights to chose with whom we accept and associate.
Gus Mueller

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 11:02 AM

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71178 More cops in need of a thorough raping.
stu377

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 1:15 PM

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6860 She resisted and had to make amends.
The officer made an illegal arrest and should also make amends.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 2:07 PM

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7469 Poor clerk. That's what you get from the 5-0 these days...don't call them unless you need to make things much worse for yourself.

As for Burton...I used to LOVE LaForge...but Burton is just a condescending racist. To be frank, I'm tired of his whining. Only a black dude could cry discrimination when he was a TV star for 7 years on Star Trek and spent an entire career on Reading Rainbow (or whatever it was). How is THAT discrimination!?
Lygeia

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 3:39 PM

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162224 The advice given by Dale Carson, a defense attorney, former cop, and former FBI agent in his book Arrest-Proof Yourself, that the way to handle a traffic stop or other encounter with the police is "crying, urinating in your pants, or, if possible, vomiting" -- this will cause the cop to beat you to death.
Jan Brewer

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 4:48 PM

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18499 You have to be one dumb animal to NOT know that arizona is a sicko police state. Proceed with caution when living in the sorry corrupt state of arizona.
Adam

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 8:54 PM

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75120 This is a powerful and powerfully well-written piece. The author spilled my thoughts so faithfully that I could have written those very words, right down to all the punctuation marks. But believe it if one can, I have personally achieved the state where police and I are locked within different sovereign realities and our paths virtually never coincide. When they do, I get the distinct impression that I am the victor.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 22 2014, 10:13 PM

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17417 Law enforcement conducts itself in this fashion because prosecutors and judges allow it.The key to unlock the cage we all find ourselves in at this time is the judiciary. This branch of government was created, in part, to protect the people from the ambitions and excesses of the other branches of government. Nearly all important issues are ultimately determined in a courtroom. Citizens no longer have direct access to grand juries and find that their complaints are first filtered through the political office of the district attorney who will routinely refuse to prosecute anyone who is politically connected. Litigants are routinely denied standing or due process in the courts to frustrate those who seek justice from the state.
In Marbury v. Madison the supreme court ruled that an unconstitutional statute is void “ab initio” or from it’s inception. It reasonably follows that one of the first issues before any court should be the constitutionality of the law involved. Judges swear an oath to support and defend the constitution, within which is found your right to due process of law. Why is it that a denial of due process, the very definition of a void judgement, per Black’s 6th, never renders any judgement void or results in prosecution of the judge for perjury of his oath?
Judges are the gatekeepers of society. We depend upon them for redress and remedy. They have failed. In order to obtain remedy we must take back our courts by holding judges accountable.
“Jail For Judges” is a concept which creates an external review board to hear complaints of judges actions and negligence and to sanction judges up to and including imprisonment. When judges must choose between according due process to litigants and going to jail for failure to do so, that is when people will receive due process and not a minute before. When “Jail For Judges” becomes law in any single jurisdiction, i.e. any state of the union, a person need only move to that state long enough to establish residency in order to qualify to petition the court for vacation of a facially void judgement, which is the court record of a case which demonstrates a denial of due process.
People must qualify ballot initiatives to institute “Jail For Judges” and re-institute direct access for the public to grand juries to facilitate indictments against govt. actors who commit crimes. In this way the system may be used to purify itself and to return our country to a constitutionally restrained republic.

Anonymous

Posted: Feb 23 2014, 2:20 AM

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2475 Huh? The supreme court has held that we have the right to resist unlawful arrest. This was clearly unlawful. Since they want to stick her with one, she should sue for two. Government is going crazy in this country. Almost time to take our talents somewhere else.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 23 2014, 2:28 AM

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2475 The supreme court has also ruled that no citizen has to play part in a kangaroo court. All of these lower color of law courts are just that. Everything should be pushed to the federal level with a request for summary judgment on demand for immediate dismissal.
Anonymous

Posted: Feb 25 2014, 3:28 AM

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10842 Wtf?
@nonymous 17417, what program are you running? (Something out of "iRobot," I presume..,) Spout off all the made-up / fake-believe rules / ideals you want - that doesn't make them "real."

I'll give you an easier solution to this nonsense... Just STOP believing in the government. Without a belief in " them," we're all equal.
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