14 Signs America Is Turning Into A Police State!
1. Police are killing more people every year
While the number of officer deaths is thankfully declining, the number of killings by officers is increasing. In 2013, 33 law enforcement officers were killed by gunfire. While it is a morbid statistic, it is the lowest number since 1887. Meanwhile, in 2012, police committed over 400 justifiable homicides for the first time in more than a decade. This trend would suggest that crime is increasing…but it isn’t. It only means that officers are more frequently resorting to violence.
2. Unlawful harassment is becoming the norm
Earl Simpson, 28, has been stopped 258 times in four years by Florida police. These stops, which he believes to be racially motivated, have resulted in 100 searches and 56 arrests for “trespassing.” The best part? The majority have occurred while he is at work, trying to do his job. His boss at Quickstop, Alex Saleh, told the Daily News “He’s a good guy, a humble guy, a quiet guy. He’s not a convicted felon.” During his long history with the law, Simpson’s only conviction has been for marijuana possession. There really is no cause or purpose for the ongoing harassment.
3. Even children are seen as criminals
What might have been considered an issue for teachers and parents in the past…is now a police matter. Recently, 7-year-old Wilson Reyes was handcuffed and interrogated by police for hours. All the commotion was over a missing $5 bill, which Wilson ultimately did not steal.
4. Stop and searches are becoming more common and more invasive
Experts have referred to modern search techniques as “security theater.” In the case of David Eckert, officers may search for non-existent drugs in your anal cavity for a matter of hours and then send you the bill for the gesture. For a New Mexico woman, it meant being stripped down and “searched” so extensively–that lawyers deem it sexual assault.
5. New York City’s “Stop and Frisk” program is racial profiling
Mayor Bloomberg’s failed “Stop and Frisk” policy allows NYPD to stop, question, and frisk anyone for contraband and weapons, often times without reasonable suspicion. In 2013 alone, New Yorkers were stopped 179,063 times. In 89% of cases, the person stopped was completely innocent. As well as doing very little to stop crime, the method is clearly racially motivated. Of those stopped in 2013, 56% were black and 29% were Latino, while only 11% were white.
6. Non-criminals are being arrested for ridiculous things
Until recently, prison was reserved for dangers to society. Now, you can be arrested and imprisoned for making nothing more than a human mistake. George Norris was sentenced to 17 months in prison after he forgot to get the proper paperwork and sold orchids to an undercover agent. Georgia Thompson, a state employee who accidently filled company data incorrectly, spent four months in prison. A bridal shop owner, Judy Wilkinson, was hauled away in cuffs after making a champagne and orange juice cocktail for a customer without having the proper license.
7. You can face jail time for not paying rent
In the nineteenth century, the cruel practice of arresting debtors until they repaid their debt was put to an end. Now, it’s making a comeback. Rental tenants in Arkansas who are allegedly behind on their payments can be sent to criminal courts, where judges will respond to failure to pay with arrest and imprisonment. It’s almost like the judicial system wants to fill prisons with people who shouldn’t be in them.
8. The NSA is listening to everything and achieving nothing
According to the US Government, NSA agents are frisking all of your digital and telephone communications in an attempt to avert terrorism and save lives. However, Senators recently concluded that there’s no evidence that this method of policing is doing anything to stop terrorism. So why exactly are we paying billions to turn into an Orwellian surveillance state?
9. More people are being sentenced to life in prison without parole for nonviolent offenses
“Life without parole” is supposed to ensure that the most dangerous criminals are never allowed back into society. However, 3,278 people are currently serving life without parole for crimes in which no one was injured. These include offenses such as acting as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana and stealing a $159 jacket. That doesn’t sound like justice.
10. Police officers don’t face the same punishment as civilians
In April, 2013, Orlando Police Officer Michael Fiorentino-Tyburski hit a homeless man with his police car and drove away without calling for help. Tetris Nunn survived, but saw no justice. The officer who hit him was not charged and received a measly 88 hour suspension. The officer’s defense for the hit and run? He didn’t think Nunn was injured after hitting him with the car–so he didn’t stop. What if someone without a badge had done something this negligent?
11. America’s incarceration rate is the highest in the world
With 737 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, the US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the entire world. That number makes China look like a democratic paradise with their rate of 118 per 100,000. More shockingly, African-American men are five times more likely to be arrested than citizens of the Soviet Union at the height of the gulags. These shocking stats are a direct outcome of having privatized prisons, which allow people to profit off the incarceration of American citizens. Criminals are human beings who need support; they are not an opportunity to make money.
12. Peaceful protests are being met with violence
As an American, the constitution grants you the right to assembly. In October, 2011, the peaceful Occupy Oakland protest turned violent when police forcefully evicted protesters, and in the process, fractured an Iraq veteran’s skull. This is only one example where perfectly lawful protests were disbanded with unnecessary force.
13. The Government is hunting down a national hero
Edward Snowden is a hero. It is a not a debate. When he leaked NSA files and revealed the full extent of illegal Government espionage, he was doing his country a service. How has the US repaid his honesty? He has had to seek sanctuary in Russia, and will likely never see his country, friends, or family ever again, for fear of being prosecuted…or worse.
14. The FBI can watch you whenever, for no reason at all
If you were worried about the NSA listening to your communications, then you’ll be outraged to learn that the the FBI has been able to record you for years. Not only can they take control of your laptop camera, they can activate it without turning the light on.
When you get your paycheck, a chunk is taken out to support programs like these. Policies and technologies that are supposed to protect citizens, which are actually more dangerous than the “security threats” that they’re designed to stop. Right now, our own government is holding us hostage in subtle ways. This is how it starts. We have seen how police states violently ends through history, so let us not get to that point. Know your rights, and refuse to be taken advantage of.