Joe’s Reading Log

January 24, 2006

Power Corrupts: the Police

Filed under: Civil Liberties — Joe Martin @ 2:39 pm

While America has many brave officers who routinely put their lives on the line, it would be foolhardy to assume that the police are never wrong and are always worthy of deference. Radley Balko at “The Agitator” has been chronicling police abuses for a while now. This morning, he had yet another story to relate:

Here’s a particularly egregious example of puppy-cide from Marcicopa County, Arizona, home of conservative darling and self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” Joe Arpaio. After conducting a ridiculously bumbling and overly militaristic raid that netted a total of one arrest for outstanding traffic violations, a raid which subsequently set a friggin’ house on fire, and in which the sheriff’s armored personnel carrier (yes, he has one) lost its brakes and rolled down the street, smashing a car — the SWAT team wasn’t quite done

[I]n the ultimate display of cruelty, a SWAT team member drove a dog trying to flee the home back into the inferno, where it met an agonizing death.

Deputies then reportedly laughed as the dog’s owners came unglued as it perished in the blaze.

Read the whole thing. It’s pretty scary. And it’s a good reminder of why the police shouldn’t be trusted with too much fire power, authority, or immunity.


January 23, 2006

Know Your Rights

Filed under: Civil Liberties — Joe Martin @ 12:39 am

I stumbled across an older article from Reason magazine: Drunken Assertion. In it, Brian Doherty talks about “Ramsell’s Roadside Rights Kit”:

It’s shaped like a passport and opens up to a pocket that holds your driver’s license, insurance, and car registration. On the back is a card emblazoned with an assertion of your rights when stopped by the cops. The kit also contains a button to activate a sound chip; press it, and it tells the officer that you will only exit the vehicle for the officer’s safety or if under arrest.

Although I found many more articles talking about the kit, I wasn’t able to find any site that was actually selling it. That’s a pity, because it sure sounds like something useful to have.

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