Monday, November 15, 2010

Sovereign Citizens

This is quite disturbing, in several ways. Read the comments, on YouTube.

I can't imagine what good these people think can come from murdering police officers. Their job is to enforce the law. Some of the laws are good, some of the laws are bad. Cops don't get to decide which are which.

10 comments:

Allen said...

What I find most disturbing about this video is the police's overzealous worry about this problem, and giving profiling advice that seems likely to target mainly libertarian types who have no malicious intent towards police officers whatsoever.

Murder of police officers is a miniscule problem in the United States. In 2009, 48 police officers were murdered in the line of duty. With about 861,000 police officers in the United States, that is about .006% of police officers murdered. And of those 48 at most a handful can probably be ascribed to these "sovereigns."

Murder is deplorable and the murder of any police officer should be condemned, however I think we have more to fear from police officers running around scared of being ambushed on the job by sovereigns than we have to fear from sovereigns murdering police officers. Citizens are far more likely to be killed by police than police are to be killed by citizens. Statisticsfrom the Department of Justice covering the years 2003-2005 show that while 159 police officers were feloniously killed during this time period, 1,095 people were killed by police officers. That seems to me to be a not insignificant difference in numbers.

Anonymous said...

That's what you find most disturbing? Did you miss the part where two cops were murdered in cold blood by a minor with an AK-47?

Mungowitz said...

I see Allen's point, actually.

Not much in that video along the lines of:

"Of course, most citizens are law abiding, and police brutality aids and abets the bad guys by justifying striking back at police. So you have to walk a fine line, my peace officer audience."

But having said that, the most disturbing part was watching the policeman stagger and fall after being hit. I have a lot of friends who are police, or are retired police. They never killed anyone, and they rarely even drew their gun.

Allen said...

I agree, anonymous, that is very disturbing, but it is an isolated incident that should be taken in that context. In a world where I read stories like this one from last week about a 61 year old man who died after being tasered multiple times by police officers, I think we have a lot to worry about police officers who become too jumpy because of fear of the population from incidents like this. I agree that most police officers are by and large peaceful people who perform their duties with the best of intentions, but the fact remains that police officers are all armed and the vast majority of American citizens are not, in any given situation between police and the citizenry the police have the upper hand.

When police employ overly aggressive tactics when dealing with citizens because of real but in terms of actual numbers minor concerns of citizens with anti-police feelings there can be very destructive consequences. I feel for the police officers slain and must say the images are very disturbing, but I think these sorts of things need to be kept in context.

Jay said...

This video is nonsense; they begin by showing an insane outlier that belongs in a class of its own, then they connect it to things like bumper stickers and worst of all, VIDEOTAPING. This is a disturbing trend; how many corrupt acts of police brutality have been caught on tape? Its rather logical to want video evidence given the proclivity for violence that so many officers tend to display; and if anything, the person filming is less likely to commit a violent crime. Why would he pull out a camera to film his own crime?

Anonymous said...

then they connect it to things like bumper stickers and worst of all, VIDEOTAPING.

Those were meant as signals that the person in question could be a potential "sovereign", and that officers should notice such things and understand what they are dealing with. The violence may be an outlier, but there are very real issues when a police officer is attempting to enforce to the law while the person in question denies their jurisdiction and ability to do so, even for something as minor as a traffic violation.

Knowing what kind of mentality you are dealing with is a good step towards avoiding potential problems.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, most citizens are law abiding, and police brutality aids and abets the bad guys by justifying striking back at police. So you have to walk a fine line, my peace officer audience."

I think its fair to assume this is implicit in all police training.

I agree, anonymous, that is very disturbing, but it is an isolated incident that should be taken in that context.

Granted that its a rarity, but it still needs to be considered and trained for. There has been an absolute explosion of militia/hate group/eliminationist growth during the last two years. Thankfully it appears that least some of the plots to incite violence have been nipped in the bud, but as the number and intensity of these groups grows there is a real possibility for trouble. Most of the people like those youtube commentators are harmless blowhards, but it only takes one.

Yes, tasers are a dangerous tool which should be curtailed or banned. Yes, police tactics are often too aggressive. But I don't think its out of line for police to learn about a potential threat and learn how to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Its rather logical to want video evidence given the proclivity for violence that so many officers tend to display; and if anything, the person filming is less likely to commit a violent crime. Why would he pull out a camera to film his own crime?

Except that police cars already have cameras on the front.

John said...

Libertarians (rightly) spend a lot of time focusing on civil liberties abuses by police. Let's not act like we can't take any time to show concern for police and the very real dangers they face doing a job crucial to a functioning civil society.

b said...

I'm sorry. "Paper terrorism?" So, how long before visiting the wrong blogs is "virtual illegal assembly?" How long till we have "speech terrorism?"

Doesn't the Southern Poverty Law Center have better things do do?