My family and I recently watched the moving “Changeling” with Angelina Jolie. The movie itself was entertaining and focused on the efforts of a 1920’s woman to recover her missing son. The issue at hand was the corruption of the Los Angeles Police Department after receiving bad press and their attempts to cover up shoddy police work. As we watched I found myself angered over the blatant misuse of authority. For example, when Jolie’s character challenged the police department they had her committed to an LA psychological hospital; a warrantless incarceration without trial. Once behind the walls of the hospital it was nearly impossible for her to plead her case.
Watching the movie caused me to challenge my kids to compare the situation to events of today and instantly they commented on perception of law enforcement corruption and intimidation. Of course, the most obvious example is TSA’s violation of the 4th Amendment at airport security check points and intimidation of people like Aaron Toney who was detained for 90 minutes, without arrest, by TSA on December 31 at Richmond, Virginia’s airport when he removed his shirt and displayed the 4th Amendment on his chest.
In Philadelphia gun owner Mark Fiornio was nearly shot, detained and harassed for lawfully openly carrying a gun. A new FBI Advisory circular, “Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Military Surplus Stores” advises store owners to keep records of customers making lawful purchases but fitting a profile of self-preparedness.
In London two weeks ago government officials required Amazon.com to stop selling self-defense weapons while authorities simultaneously allowed riots to “run their course.” Thus, the citizens lost the right to protect themselves in their own homes. Similarly, San Francisco authorities shut down cell-towers within the Bart system to prevent a possible riot from developing, but also leaving law abiding citizens with no mechanism for protection.
Regardless of examples I provide I must wonder when intimidation will stop and the rule of law will prevail. The movie “Changeling” highlighted corruption I could not believe existed. Ultimately, the 1930’s Courts found in favor of their “own”, but yet the corruption was known and documented. Like the Gestapo, TSA, police departments, and the National Guard will be asked to turn on citizens instead of protecting those, they are here “To Serve and Protect.”