A seven-year old story that occurred in Prince George's County, Maryland, has stuck in my mind more firmly than any other as an example of the indiscriminate barbarism that can happen at the hands of the police state's knuckle-draggers.
The story is this: A package deemed suspicious by law enforcement was delivered to the address of the Berwyn Heights mayor, Cheye Calvo. SWAT waited in black SUVs for Calvo to return from walking his dogs, around 7pm. Once Calvo arrived home with his dogs, the SWAT team did just what you would expect them to do: broke down the door with a battering ram while screaming, and immediately gunned down Calvo's two dogs, Payton and Chase. They pointed guns at everyone, threatened death multiple times and trashed his house. The family was held for four hours until the cops realized they had just raided the mayor's house.
According to the Salon piece, when Cheye's wife arrived home later, she found her dogs' blood tracked throughout her home by the cops who continually walked through the blood before walking through the rest of the house. The Calvos didn't get an apology. In typical fashion, the police attempted to massage the official story: The dogs charged, Calvo tried slamming the door on the officers who tried to initially enter the home peacefully, etc.
The autopsy results on the dogs showed that the dogs were shot while running from the officers, not at them. The package, which contained marijuana, was sent using a dummy address, which, unfortunately for Calvo, happened to be his address. The official story unraveled quickly, but what happened can't be taken back for the Calvo family.
Stories like this can barely elicit a response from readers, due to the shocking barbarity of the officers. Who would shoot a dog? Who would break into the home of a quaint, upper-middle-class home and threaten murder to a benign man and his mother, and gun down their dogs? What criminal element in our nature is given free rein when armed with a badge and gun? But most of all, who would kill a dog?
Police kill dogs so frequently that the term puppycide has been given to the phenomenon. The stories of police killing non-threatening dogs are so numerous that I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll list a few examples from my home state of Oklahoma.
Blanchard, OK: An officer pulls into a private driveway to ask the resident for directions. A clearly harmless dog bounds up to him; he kills the dog. Here is the video, if you can stand it. The officer lied about the incident until the homeowner, Tammy Christopher, released video of the incident. Christopher received $19,000 over her dog's death, but it won't bring the dog back.
Ardmore, OK: Officer brags about how "awesome" it was to shoot a family dog that posed no risk to him or anyone else. Again, the dog is dead, no coming back. A family dog, a little girl's best friend.
At the other end of the spectrum, and one almost as disturbing, is how police, and the public, act toward police dogs. Last year, also in my state of Oklahoma, a police dog that was killed while chasing a suspect received a disturbingly opulent state funeral. The endless procession of squad cars, the hundreds of attendees, the morbid open casket, all point to a sick adulation of authority. View the pictures and gag. What happened to get the dog killed? A car chase suspect crashed and ran away. The cop controlling the German shepherd let the dog loose, knowing full well that either the suspect or the dog would die. When the dog reached the suspect, he turned and stabbed the dog to prevent an attack. This conveniently gave the first officer at the scene a reason to unload his clip into the suspect, which is what happened.
This isn't all to say that somehow dog's lives matter more than ours, but rather to ask: What is someone that is able to sleep at night after shooting a family pet capable of? Is one side effect of the officer-hiring process that they inevitably select for personalities that get off on shooting pets? Cops aren't the most brilliant examples of human intelligence, according to their IQ scores, and this seems to be by design. Robert Jordan sued for discrimination back in 1999 for being barred from police work due to an IQ deemed too high for police work in New London, Connecticut. He scored a 33 on the exam, the equivalent to an IQ of 125, while the national average for officers is around 21, or an IQ of 104. Smart people tend to question the wisdom of a course of action; dummies do as they're told.
As government increases, as we are ever more disarmed via legislative decree, law enforcement will continue to select for amoral sociopaths who won't question their orders. A police state wants minions who enforce serfdom effectively. The side effect of this is innocents getting shot by hair-trigger idiots who let their rage take over too easily. This "I don't have time for this" mental state that most of these cops seem to be in right before they pull the trigger is disturbing on a number of levels, but more so given that more and more government agencies are arming their agents, and stockpiling weapons in what can only appear to be anticipation of a war with the American people. A federal agent granted the license of lethal force, under the influence of an entitlement mentality that seems to always arrive shortly after receiving a gun and badge, is a recipe for officially-sanctioned murder. A union card means he or she will never see a jail cell. An endlessly malleable, police-worshipping media means the victim will be defamed and the murderer elevated to sainthood by the very creature that employs him.
Public sector unions are entirely in favor of a larger, more intrusive government. A burgeoning police state means more union jobs; bigger unions mean greater political clout. As the gulf between the privileged class and the subservient class widens, there will be more opportunities to join the privileged in the form of water-carrying jobs. Becoming a low-level enforcer for the American Hydra has become very lucrative, as is shown by the cushy "public sector" perks that come with employment in the parasitic class. Minion status with the police state doesn't come without a moral trade-off, however. To gain entry, you will have to accept spying and ratting out your fellow citizens as a normal fact of life. If you have no qualms about that behavior, there may be a career waiting for you within the Surveillance Bureaucracy. Join the union and you'll have complete job security, with lifetime benefits. Follow orders, don't question them, and you'll have a bright career. Catch us a big fish, surpass your quota, and you'll rise quickly. Oh yes, you'll have to vote how we tell you to vote. No problem?
This is the metastization of the police state. When private sector employment is regulated into oblivion, the only choice is to become infantry for a tyrannical government. When you don't have the money to eat, or see a quick path to fortune, your mindset will quickly accommodate even the most morally odious of employment prospects. This is music to the Hydra's ears, and does he have a deal for you. This includes spying, snitching, blackmailing, entrapping and black-bagging your fellow citizens as part of a day's work. And as more directives are heaped upon a buckling serf class, capital punishment becomes an option for low-IQ thugs whose only skill in this life has been the unquestioning obedience to orders from authority.
Shane Smith is an accountant living in Norman, Oklahoma. He writes for Red Dirt Report. Liberty is his religion.