Every Day, 124 American Homes are Violently Raided by Officers — Let’s Save the 4th Amendment
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” That’s the 4th Amendment in our bill of rights.
During the Colonial era, the King of England looked at the American colonies as a financial investment.
And so, Britain passed numerous revenue collection bills aimed at generating as much money from the colonists as possible.
The King didn’t stop there, he created more laws to allow his agents to enter someone’s property or home and forcibly interrogate any occupant to find out what sort of goods and licenses they were carrying, to find excuses for further taxes and levies.
These searches and seizures were an egregious offense to the people of the colonies.
And in 1761, the famous lawyer James Otis who founding father John Adams called a “master of the laws of nature and nations,” referred to the legal regulations justifying these intrusions “the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of liberty-and the fundamental principles of law, that ever was found in a lawbook.”
These “legal” violations of liberty became one of the major colonial grievances that lead to the revolutionary war. And so in our bill of rights we have the 4th Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure… against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
And yet today, when one investigates many applications of the law, this is exactly what we find.
CNN calls it “policing for profit”: But this isn’t just Ferguson. This is everywhere.
The National Motorists association says local governments deliberately hide how many traffic tickets and vehicle infractions are actually levied so they don’t have to split their ticket revenue with the state.
NOT including parking tickets, they estimate anywhere between 25 and 50 million tickets are issued each year generating revenue ranging from 4 to over 7.5 billion dollars.
And that doesn’t include court fees that can pile up if one doesn’t get their paperwork just right.
The Motorists Association says this has virtually nothing to do with public safety, and everything to do with money.
A strong incentive to find ways to place the public in violation of the law, and collect more revenue.
There are many alternatives to administering safe streets besides traffic tickets. There could be community service requirements for example.
But instead of finding alternatives to this conflict of interest between public safety and a money grab… over the last decades government has been upping the ante.
Today, there are an estimated 45,000 SWAT raids every year.
A violent, paramilitary invasion on 124 American homes every day – or more likely night. Originally created for hostage and barricade situations 80% of SWAT raids are used to search homes, usually for drugs, and disproportionately, in communities of color.
Some of you may have heard the story of Baby Bou Bou.
A local sherrifs department in Georgia was looking for a drug dealer, and tossed a flash grenade into a room occupied by four small children.
The grenade landed in the play-pen of a little boy, only 19 months old. The officers shouted at the boy’s mother telling her to calm down yelling that her son was fine.
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