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Living in “The Police State”
2014년 05월 11일 (일) 13:32:09 Lee You-lim evoice@ewha.ac.kr
 

 

Lee You-lim

(International Studies, 1)

 

It may be surprising to say, but many countries including  the United State are practicing the laws and activities of the so-called “police state.” The term “police state” is a little tricky, but it generally suggests a system of repressive government control where law is derived from executive power, with widespread state surveillance and suppression of free speech.
Currently, many innocent people in the states are being killed, gun-downed, sent to prison because of protesting by the very people who should be maintaining peace. These ‘peacekeepers’ as they name themselves are not subjected to any punishment even by law although they in an often basis, beat down civilians, abuse their power in the name of “restoring and maintaining peace” and even commit murder. Other aspects of police state include endangering our rights and liberties, unaddressed corruption, rampant police brutality, the militarization of law enforcement, destruction of property rights, outlawing of arbitrary items, invasions of privacy, surveillance & spying, governmental double standards, and more.
 Police brutality is evident in various parts of U.S.A. and most recently, there was a man brutally beaten by police after for sleeping on a couch inside a synagogue. Although the man was given permission to be there, he was struck dozen times with fists and a baton. However, the beating was ruled justified and the officers were cleared. The incident happened on October 8, 2012 when Ehud Halevy, 22, was sleeping in the back room of the A.L.I.Y.A. (Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults) building in Crown Heights which is a synagogue for troubled youths. As the security guard did not know that Halevy had received permission to be there, he called the police right away as soon as he spotted Halevy. When the NYPD officers arrived, they simply punched him with their fists repeatedly. Despite his attempt to protect himself by curling up into a ball, he was struck at least 50 times. However, while he was the one who received the beating, it was he who was charged with assault along with resisting arrest, and trespassing.  He was taken to jail and had to remain there for four days. The officers, however, did not face any personal consequences.
 This is only a minor incident compared to the numerous. Continuing to this year, an elderly man was repeatedly zapped with a taser during case of mistaken identity. It was obviously the officer’s fault that he mistook the elderly for his brother, but it’s very upsetting how the elderly eventually had to go through the pain of tasers. The propensity for cops to use tasers as compliance tools, even on the elderly, should be of concern to us all.  It’s not far-fetched to think that a case of mistaken identity followed by a taser attack could happen to anyone.
Although news about these kinds of brutality of police officers around the globe is hardly available in the media, I believe it’s the people’s job to inform the public about issues that endanger our rights and liberties, and to work to fix them through non-violent means.
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