How Did America Get Unaccountable Police With Absolute Power Over US Citizens?

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Top Tier Gear USA


We’ve all been there before.

You’re driving along and you see a pair of flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. Whether or not you’ve done anything wrong, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach.

You’ve read enough news stories, seen enough headlines, and lived in the American police state long enough to be anxious about any encounter with a cop that takes place on the side of the road.

For better or worse, from the moment you’re pulled over, you’re at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

This is what I call “blank check policing,” in which the police get to call all of the shots.

So if you’re nervous about traffic stops, you have every reason to be.

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.

For instance, it was just a year ago, in the early morning hours of Dec. 1, 2016, when Gregory Tucker, a young African-American man, was pulled over by Louisiana police for a broken taillight.

What should have been a routine traffic stop became yet another example of police brutality in America.

According to the lawsuit that was filed in federal court by The Rutherford Institute, Tucker was thrown to the ground by police, beaten, arrested and hospitalized for severe injuries to his face and arm, allegedly in retaliation for “resisting arrest” by driving to a safe, well-lit area before submitting to a traffic stop for a broken tail light.

Mind you, this young man complied with police. He just didn’t do it fast enough to suit their purposes.

If this young man is “guilty” of anything, he’s guilty of ticking off the cops by being cautious, concerned for his safety, and all too aware of the dangers faced by young black men during encounters with the police.

Frankly, you don’t even have to be young or black or a man to fear for your life during an encounter with the police.

Just consider the growing numbers of unarmed people are who being shot and killed just for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

At a time when police can do no wrong—at least in the eyes of the courts, police unions and politicians dependent on their votes—and a “fear” for officer safety is used to justify all manner of police misconduct, “we the people” are at a severe disadvantage.

Add a traffic stop to the mix, and that disadvantage increases dramatically.

According to the Justice Department, the most common reason for a citizen to come into contact with the police is being a driver in a traffic stop.

On average, one in 10 Americans gets pulled over by police.

Indeed, police officers have been given free range to pull anyone over for a variety of reasons.

This free-handed approach to traffic stops has resulted in drivers being stopped for windows that are too heavily tinted, for driving too fast, driving too slow, failing to maintain speed, following too closely, improper lane changes, distracted driving, screeching a car’s tires, and leaving a parked car door open for too long.

Motorists can also be stopped by police for driving near a bar or on a road that has large amounts of drunk driving, driving a certain make of car (Mercedes, Grand Prix and Hummers are among the most ticketed vehicles), having anything dangling from the rearview mirror (air fresheners, handicap parking permits, troll transponders or rosaries), displaying pro-police bumper stickers, having acne, appearing nervous or driving with a stiff posture.

In other words, drivers beware.

Traffic stops aren’t just dangerous. They can be downright deadly.

From the moment those lights start flashing and that siren goes off, we’re all in the same boat.

Survival is the key.

Technically, you have the right to remain silent (beyond the basic requirement to identify yourself and show your registration). You have the right to refuse to have your vehicle searched.

You have the right to film your interaction with police. You have the right to ask to leave. You also have the right to resist an unlawful order such as a police officer directing you to extinguish your cigarette, put away your phone or stop recording them.

However, there is a price for asserting one’s rights. That price grows more costly with every passing day.

If you ask cops and their enablers what Americans should do to stay alive during encounters with police, they will tell you to comply, cooperate, obey, not resist, not argue, not make threatening gestures or statements, avoid sudden movements, and submit to a search of their person and belongings.

The problem, of course, is what to do when compliance is not enough.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, every day we hear about situations in which unarmed Americans complied and still died during an encounter with police simply because they appeared to be standing in a “shooting stance” or held a cell phone or a garden hose or carried around a baseball bat or answered the front door or held a spoon in a threatening manner or ran in an aggressive manner holding a tree branch or wandered around naked or hunched over in a defensive posture or made the mistake of wearing the same clothes as a carjacking suspect (dark pants and a basketball jersey) or dared to leave an area at the same time that a police officer showed up or had a car break down by the side of the road or were deaf or homeless or old.

Frankly, the only truly compliant, submissive and obedient citizen in a police state is a dead one.

If you’re starting to feel somewhat overwhelmed, intimidated and fearful for your life and the lives of your loved ones, you should be.

You should be very afraid.

I am.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at Whitehead can be contacted at

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Contributed by John W. Whitehead of Rutherford Institute.

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  • idontknow

    The answer is easy.

    Because Americans have become such sheep that we didn’t shoot back when they began no knock warrants.

    We didn’t shoot back when we learned that our every communication was spied on.

    We didn’t shoot back when they drop out of the sky in National Guard helicopters to raid some little old lady’s medicinal marijuana plant.

    We didn’t shoot back when they use property seizure to become highway robbers.

    We didn’t shoot back when they started using deadly force against kids and elderly in wheelchairs.

    We didn’t shoot back when they went from being “peace officers” to being a standing domestic army as powerful as the military, as Barrack Hussein Obama wanted.

    We didn’t shoot back when they repeatedly stage events such as Sandy Hoax, the Dallas PD shooting, on and on, to confiscate our weapons.

    You want this to change? NUT UP OR SHUT UP…

    • Dooley Knoted

      Amen Brother! Now is way past time to start rallying REAL patriots!
      Ready for that battle call! Pitchforks sharpened, torches soaking!
      Keep shaming the rest of the chickenshit masses. We’ll earn them a little at a time!

    • Phil_Ossifer

      The simpler answer is: because we let it happen.

      Things like this are where the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for” came from.

    • roger

      or fucking just shoot, period. aim for the face………..

  • Rogue cops cost us money

    You do know and you are so correct….

  • moTrouble69

    The drug war was the catalyst for so much of this tyranny.

  • Zionist Hunter

    Thank the IDF in pissrahell.

  • gazoo3

    So called good cops who don’t intervene are just as guilty.

    • roger

      you are so right…………

  • James

    The good citizens are going to have to stand together. Every cop needs be under the cam. 24/7. They are going to have to stand up for right. If you do not stand you have no rights. Americans need learn this. Or as is the cops are just the nothings on the street. A long lonely job. With out citizen support. We are at that point today with them. They wimmper about it. But a unhearing ear is were it lands.

    • roger

      yes I say to the poor chickenshitz, “cry me a river”. i would just as soon piss on their shes and make mud………

  • John C Carleton

    From Washington DC.
    An older brother, once had a long conversation about this subject, with the man,(retired), which built and ran the Police Academy in our area.
    Told my brother, in the 1960’s, using civil rights as an excuse, the federal government moved in, told them who they could hire and who they could not. Said before the feds came in, if they got a cadet, the instructors knew should not be on the street with a badge and a weapon, they washed them out.
    The Federal Government, would no longer allow this.
    So the City had to hand firearms and badges, to punks, which the instructors knew were a danger to the community.

    Thats why the police rape, rob, beat, murder, kidnap with impunity, because that is what Washington DC/USA, wants the police doing to the people, or they would not allow it.
    The Feds also make sure the IDF, you know the people Holocusting all the Palestinians, shooting them down anytime they feel like, to teach USA police to treat the American people like Palestinians.

    Thats why it is happening, because thats what Uncle Sugar’s pedophilic ass wants to happen to the American people.

    • Billy Sharpshooter

      The IDF should stick to looking after Israel. They do this very well. Unfortunately these military leaders in a questionable place get the urge to stop being pure military. They now want to be salesmen and export some talent in the same way Simon Cowell wants to export a talent show to anyone who watches from other places.
      Is it OK for Jewish leaders to commit genocide against Palestinians?
      Is it OK to train police forces elsewhere to pretend to be IDF when arresting common garden old criminals e.g. shoplifters and drug addicts who mean no harm really? I will love them when they hurt serious terrorists and peedo’s. But until then I must condemn such needless violence.

  • Kristin George

    Look no further than Israel, its where US police are going to learn from the IDF.

  • James

    They are allowed to be that way. They have the right to refuse to take complaints about themselfs. They refuse to investigate themselfs. They fail to respond to complaints if you do get to file one. They can say what complaints you can take to the States attorney as they need give aprove first. You go before there Judge. It is for most a inside job they are allowed to pull. The citizen is helpless against them or so they think. The crime rate goes up & up as the citizen will not speak to them. This opens jobs for there idiot kids. So a inside job by them. What to do is run them off on sight. Let them set alone all day with there fiends at the donut shop. They need or ask for help. Turn your back on them. As they have turned there back on the good citizen. Get a ballot going so you can vote for there wage. What they are worth to you. That would help. For neighborhood groups to judge there job preformance. Take patitions up to have the bad or worthless one removed from your area. Soon they will understand there is no place they are welcome to work in there city or State.

  • gazoo3

    Pardon the cliche but, they better kill me because I’ll be back for revenge regardless of the consequences.