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Police Torture and the Real Militarization of Society

US Police Treats Citizens as Suspects Who are Already Guilty, Beats and Arrests Blacks As US Media Remains Silent

In his article for CounterPunch, Steve Martinot states that the US police is out of control and is practicing a regiment of discipline and torture against US citizens (Police Torture and the Real Militarization of Society, November 11, 2015).

Scenes of rampant police abuse and brutality against people of color in the United States are becoming more and more common.
A black woman and a white woman were fighting. The police approached the black woman and ignored the white one. The policeman then asked for the ID of the black woman. The pregnant black woman responded by saying that she is not obligated to show him her ID. She said she will call a friend and attempts to dial. A few seconds after she began the phone call, she takes a small step away from the intimidating policeman. He goes on to grab her. After she says, “don’t touch me,” the policeman proceeds to throw the pregnant woman on the floor, twist her arms and handcuff her, with her face facing the ground, writes Martinot.
Apparently, her crime was double. Firstly, she was black. Secondly, she dared to question his right to treat her as if she was less than human.  For these two, she was treated severely.
This scene of pure unmitigated racism and abuse of police power, or rather its practice,  took place in the United States, the supposed home of the free.  Not in China or Iran.
Martinot wrote:

           Even if a person is sitting in his/her car, the same scenario can unfold. The officer can

     tell the person to get out of the car so that he can throw the person to the ground and 

     handcuff him/her. (This is what happened to Sandra Bland in Texas, who ended up dead 

     while in custody.) The act of throwing a person to the ground, has become a routine

     response to the act of questioning an officer’s approach. To say, hypothetically, “you have

     no reason to approach me,” is to risk being thrown to the ground and handcuffed. This

     paradigm has occurred so often, all across the country, that it can not be considered 

     anything but a routine trained response.

In other words, for whites as well as blacks, now the very act of speaking to the police when you are questioned and inquiring about your rights is likely to result in you being thrown to the ground and having a knee pressed against your back.

Martinot writes:

        The next level of escalation above this routine seems to be to shoot the person when they    

         actually move away. Hundreds of people, mostly black and brown, have been shot in the 

         back by police for moving away from an arbitrary approach by police…

While the justification used frequently by the police that the citizen in question has not been cooperating, blind cooperation is to be expected in the military, not in civil society or from citizens of a democratic  state, Martinot explains. But in Nebraska, the law gives a citizen is 5 seconds to obey the police, before he can be arrested.
The United States is treating its very own citizens as subjects or soldiers who must obey or face the consequences. It is not treating them as civilians who have full rights and must be treated with dignity.
This police brutality and what Martinot and others referred to as “The Militarization of the Police” is taking place every day, often with the mainstream media ignoring a majority of cases and with most Americans deep asleep.

The problem is that, like fascism, police brutality and abuse of civil rights spreads quickly if it is not stopped and exposed early.  But the US mainstream media has not raised hell after repeated incidents of police brutality against black people. Instead, it has frequently chosen to take a supposedly ‘balanced’ line, turning a blind eye to all-prevalent and clear police brutality, and therefore distorting what is taking place. In some ways, this is even worse than outright  blaming the victims who responded by protesting, as in the case of Ferguson, since the artificial ‘impartiality’ of the mainstream media is serving to cover up for the daily occurrences of police brutality.
Martinot writes that the US police now receives its weapons and surveillance technology from the US government “as if preparing for war”.  The police was also given tasers which can be used as a weapon of torture, which caused over 900 deaths last year, says Martinot. Torture was also used against African slaves in US history. The use of torture both in the past and present as a “technology of control” to instill deep obedience, seems to have never stopped. What is certain is that today it is being practiced in broad daylight.
While the police complains that it cannot do its “job” otherwise, the fact is that the purpose of the police is to enforce the law and catch a suspect, not “look for a crime with which to charge the suspect”. But that is what is now happening with racial profiling and police brutality in the US, says Martinot.
Indeed, black people in the US are seen as criminals in the first place. Their culpability is preordained. Therefore, every action they take or word they utter, after being stopped by the police, is seen as an aggressive act for which they must be disciplined. They must be trained for obedience and stand silent as the police tramples on them both physically and legally.
Martinot writes that the 13th amendment of the US Constitution outlaws slavery in every place besides the prison.
The problem is that today with omnipresent militarized police forces who practice in freedom their ability to hold, detain, torture and beat anyone who provokes their suspicion, or even if he does not, the prison extended to include the public sphere.

Black people are detained and abused by the police every day in the urban streets of American cities. And when they dare to protest and demand their rights, they are likely to get arrested, beaten or killed.
The US Constitution “has become a dead letter”, writes Martinot.
The US police is armed to the teeth and can carry out killing and torture with impunity while the mainstream media is not voicing an opposition to the trampling on American civil rights.
Americans are now robbed from their rights and the local police dictates the law of the moment. By force, of course.

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