The Breach of Trust

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When we were young, some of us, at least, were taught to trust certain people. It is not difficult for me to see why some ethnicities tell their children not to trust people of different ethnicities in this modern society; the idea of trust has been fading for some time, and there are groups that learned very hard lessons about trusting people. One factor responsible for a lot of the loss of trust has been public officials. While politicians have been forever seen as liars and shysters, with lawyers close behind, there have been breaches of public trust lately that have set a precedent in our republic. The legal problems are addressed in a new book by Barry Friedman, a New York University professor who specializes in constitutional law and policing.


To begin to demonstrate behavior of the government that is creating distrust, consider the seizure of civil assets before the suspect (a citizen) has been convicted of a crime. The flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures has been going on for some time and needs to stop. Many people are not aware that the authorities have been seizing cash from citizens for several decades now, and forcing them to go to courts to recover their money, and even when the courts insist that that authorities refund the money, the authorities keep some of it anyway. The drug war has made anyone who is carrying cash an automatic drug dealer, and the cash is seized. The new idea of “stop and seize” has taken hold, and any cash that authorities find is taken. When I stated that if the norm is to take ill-gotten gains, or even those suspected of being ill-gotten, then the authorities should seize the assets of market manipulators like Brian Hunter, some of the more naïve of the readers insisted that seizing assets was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. We’ve been ignoring the Constitution for a while now, seizing assets and violating the rights of citizens, and don’t you feel so much safer knowing that the government can seize your assets before they even charge you with a crime? We cannot trust the government to obey the restrictions mandated by our Constitution; a failure of trust.


The government doesn’t trust the citizens, and the citizens don’t trust the government anymore. The government isn’t offering much in the way of honesty lately, and the assault on the populace is becoming intolerable. Certain ethnicities have lost all faith in the police, and given the behavior of some police agencies, it is not difficult to see why. Of late, many unarmed civilians have been being shot by policemen. No matter what explanation the officials offer, the fact that it keeps happening is an indicator of a problem. I am not accusing anyone of prejudice or discrimination; I’m accusing them of reverting to lethal force when the situation is not warranted. I will not be swayed by arguments that those who protect us need to be on their guard and willing to protect themselves via lethal force at the drop of a hat. Citizens who don't carry guns or wear body armor are far more vulnerable than those who carry lethal force and wear body armor as a matter of protocol. Citizens who don't carry lethal weapons or wear body armor in "bad" sections of cities are the brave ones, and they die far more frequently than law enforcement. That's the fact of the matter. 


More and more of the young men of the United States are incarcerated. Almost everyone uses the statistics that the U.S. has 4.4 % of the world population and 22% of the world’s prisoners. Either we like to lock people up, or we have a lot of criminals, or we have some rather strict laws and long sentences for offenders.  This is not a suggestion that all of the police agencies give up their guns, nor is it a plea that we need to trust those who have betrayed our trust. We must identify the flaws in the system, the people who are propagating the violations of our rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and correct both. The first solution is by rewriting the statutes that guarantee our freedom, and number two, by removing, neutralizing, and if necessary, incarcerating those who have violated our rights, deliberately or by dereliction of duty and shirking of responsibility and obligation. From the review of Mr. Friedman’s book in The Wall Street Journal: “A whole architecture of legal and de facto immunity for law enforcement-cops who bend the truth on the witness stand, prosecutors who engage in serial misconduct, and departments that deny or dissemble about their methods- that began to be constructed in the 1960s in response to spiking crime rates has created an entrenched culture of obfuscation and abrogated oversight.”


While there may not be simple answers, allow me to suggest something. The de facto immunity of law enforcement officials needs to be rescinded, and public servants need to be held accountable for breaking the law and violating our constitutional rights. We need more transparency in the enforcement of law, and those who violate the rights of citizens need to be held responsible and subjected to the justice system that they have pretended to enforce. Let’s face it, when you know there will not be any consequences, anything goes. As a society, our record indicates that we are tough on crime, but that rigor must extend to those who violate the rights of citizens. If you must break the law or violate constitutional rights to enforce the law, you are nothing more than the criminals you are trying to protect us from. The legislatures need to step up, recognize the tactics that are in violation of our Constitution, and create legislation that addresses the illegal tactics. We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, need to vote for representatives that recognize the violations of our constitutional rights and are willing to take the legislative measures necessary to protect us from the people whose job it is to protect us.  



Billy Roper Added Feb 25, 2017 - 12:53pm
The more multiracial a society is, the lower the degree of social trust.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 25, 2017 - 1:03pm
Trust is special, based on morals, and has to be earned.  There are only a few people you can really trust, while reliable sources have to earn your trust constantly.  Character plays a role, some are trusted more easily and longer than others.   
George N Romey Added Feb 25, 2017 - 1:24pm
In the 1960s and early 70s the hippies talked about revolution because they did not want to go to Vietnam.  Today its people of all ages pissed off that most of us have been cast aside for the riches of a few.  Those that deny what is coming have their head up their butt.  Politicians continue to hide behind their big money donors.
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 25, 2017 - 2:45pm
Yes, Dino, the moral are more trustworthy, and yes, George. it is the rich who are loved by the politicians.
John Minehan Added Feb 25, 2017 - 3:01pm
Read a bit by John Robb on Legitimacy.
Joshua Cooper Ramo writes on this issue as well.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb also touches on the issue.
Donna Added Feb 25, 2017 - 3:21pm
Hi Jeff...It it ironic that you brought up the Fourth Amendment. I was recently pulled over with my Great niece in the car she us six months old. The officer said he lulled me over for smoking with a child in the car. My response was I never smoke with a child with me. Do you smell smoke? He insisted I let him search my car I refused and said it violates my 4th amendment right. He did not know what I meant. I requested a senior officer to come they sent one and I was let go instantly. Amazing those who are the ones upholding our rights do not even know them. Great article now I must read that book. )0(
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 25, 2017 - 3:56pm
Donna, I'm glad you stood up for your rights. Searching cars has gone in front of the Supreme Court, and it will likely go before them again. There must be a "reasonable cause" which, in my neighborhood, means if a police dog responds to a scent. As I told one police official, "I could get the same response from a can of Alpo or a female dog. The dog can't talk, you have no idea what he smells,, and this is not probably cause."  You can read my article on WB of August of 2016, "Grab the Money, Ignore the Law" which will document some, but certainly not all of the egregious violations of the Fourth Amendment. Yes, there are plenty of police who know nothing of our Constitution, nor do they care to know.
As mentioned, the sentences for violating Constitutional rights should be strict and severe, and when they say they didn't know, on their way to prison, we can point out to them that "ignorance of the law is no excuse," and wish them luck in prison. I seriously think that the only thing that will stop them now is to incarcerate them. They had their chance, and they ignored the law known as our rights; it is time to enforce our Constitution, and imprison those who flagrantly violate it.  I see no other solution.
Donna Added Feb 25, 2017 - 5:46pm
Jeff I fully agree. I have some family that are almost retired Troopers. None like the local police force. All say they are never trained properly. My belief is if you can't pass a State Trooper course from start to finish you should not have a badge. I don't believe in County town cops etc. My taxes should go to the best trained. IMHO. That's who I trust . 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 10:07pm
My trust died on May 4, 1970.
It was displaced by a loathing that only continues to grow. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 10:08pm
Yes, there are plenty of police who know nothing of our Constitution, nor do they care to know.
Much worse, they hold it in contempt and assert it has no bearing on their activities.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 10:18pm
and number two, by removing, neutralizing, and if necessary, incarcerating those who have violated our rights, deliberately or by dereliction of duty and shirking of responsibility and obligation
Better yet inform cops at every level they must resign and place a statement to that effect in the Legal Notices of a national newspaper or be subject to summary execution any time any where. As they die in the streets, their homes, at walmart and McDonalds by the hundreds the resignations will accelerate and peace will return. 
Federal Baby Incinerators, F-Troop (BATF) and Bureau of Land Management should be at the top of the list. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 10:20pm
If you must break the law or violate constitutional rights to enforce the law, you are nothing more than the criminals
Damn right!
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 10:22pm
The last 200 pages of "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross deal with this very question. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 10:26pm
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 25, 2017 - 11:13pm
It is past the time when the legislatures deal with this situation. If they cannot, then we have failed as a democracy.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 25, 2017 - 11:44pm
It is past the time when the legislatures deal with this situation
Well past. DUHmerica is a so-called democracy in name only. 
Utpal Patel Added Feb 26, 2017 - 12:59am
Certain ethnicities have lost all faith in the police, and given the behavior of some police agencies, it is not difficult to see why. Of late, many unarmed civilians have been being shot by policemen.
Both of those statement are clearly false.  Far more blacks choose to stay home than march when Black Lives Matter organizes.  Those on the street crying about police corruption are generally youths and anarchists looking to rage.  Most minorities, blacks included, believe the police do good work and welcome them into their neighborhood.  Furthermore, very few unarmed civilians have been shot by policemen.  Of course the media and Black Lives Matter likes to make it seem like an epidemic, as this falsehood helps ratings and provides fuel for Black Lives Matter’s ridiculous demands.    
Jeffry Gilbert Added Feb 26, 2017 - 1:51am
Furthermore, very few unarmed civilians have been shot by policemen
More than 1100 people are murdered by cops in DUHmerica every year. That's the number they're unable to hide. More of them are white than black or than look like you Utpal.
ANY number is too many.
The author's premise includes more than just being deprived of life. 
You choose to fellate these low life scum sucking rat fuck rat bastard larcenous murderous POS gang members in blue that's your choice.
The rest of us choose liberty. 
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 26, 2017 - 7:06am
"Many" is not an "epidemic," thanks for exaggerating, but I stand by the statement.  From the University of Chicago, 2014: "Violence against civilians by police officers is an extremely or very serious problem according to nearly three-quarters of blacks and less than 20 percent of whites." Let's see now, 75% of African Americans, and yet only 20% of whites believe violence against civilians is very serious and yet that statement in Mr. Patel's analysis is "clearly false." Perhaps where you live (in some fantasy land) where African-Americans love police, but if you would read some of the scholarly journals you would discover that African Americans, in general and by a considerable margin, do not like police. Mr. Patel, I suggest you read something other than Dr. Seuss to get facts about what is happening in America.
Neelon Crawford Added Feb 26, 2017 - 9:29pm
What makes you think law enforcement officials has immunity?  Nobody is above the law and to the extent anyone in law enforcement is not prosecuted for violating the law that simply means someone in the government is not doing their job. 
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 26, 2017 - 10:20pm
Neelon, I agree that someone in the government isn't doing their job. I see the "serial misconduct" of prosecutors, and I have yet to see one of them go to jail for illegally convicting one of our fellow citizens. Let's hire some people who can do the job, since the present staff isn't doing the job.
Ari Silverstein Added Feb 27, 2017 - 9:36am
Regarding you response to Utpal, certainly you must know that depending on how poll questions are asked or who conducts the poll, the desired result can be achieved.  The University of Chicago is a liberal entity looking to perpetuate the liberal belief that cops are so racist that they like shooting blacks.   If blacks in living in poor crime-heavy districts were asked if they wish there to be more police in their neighborhoods or less, I’m certain the answer would be more.  But even if I were wrong, just because people hold the opinion that cops are racist, doesn’t mean cops are actually racist or that “many unarmed civilians” are being shot by police.  The data on the latter is clear, very few unarmed civilians are being shot by police.