Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

To Serve and Protect; America's Institutional Fallacy

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message S. Paul Forrest       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 4   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H4 10/10/11

Author 52542
Become a Fan
  (18 fans)
- Advertisement -

Those who today believe they are being sold out by Capitalistic Globalism protected and served by a growing police state acting under the direction of our government are standing up to say, "No More!"   They are tired of their jobs being shipped to other nations, their "representatives" serving financial contributors over the People and the poisoned rhetoric of corporatism infecting every speech and policy enacted by our currently inept Executive, Legislative and Judicial bodies.   Across this country, more and more people are standing up to have their voices heard and their demands for the resurrection of their once great nation, met. Unfortunately, these voices are being answered with the echoes of police brutality and media defamation trying to quell their collective desire for change.

Currently, the most powerful of these voices is Occupy Wall Street.   Contrary to counter opinions from the corporatist controlled media, OWS is not a movement by Marxists and communists trying to take over America, a political march promoting President Obama's agenda nor is it a meaningless protest by society's pot heads and left over hippies from the 60's.   It is a meaningful commentary on the current and exponentially growing differential between our American Republic the way it was designed to be and Corporatism.   The line separating the two is evidenced by the police presence discouraging the movement, the violent tactics employed by them and the news outlets either condemning this American reality or downplaying it by stating it is a movement without a clear purpose.  

The police actions and the legislators and judges who enable them to enact such mistreatment of We the People seen in Liberty Park, New York, delineates a greater ill in our society which many of the citizens in this nation are coming to recognize and speak out against.   The protestors of OWS have gathered in numbers large enough to show solidarity in their purpose and represent enough of a cross section of our population that they cannot be ignored.   The problem though is how our freedom of speech and assembly have both been so judiciously and legislatively quashed.

- Advertisement -

Wall Street represents capitalism and capitalists will do what they can to garner profit.   Most operate by means of ethics because they have to under Governmental restrictions or moral/ethical restrictions they impose on themselves while others will try to make more no matter what risks are involved.   When the restrictions are lifted, most people with fortunes to be made, will succumb to the temptation and take advantage.   It is our government which has enabled these corporatists; it is the government that is setting dissenters into "free speech zones" else pay the price of imprisonment and it is the government, operating with the monies of capitalists, who are allowing the state of our nation to degrade.

To Serve and Protect is more than a catch phrase, it is a promise to those who put into power and pay out of their own hard work, the labor entailed in its meaning.   We see it emblazoned on Police cruisers and politicians and judges swear oaths to it with hand on Bible. It seems of late though, that the same people who only have power because of the People, are abusing and misusing it to bring about a new structure of governing contradictory to the very essence of this great nation.   Are we protected and served when our jobs are taken, our homes, our futures, and yes, even our civil rights?   Are we protected and served when police officers spray in the face a group of seemingly peaceful women corralled in a plastic construction fence?   Are we protected and served when our taxes and our safety is exported to foreign lands and used for murderous deeds only the likes of which only Heinrich Luitpold Himmler could ever have imagined?   Possibly, but we're still allowing them to work on it, aren't we?

At one time, "To Serve and Protect" was the mantra of the Los Angeles police department but it eventually trickled into other departments nationwide.   Many police officers took pride in this charter phrase and citizens most often could count on them to do so.   Now though, one has to wonder to whom these services are being rendered and how it became acceptable by our government local, State and Federal to employ aggressive and even abusive tactics seen against the OWS protestors in this, our Republic of the United States.  

- Advertisement -

The term first came about in 1955, (when) a contest was announced in the Los Angeles Police Department's internal magazine, BEAT. The contest involved devising a motto for the Los Angeles Police Academy. The motto needed to be something that would succinctly express the ideals to which those who serve as Los Angeles Police Officers became dedicated. 

The winning entry for the phrase was submitted by Officer Joseph S. Dorobek and served as the LAPD academy's motto until by City Council action, it became the official motto of the entire Los Angeles Police Department in 1963. It continues to appear on the Department's patrol cars as a symbol of commitment to service. 

This phrase which is emblazoned on LAPD patrol cars city wide has become one of the most recognizable phrases in law enforcement. Throughout its almost 50 years of use, it has come to embody the spirit, dedication, and professionalism of the Officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. (Excerpt from the LAPD site.)   I wonder if Rodney King felt he was being served and protected in 1991 when he was brutally beaten by LAPD officers, an act which incited the 1992, Los Angeles Riots.

Likewise, the motto of the New York Police Department is Fidelis ad Mortem: (Faithful until Death) and until recently, members of the NYPD were frequently referred to by the nickname; New York's Finest.   In light of recent events in the City one has to wonder to whom exactly they are faithful and what is it they have become the finest of?   Certainly, the violent and inappropriate acts perpetrated by these "fine" officers in New York against the protestors of OWS, is anything but.   If truth be told though, they are just an arm of our government, acting under their jurisdiction, direction and empowerment of their laws and codes of (mis)conduct.

The Patriot Act was the most recent attack on these Liberties but history is rife with similar restrictions of which, most Americans are ignorant of.   It is with these restrictions imposed by our government in all its forms, which are being enforced by the NYPD and so many other police departments across our fading empire.

A recent article I read, "Is Speech Really Free?", pointed out that the Constitution does not guarantee free speech but rather, prohibited Congress from imposing laws to abridge freedom of speech.   Its vaguity gave rise to two separate Sedition Acts.   The first in 1798, was initiated by John Adams while the second was passed in 1918.

The 1798 Sedition Act was a response to the threat of a war with France and included "four laws in an effort to strengthen the Federal government. Known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts, the legislation sponsored by the Federalists was also intended to quell any political opposition from the Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson." In essence, this Act prohibited public opposition to the government. Fines and imprisonment could be used against those who "write, print, utter, or publish any false, scandalous and malicious writing" against the government.

Acting in kind, the1918 Sedition Act extended the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds."   It was amended by Congress the following year to not only target those who interfered with the draft, but also those individuals guilty of sedition, in other words; those who publicly criticized the government -- including negative comments about the flag, military or Constitution (text).

- Advertisement -

Soon after paranoia gripped our nation from 9/11 and the fear propaganda delivered by those who would profit most from war and heightened security, any protests were to be placed into "free speech zones".   These zones are established to enable protestors to speak their minds but to not pose a threat to areas where national security may be threatened.   Unfair and unconstitutional you may say, but not so fast:   As Julie Hilden points out in her article, " The constitutionality of police-imposed 'free-speech zones' ", the "First Amendment rule is that you don't have a right to a "captive audience" "But occasionally, the Supreme Court has recognized a right to preach even to a captive audience".

After the 9/11 incidences which propelled this Nation into the sinking ship of xenophobic, psuedo-patriotic whirlpool, the Patriot Act produced similar legislation which shadowed these previous "Patriotic" laws but without the outward transparency of its forbearers' desires to silence the People.   The national protectionism which accompanied this free-for-all detriment to free speech has been seen every time a person speaks out against our nation's immoral wars, corporate enablement or any other voicing of dissent from We the People.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the New York Police Department formed a counter terrorism bureau whose soul purpose was to avoid another attack on the City. Part of the police reaction to the protests in New York is tied to this effort.   Police in the City corralled protesters; pepper sprayed them and arrested hundreds of others on the Brooklyn Bridge.   The rationale for these actions could be tied to this counter terrorist goal in that the protesters represented a danger to the City's security in that the disturbance could distract police from their main duties. The control and silencing of the people in New York and across this nation embarking upon similar quests are being treated similarly without regard for their civil liberties under the banner of practices under the patriot Act, National Security Act but hidden with crimes cited such as inciting a riot, blocking the right of way or soliciting.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Well Said 4   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Steven Forrest is a Project Architect living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently, he is working to implement Green Building initiatives in several communities across Florida. Given the current situation in America and the continued (more...)

S. Paul Forrest Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Private Prisons and the American Police State

Genetically Modified Foods and the Monsanto Initiative

Homeless in the Land of Milk and Honey

The RNC Arrives in Tampa and With It, Martial Law

God is a Weapon

How the Right is Reviving McCarthyism