As an example you can be arrested, beat up or arrested for recording police with a camera. Even though tool to protect our rights are the camera the police know this as well. I have read numerous stories of police saying that a person recording them is interfering in their duty. The truth is police don't want recording because it can't be business as usual. Along with this I have seem multiple You tube videos where people where speaking their minds and police did not like what they were saying and arrested them. They were told that they are creating a public nuisance when all they were doing was exercising their first amendment rights. Ignorance of the law is no excuse correct? This should apply to police as well. They should know the law and the rights that they are protecting and if they arrest you for no reason then they are breaking the law. But we are so crazy. We allow police to arrest us and either out of ignorance or blatantly to break the law by detaining a person without cause. Remember ignorance of the law is no excuse...But it is with police. They can charge you and allow the courts to sort it out and you should feel lucky not to be convicted. Things need to change. Police need harsher punishments if they break the law. The reason for this is if they get caught once they have been using the badge to get away with it for years. People better start caring about their rights.
The other day I was driving back to San Diego from AZ. Around Pine Valley in CA I was stopped for an "immigration check." 3 cops, one with a dog, circled my BMW. The dog did a 360 sniff and the cops did a 360 visual. This used to be a stop to ask if you were bringing any fruits or vegetables to CA. Then it became an immigration stop where the cops looked at the occupants and decided if they needed to question anyone. Now everyone is searched by dogs. This is unacceptable.
Between people wanting armed guards at grade schools and Occupy policemen harassing protesters who have every legal right to be protesting, yes, the U.S. seems to as of late, be on the road to becoming a police state. This is very unfortunate because it quiets parts of the population that have every right to move about freely and express themselves without someone watching over their shoulders, whether it be grade school children or political protesters.
Between people wanting armed guards at grade schools and Occupy policemen harassing protesters who have every legal right to be protesting, yes, the U.S. Seems to as of late, be on the road to becoming a police state. This is very unfortunate because it quiets parts of the population that have every right to move about freely and express themselves without someone watching over their shoulders, whether it be grade school children or political protesters.
The US is on it's way to becoming a police state. When police can break the law and travel outside of their duties without repercussions, then we are headed to becoming a police state. Time and time again police beat innocent citizens and commit other various injustices (corruption, false accusations), but this will happen in any society. The problem is when there is no punishment and that same officer is given paid leave for a month. Here, there is no punishment for a violation of rights, and when this occurs, the respect for individual rights declines, and a police state can flourish.
Traffic light camera/s, interstate cameras, body cams, cruiser cams, license plate readers, toll booths, imminent domain, civil disobedience label, disorderly conduct label, the erosion of the 2nd, 4th, and 5th amendments, as well as the tearing apart and not recognizing the Federalist papers by new laws has dimminshed everything with outlawing privacy for the satisfaction of a few, and for the government. Internet neutrality, monthly subscriptions for free services, with the erosion of free speech with Noisy big brothers (state/ federal/local) watching over all of us with no waarants or due process has created a police state; even if you don't beleive it. When they knock on your door, or accuse you. You will be a victim also with no support...
Just yesterday I was ganged up on by a bunch of bank employees at KeyBank who utilized the police to threaten me that if I return, they would arrest me. This was simply in response to a personality dispute between me and the manager against my frustrations. I broke no law or policy. I was simply frustrated and she was intolerant of my expression of those frustrations. I didn't even use profanity to initiate their contacting the police. The police, for their part, were in total defense of the bank. For them it was very straightforward, if I ever step foot on the property again, I will be arrested. This is despite the fact that the bank holds ALL of my money.. So they basically are holding it for ransom. These are cliche police state circumstances.
When you have random cops arresting you for just standing in a corner somewhere, it's ridiculous. Ever since the era of slavery, everyone living in the country has been brainwashed to believe that America is a free country. And while we're certainly not like China...Yet, we have a police force acquiring military grade weaponry which should only be used by the National Guard. Police bias towards certain racial groups is or has been prominent in some departments over the decades, police raids and harassment of innocent individuals over the use of harmless drugs is common since Nixon began the hated War on Drugs, and now we are using surveillance cameras in so many locations and in so many hidden places you'd think the Gestapo was watching you. Police brutality is so common in America.
If you need convincing, go to youtube and search for 'Vermilion Parish teacher gets arrested at Vermilion Parish school board meeting'. This truly shocked me - I cannot believe it seems now to be acceptable for the police to arrest someone for asking a question that someone else doesn't like, or doesn't want to answer.
Private prisons, police quotas, having the police/government not responsible for destroying property, giving them military grade weapons and armor, giving police continually more power to subdue, no consequences for killing civilians, asset forfeiture, giving police more power to stop someone because they feel like it, giving police more power above the already wrong search laws. Police violence seems to be okay in this society, even over a damn piece of a plant and toward 12 year old kids. "I thought he had a gun" is way to easy of an argument to use. When they shoot our beloved pets, yet almost no delivery driver has had to. When they trespass and invade privacy. When they destroy the interior of your car looking for drugs, find nothing, then leave you to pay for it yourself. When they accidentally shoot someone and face no consequences when I would spent years upon years in jail.
While the United States has increased in terms of security measures, I do not believe it has become a police state. Events such a the recent happenings in Boston prove that security's presence in the minds of United States officials is justified. Citizens and visitors alike are able to navigate our country freely without fear of attack while still enjoying the full array of rights given to us by the US Constitution, the US is not a police state, it is a safe state and a calm state of being.
These idiotic thugs who are trying to shoot cops, or holding an fake but realistic gun and disobeying a cops orders to drop it, or rushing police get what is coming to them. If anything I think we should be more like a police state. Crack down on these "peaceful" protests that end up destroying cities after the sun goes down.
If you want to see a police state go live in North Korea or China. Police officers are part of the executive branch that enforces the laws that were passed by the people through propositions or their elected representatives. You can't expect an officer to not ever make mistakes and now all the thousands of laws off the top of their head. That's why our constitution creates "checks and balances" with due process through the legislative branch (courts). Police officers are human too and some make mistakes, with over 800k law enforcement officers in the US alone. But most officers are good, have a tough job, and do amazing service for the community.
By definition also no, the force used is minimalized, there is no torture or maiming. We have no political prisoners. There are multiple political parties within the US.....Etc,
Although there seem to be many cases of blatant abuse of authority by the police, these cases are individual and clearly in breach of the law. This is proved by the action taken by state and government when these cases are documented, e.g. filmed.
These officers face repercussions by the hand of the state and government. These actions are clearly not accepted.
With the rise of video recording tools we are inevitably seeing much more of this, and therefore starting to understand the scope of the problem. But the fact that we didn't see this before does not mean it did not happen, maybe even to a much larger extent.
What we see is clearly worrying, and there IS a big problem with police abuse of authority in the US, especially compared to other western nations, where the police is generally held in high regard as public servants.
But the answer to the question "are the US becoming a police state?" Is no. People's rights are protected by the law. In a police state this is not the case, or these laws are not followed on a practical basis.