Waiting For The State To Control Itself
Should law enforcement be held to a higher standard than civilians?
Unfortunately, the Constitution isn’t going to uphold itself and that is why ultimately it has failed to protect on numerous occasions.
When agents who have been trusted to uphold that document, instead turn and ignore and violate it, the people are going to suffer and they have; left with little or no recourse. And it has been violated by agents of the state at various levels of government.
In his defense of a Constitutional Republic, James Madison long ago wrote that if men were angels then they wouldn’t need any government to rule over them. And along with creating government in the first place and giving the state the power to rule over others, is the challenge in requiring agents of the state to control themselves, to limit their power.
Since men are not angels and not immune to corruption and abuse, how can they be trusted to govern over others? That isn’t to say that the alternative would be no attempt or effort at organization, that’s only to say that trying to centrally plan everything via coercion has and always will be a bad idea. People should be given a choice, rather than having it forced onto them by others. Free people should be allowed to simply opt out. And until that organization can be rooted in voluntary exchanges rather than coerced ones, we should never be surprised by the failures and shortcomings; the widespread abuse that statism affords.
We also cannot rely on agents of the state to decide for us when something is right or wrong, Constitutional or not, because they are not immune to mistake or corruption. Is it any wonder that the United States has slipped into an oligarchy over the years, and that many Constitutional, liberty-loving scholars have even warned that it’s slipping into fascism?
To prevent such results from becoming a reality, wouldn't we assume that law enforcement would be held to a higher standard than the public? If those agents are found to be abusing their authority, while trying to supposedly uphold and enforce it, then their actions obviously present a threat to the public and risk fueling further Constitutional violations. They should be held accountable for their actions.
Over the years, there have been many officers who have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted in that role, and yet quite often we see no real consequences taken when they engage in any wrongdoing. That isn’t to say that some haven’t been dealt with severely however, losing their jobs or being arrested and so on. But regardless of the checks and balances that are supposed to be put into place to prevent widespread injustice and corruption, Constitutional violations are still widespread. Many Americans have had their rights unjustly violated. Even worse, is when there are certain legislation and programs in place that are blatantly unconstitutional and yet we are told to believe otherwise by authorities.
How many innocent people might be spending years behind bars because of the lies and wrongdoing of an agent of the state? According to a recent New York Times investigation, testilying is still alive and well, deeply entrenched into the criminal justice system today. It was found that many officers have lied under oath, though police department heads have assured that it’s only a small fraction of instances they might see every year. However, the goal is to have zero cases.
Now that more officers are adding video cameras to their uniforms, it was assumed that the camera might act as a deterrent and inspire officers to operate in a more honest fashion. But the cameras for now seem to only be exposing more wrongdoing, revealing details of untruths and wrongdoing that we otherwise would never have uncovered.
Why are they telling lies?