RE: On January 28th, Criminals No Longer Another Face in theTampa Stadium Crowd

From: Chris Russo (
Date: Thu Feb 01 2001 - 13:41:42 MST

> > What's the difference between this system and being in a small town,
>> where the local police officers know who the typical "trouble makers"
>> are?
>The difference is that in a small town people KNOW each other. They pass
>each other on the street and say hi several times a week. They risk their
>lives together when there's an emergency such as a flood or major fire. And
>so forth. There's a HUGE difference between being arrested by someone to
>whom you're just a generic criminal and being arrested by someone whose kid
>you took to the hospital the time he fell from a tree and broke his arm.

What does knowing someone have to do with prosecuting them as a
lawbreaker? Are you implying that someone should get special
leniency or treatment because he knows the police who caught him?

> > What's the difference between this system and having a large team of
>> police officers, who have thoroughly studied hundreds of photos of
>> felons and wanted criminals, watching near the gate?
>Not much difference here. And not much difference from situations where
>people are encouraged (or frightened) into spying on their neighbors and
>reporting them to the cops.

Yikes, what a non-sequitur. "Frightened"? You're implying that
having some intelligent surveillance cameras or plenty of ready
officers on hand is like cops bullying people into ratting on their
neighbors? Doesn't that ignore the poor ethics of the cops in
bullying someone to the point of fear?

>But there's something wrong with all those
>pictures. A society that needs that sort of observation of its members in
>order to enforce its rules must have some structural flaws.

Uh... Yes? Are you saying that our society lacks structural flaws?
A society that needs *any* observation of its members in order to
enforce its rules must have some structural flaws - it's just a
matter of minimizing the impact of those flaws upon the law-abiding
members of our society.

Personally, I'm not satisfied with the safety level in our society.
In the last ten years or so, I've had my car stolen, my car broken
into and valuable items stolen, a friend who was mugged and slashed
in broad daylight downtown, etc. Those issues are fresh in my mind
and impact my life quite often - affecting where I go and what I do.

To contrast that, I've never had law enforcement agents take my
property or make me feel like I might lose my life. I can't think of
any friends or friends of friends who've had serious encounters with
law enforcement that they didn't bring upon themselves. I'm not
always enamored with policemen. Sometimes they can be a bit haughty,
but give me an asshole cop writing me a ticket versus someone
stealing my car from IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE any day.


Chris Russo

"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought 
or deed, I will gladly change.  I seek the truth, which never yet 
hurt anybody.  It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance 
which does harm."
              -- Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS, VI, 21

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