The American Police State is the ‘New Normal’
COMMENTARY | According to The New York Times, the FBI just raided a data center in Virginia and seized many of its servers, causing websites owned by “tens of clients” to go offline — including those belonging to people who hadn’t broken a law, and were not suspected of any crime.
It may seem silly to get upset about the police taking down websites you don’t use. A certain quote may come to mind, though, as we look at other ways that the police in America abuse their power.
Tasering nonviolent people to death
A 72-year-old woman named Kathryn Winkfein got tasered not too long ago after she lost her temper at the cop who pulled her over. Her offense? Shouting at him.
Luckily, she “learned her lesson” about talking back to America’s authority figures. She was also awarded $40,000 in damages, which her County Constable, Richard McCain, complained was a reward for “bad behavior.” Apparently putting 50,000 volts through the heart of someone’s great-grandma is not bad behavior, as long as you wear a police uniform.
Winkfein was lucky. In what Digby calls the “Taser Atrocity Of The Day,” a man who took groceries without having paid for them was tasered continuously for 37 seconds, after he became “aggressive and was communicating loudly.” He died in the hospital.
The police officer who killed him was suspended for five days.
Stealing your cellphone (and its data)