The Police State’s ‘Cardinal Rule’: The Mundane Must Submit
by William Norman Grigg
British officer: You call yourself a patriot, and a loyal subject to King George?
Hawkeye: I don’t call myself “subject” to much of anything.
Hawkeye explains the foundational tenet of the American worldview to a self-important armed government functionary offended by the frontiersman’s principled defiance; from the 1992 version of Last of the Mohicans.
Marilyn Levias, a 19-year-old Seattle girl involved in a jaywalking incident during which a police officer assaulted another 17-year-old girl, displayed “a dangerous refusal to observe a cardinal rule that civilians simply must comply with instructions from police officers,” insists Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
For this, Miss Levias faces a gross misdemeanor charge of “Obstructing a Police Officer.” During the confrontation, Levias’s 17-year-old friend, Angel L. Rosenthal, intervened on her behalf and was punched in the face by officer Ian P. Walsh. As is typically the case when a Mundane’s face obstructs the trajectory of a police officer’s fist, the victim is the one facing criminal charges.
In announcing the criminal charge against Levias, City Attorney Holmes offered the mildest possible limp-wristed swipe at the Seattle Police Department by saying that the incident illustrates the need “for de-escalation training for officers.” Holmes also cited an observation by Judge Michael Spearman, auditor for the police department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, that “The use of force in a [jaywalking] situation as a best practice is questionable.”