\"If this is Homeland Security, I think we ought to be a little afraid.\"

...so says Gail Brinson, elementary school principal and witness to the rough-handling of a teacher's assistant by officers of the Department of Homeland Security.

Leander Pickett says he was directing traffic in the bus lane and asked the driver of a car parked there to move. "I walked up to him and said, 'Sir, you need to move.' That's when he said 'I'm a police officer. I'm with Homeland Security ... I'll move it when I want to.'" Pickett was handcuffed and held there for thirty minutes. The DHS disagrees with the story, saying Pickett was harassing their officers, but witnesses side with Pickett.

I'll admit the possibility that the witnesses, who are all affiliated with the school, supported a man who was harassing officers. But this is exactly the kind of behavior that I've come to expect from law enforcement officials. A video floating around the web recently showed a south Florida news station crew following a man from a police watchdog group as he tried to get information on complaint forms at various police stations. Unaware that they were being recorded, most of the police officers denied, intimidated, or threatened him. These weren't even federal. They were local police.

That's not to say there aren't 'good cops.' Plenty of them are honestly concerned with doing the right thing. But the job is about power, and we all know what power does. And DHS officers have even more power than local cops. Imagine the percentage of people you know who might be big enough jerks to do something like park in a school bus lane, and now imagine those people without anybody with the authority to make them move. Why wouldn't they stop and only move when they feel like it?

How do we stop abuses like this one? Not only the rough-handling, but the development of attitudes that make it possible?

Link via Sploid.

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How do we stop abuses like

How do we stop abuses like this one? Not only the rough-handling, but the development of attitudes that make it possible?

A couple of things.

(1) Decentralization to the greatest extent possible, making the local force-users responsive to local residents; and

(2) Reversing the atrocious Civil War era doctrine that grants government agents civil and criminal immunity when they violate people's basic rights, which they now enjoy even in shockingly severe cases.

The video. Have a bucket

The video. Have a bucket ready.

I should be clear; the video

I should be clear; the video above is of the Florida cops, not the teacher's assistant.

On the Florida cop story

On the Florida cop story (the video link), there's an interesting followup--the head of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association exposed the personal information of the reporter on the story by publishing it on their website--his home address, driver's license number, and date of birth, in a misuse of MVD data.

By having a market anarchist

By having a market anarchist society, so that thugs and bullies like them become accountable to us and not the reverse, duh.