The title might sound inflammatory on the surface, but I sincerely hope this will be helpful. Now that police reform is no longer “taboo” to talk about in public and two of the nations most popular Presidents in history are on board and actively gathering around the debate table to share their ideas, I thought it might be time to share my ideas online all the same.
1.) Stop Hiring Marines & Combat Soldiers First, Use a different form of Training as a baseline instead
I think the biggest issue we are finding with police in the 21st century is their propendency for violence, brutality or at least authoritarianism. Now, I have personally talked to police chiefs about their hiring practices and can show you emails where they tell me “veterans get first look when it comes to accepting new applications” among all candidates. This is because members of the armed forces are already trained, know how to use weapons, have demonstrated they follow commands and already have experience in high stress environments. However, as many former soldiers will also tell you, “in any high stress environment you always revert back to your highest level of training.”
But how are Marines for example trained? Marines are trained to meet and “conquer” any obstacle head on. They are all literally trained killers whom have volunteered to travel the world going around killing people. Members of the Army often joke that “if a Marine isn’t told what to think they wouldn’t know what to think” – and it’s kind of true, it’s part of the training instilled in them. Call them honorable, brave, patriotic, whatever you want. I have never met a Marine that was not a violent person, and any person who volunteers for the Marine core is willfully volunteering for a life of violence – they know what they are getting themselves into and no one forces them to do it.
The fact of the matter is that they are violent killers or want to be killers, not civil servants. Police are hired to serve the people of their communities, not continue their military careers using a different medium. There is a very big difference between being a military soldier and being a police officer, and I just do not think most former active duty police officers understand this – which is why their violent and authoritarian mentalities carry over to their police work. In the military you kill people and look at everyone not in your uniform as your enemies. However, as a police officer, your duty is to protect and serve the population and your community. It’s not to kill and treat said population as your enemy. These are two entirely different things which often get conflated by modern officers with military experience. These hiring practices need to change.
I also believe the modern trend of police militarization following the Nixon Administrations War on Drugs certainly doesn’t help police mentality. You dress a man up like a soldier, who used to be a soldier, even if they don’t have PTSD on the surface, it enacts a certain psychological mentality in them. You see all these police combating protesters? They are in pure War mode.
I honestly believe that we will see drops in police brutality, police violence and shootings if we begin decreasing the number of Marines and former combat troops serving in America’s police forces.
“Police are tasked with cleaning up some of the worst aspects of our organized society. But arresting people and taking freedom away from your fellow citizens should be an unfortunate aspect of your job. When you wake up and go to work looking forward to arresting people or begin looking at people as the enemy you have been corrupted by your job and you should resign.” – Brian Dunn –
Im telling you, people are starting to wise up. I know officer in Hillsborough, NH Anthony Grameri who posts “cop porn” on his Facebook. Videos of Cops beating the shit out of people. This is protest porn then, about time cops get their ass beat w/ no repercussions – only fair.
— Brian Dunn (@RogueMedi4) December 6, 2020
2.) End The War On Drugs, Legalize Marijuana Federally
Before getting into “the meat” of this subject I want to take a brief second to set this all up. More specifically, I want to touch on the fallacious notion of America being the “land of the free” because, ironically, America is quite literally the least free country on planet Earth. At least according to the statistics, that is.
For example, did you know that as of 2020 the United States is home to just 5% of the globes overall population, but accounts for about 22% of the worlds prison population? How about the fact that America arrests more citizens ‘per capita’ than any country in the world, including Iran, North Korea, Russia or anyone else? Or the fact that the United States is considered one of the worst human rights violators in the world, not only because of Americas numerous/constant Wars and military campaigns, but also because Americas criminal justice system has created conditions allowing for the US to actively host the worlds largest population of incarcerated citizens? Every year for example, the United States always makes the list of the worlds top human rights offenders because of these very facts.
You combine statistics from our justice system with our constant Wars and military campaigns, and America is quite literally the most Fascist nation on this planet. American citizens just don’t realize it because they’ve been force-fed propaganda their entire lives – and no, that isn’t just some hippy nonsense. From 4 years old to 18 all Americans told to stand and ‘pledge your allegiance’ to an inanimate, material object every single morning– a flag. Every major public or sporting event begins with the National anthem or Patriotic gesture. Every television station has its own version of a crime or police drama. It is called “re-enforced learning” and it is all by design, implemented at the highest reaches of our Government for hundreds of years now. All designed to make it seem “normal” to arrest as many people as we arrest, to instill a sense of Nationalistic pride in your country – so that this pride may one day lead you to fight for it. It is indoctrination, propaganda, brainwashing, re-enforced learning, whatever you want to call it. It is the wool pulled over our eyes, so to speak.
Now, with that out of the way, what is the single largest contributing factor to the US having the largest prison population in the entire world? This is a direct result of President Nixons “War on Drugs,” a War/Policy still being fought/followed by every President since – despite Nixon’s impeachment.
Since Nixon and his War on Drugs in 1971, there has been a 500% increase in arrests inside the United States and as recently as 2015, there were over 2.2 million people serving sentences in federal prisons – 70% of which are there for drug related charges. More recently, since 1994, when 100,000 police officers were added to the national police force, the number of incarcerated citizens inside the United States has doubled.
The War On Drugs is a failed policy implemented by a failed President, it just doesn’t make any sense to continue on down this road. Does any police department honestly think they are “winning” here? Anyone who wants to be on drugs is already on drugs or can get them, fighting it is just nonsense no matter how much federal funding we throw at the problem. I mean, up until 2018 it was an arrestable offense to grow Hemp for crying out loud, this is all madness! It just needs to end.
For the sake of shortening this article, if we are not going to end the War on Drugs at large, then the simplest and most impactful thing the US Government can possibly do to reform our criminal justice system and police enforcement nationwide is to legalize marijuana on the Federal level. I mean, does it matter whether it happens 10 years from now or today? It is going to happen, we are just wasting time.
House passes marijuana decriminalization bill https://t.co/eNq67WvCvP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 4, 2020
But why legalize marijuana? Why is this perhaps the single most impactful thing lawmakers and law enforcement can do today? First, we must think upon the current illegality of marijuana. We have many people in prison, salary for police officers to seek out drug users on duty, prosecutors whom try and convict them, then food, clothing and shelter for people whom are placed into prison. On top of this there are state appointed lawyers in some cases, gas for police vehicles pursuing abusers, black hawks to look for marijuana fields – et cetera. Just think about the logistics of it all, everything I just listed costs the state money. However, state money is tax payer money. This very literally means us, we the tax payers are paying cash out of our pockets to fund all of these things – and that’s just for continuous marijuana persecution alone, nevermind all other drugs. Is there honestly nothing better or more productive we could be doing with all that time, money and resources?
Now, just think about the fact we are running a historic 27 trillion dollar national deficit which is literally growing larger each passing minute. Our Government is hemorrhaging money, yet we still find it necessary to finance a war on drugs which has already long proven to be a failure? I mean, my neighbor in New Hampshire used to be one of those men whom whom flew around in black-hawks to find marijuana fields around the state and even he complains how much of a waste of time and money it was. Do you know how much it costs per hour to keep a helicopter in the air, fully staffed, all summer long? It’s crazy money spent just to persecute a plant! And to what ends? Has any of this expenditure actually stopped anyone from finding or getting weed in the states? Of course not, not even close.
I am from #NewHampshire. I can assure you, #police and politicians look at all #drugs as one in the same. #Marijuana is all the same as #heroine in New Hampshire. That is just how people think up there. They’re all elderly and come from great wealth, very disconnected up there.
— Brian Dunn (@RogueMedi4) December 4, 2020
The fact that so many people in society are in jail or being prosecuted or you have heard about in the news is proof that the people in society who want to be on drugs are already on drugs in the first place – whether you want to hear it or not. Even police officers admit they can not keep drugs out of the hands of drug users. If they could, they would – it’s literally their job. The fact that Donald Trump just recently classified America’s combined drug problem as a “national epidemic” tells you all that you need to know here. We’ve been fighting this War on Drugs since President Nixon. Now, 50 years later, hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the problem is only worse than ever. What the hell is even the point!? What is law enforcement’s strategy? The fact of the matter is that the war on drugs has failed, it has been failing for quite a long time now. All we continue to do is mis-allocate resources on behalf of it, in vein.
If we legalized marijuana for example, we turn crippling expenditure into a money making enterprise overnight. All the money previously used to keep marijuana users in prison, prosecute them and have police spend active duty time pursuing them is then immediately freed up for other purposes. Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana increases state revenue through the money made by taxing its product. So, not only do we save untold millions or billions by not persecuting the plant, we also profit from its legality on top of that – giving state and local Governments added revenue for expenditure or programs for free. It is a win, win. What could the Government then do to improve society after that point? The options are endless.
For example, I’ve been trying to lobby state and local police to reverse their stances on marijuana persecution for years now. As a Libertarian candidate in 2014 I even tried to convince NH police departments that if they legalized marijuana I would give raises to all police officers state-wide with the added revenue the Government would make from taxing marijuana products. They could also use marijuana tax revenue to hire new/more officers or improve equipment – etc. However, they still weren’t persuaded to change their stances on this issue and it is such a damn shame to see.
3.) Allow Citizens To Arm Themselves
I honestly believe a large part of the problem we see with people and the police is that we depend on the police/government to keep us protected, instead of just protecting ourselves. I don’t care what ideology you come from, the fact of the matter is that states with the most open gun laws have some of the lowest crime rates in the United States. Conversely, states with the most strict gun laws have some of the highest crime rates in the entire country. Look no further than Chicago or New York, for example. This concept doesn’t just apply to guns, but all weapons for that matter.
When I was in New York City in 2018 a man tried to stab me outside The Ritz Carleton by Central Park. I was able to block the attack and the man left, but he was murdered later that night. I was latest questioned by police about everything that happened, but declined any comment. Even today I walk by the Polo Grounds or Madison Square Garden and there are people who want to try and rob or confront people they see as weak, and they always have weapons when doing so. Honestly, it is like Chris Rock once joked “don’t go to parties with weapons detectors. Sure they feel safe inside, but what about all those n*ggers waiting on the outside with guns? They know you aint got one.”
It’s funny because it is true. People only act like fools because they think they can get away with it and they know normal people are too afraid of laws to adequately or equally protect themselves, so criminals try to take advantage of this by wielding weapons. I blocked a knife attack and the man got away just to be killed later that night, who knows what he did in between. Maybe if I had a knife or gun I would have seriously injured him, but he wouldn’t have gotten away and a murder wouldn’t have occurred. Just a personal example of how allowing citizens to arm themselves actually helps keep the streets and people on them protected, while also lowering crime rates as a result. If Chicago implemented open carry laws and more law abiding citizens were wandering around the streets with guns I guarantee a lot more criminals would think twice before doing anything stupid and crime would thus be reduced.
It is just a fact backed up by Federal statistics, liberal weapons policies actually increase crime – ironically, despite trying to reduce weapon ownership.
I think #NYPD @NYPDShea need to re-evalute defensive weapon policy, especially now that police are defunded by $1 Billion. Had 10 min respectful convo w/ officer Marcus about the issue, politely told me not to bring one into the city. Ppl have knives whether they are legal or not
— Brian Dunn (@RogueMedi4) November 20, 2020
4.) Stop Shows of Force and Intimidation; Flashing Lights
This is another issue unique to my experiences in both New Hampshire and New York. It falls along some of the same lines as hiring combat soldiers addressed in the first section of this article. For example, from 2017 on I was under investigation for everything under the sun, before being fully cleared on every count. But one day a Hopkinton, NH police cruiser was parked outside my gym, the home town of one of my accusers – obviously surveilling my movements. Only what I noticed was that the police cruiser had blacked out windows in the front and back – something illegal in the state of New Hampshire. So that night I actually did my research and found out it was in fact illegal for police to do this and reported them to the state for violations. Needless to say, later that week there were no longer any tinted windows in the Departments police cars.
I bring this up to address the polices need to feel “intimidating” or look “bad ass” while on the clock. There is no need for a cop car to be blacked out with blacked out windows, regardless whether or not it is even legal in that state for them to do so. The fact of the matter is that cops only do this to make their cars and/or persona look “cool.” There is no functionality, it is done purely to portray a certain image to anyone seeing it.
Along the same lines here in New York City you tend to find empty police cars with their emergency lights left flashing – for no reason. Go to Columbus Circle by Central Park. There are always police cars with lights flashing 24/7, despite no emergency being present. Go to 155 and Frederick Douglass Blvd at any point in the day. The police keep a cop car parked outside with the lights flashing 24/7, and the same could be said around all corners of NYC. Cops even leave their flashing lights on when parked eating food or taking a break.
You have to ask yourself, why are police doing this? Again, it is done as a show of force and to look intimidating to the public – to scare people. I believe the polices logic is that if would be criminals were to see flashing lights it would make them less likely to carry out a criminal act. I can not honestly say whether or not this “tactic” is actually effective or not, I just look at it from a different perspective.
I’m sorry to “go there” with this next bit, but Hitler used to station police on every corner of the countries biggest cities to uphold “law and order.” He wanted his citizens to know that there were police everywhere and if they did not do what the Government or law demanded they would be swiftly dealt with. Hitler was also an open “Fascist.” Tell me though, what is different from what Hitler did with the SS and what the NYPD is doing at Columbus Circle and the Polo Grounds? It is literally the same tactic, which should scare you.
No citizen wants to go about their daily lives being harassed or intimidated by police everywhere they go, it just sends a negative message throughout society that people are being watched, something bad is happening or a crime is about to happen or can happen at any instant. It just makes people uneasy. Every time you go out in public all you see is flashing lights everywhere for no actual reason, it’s simply being done to make people afraid – and this is exactly what people now are, afraid. This is also why this practice needs to stop. Stop making people afraid, stop trying to intimidate people. We know crimes happen and that there are some bad people in the city, but police make everything appear so much worse than it actually is because of their own practices.
I’ve done research but I have yet to find a definitive answer. But last I knew it was illegal for the police, fire departments or ambulances to turn on and/or use their emergency flashing lights when there is no emergency present. If this is the case, we must start enforcing these policies and begin reducing police shows of force throughout our communities. All they are doing is spreading fear, panic, anxiety and distrust throughout all of society, not just amongst would be criminals.