Whenever someone makes a blog post or the press has a report about the police violating someone’s rights the instant refrain is “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” I’m so tired of hearing this! Do people really believe that the police only harass criminals? Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? Not that even that presumption is good enough in many cases.
For those who believe there are no innocent people in jail, here’s a list of more than 200! Not enough? Well, here’s a list of more than 100 people who were sentenced to the death penalty only to be later exonerated! These lists are only of those convicted of serious crimes who have had one (or more) organizations spend thousands of dollars and countless hours working to prove their innocence. Can you really look over these lists and still believe that only the guilty are even charged of crimes? There’s a reason that a Google search for criminal case overturned on appeal turns up more than a million results. Courts make mistakes all the time. So do the police. And that’s not even accounting for actual corruption. Though if you’re interested in the tip of the corruption iceberg, check out StopTheDrugWar.org’s archives of weekly police corruption stories.
This is all aside from the fact that no one over the age of 16 is actually “innocent” in the eyes of the American legal system. If you truly believe you’re not a criminal, then ask yourself if you’ve ever done any of the following-
- Tasted alcohol before you were 18 (or 21)
- Smoked before you were 18
- Rolled through a stop sign or run a red light
- Had sex (or even touched another persons genitalia) before you were “legal”
- Exceeded the speed limit by even 1 mph
- Played in a “football pool” or similar at work or school
- Failed to report winning a church or school raffle on your tax return (prizes are considered income)
- Crossed a street outside of a crosswalk
- Given a false weather report
You may be thinking these aren’t “important” laws, and I’d agree with you, but they’re still laws. And if you’ve violated a single one of them, then you’re a criminal according to the police and the government. So, maybe it’s time you join those crazy people who want to follow the Constitution and start questioning laws and police activities that are immoral or unethical, despite their legal status.