THE BLOG
05/07/2013 03:05 pm ET | Updated Jul 05, 2013

How Did Violence Become an Epidemic?

Getty Images

How did violence in our country become an epidemic? Let's investigate what might have helped to trigger that escalation; first we need to review the dramatic changes that have happened recently to our society -- new laws, changing perception, high levels of stress and concerns about security. After the terrorist attacks on 9/11 we responded by the passage of many new laws, primarily the Patriot Act and the creation of a new department at the Cabinet level named Homeland Security. The entire population of our country was affected by the single gigantic fact that our enemies could breach our borders and kill so many of us at once, with just so few of them. In simple language we were dealing with the perception that we were not longer impenetrable. The stress of this new concern that our porous borders allows bad guys to come and go into our lives and kill many of us along the way drove so many of us to arm our homes and our person with weapons that migrated from the military to civilian hands. Then in the name of safety and security with enormous funds allocated through Homeland Security Department we armed our local law enforcement with even more weapons of mass destruction so that they could keep us safe from the bad guys that had invaded us so easily. Then we continued the folly by assuring all of the volunteer recruits for our military when they signed up to fight our enemies abroad that when their tour of duty was over they could move directly into local law enforcement jobs without any examinations, test or psychological profile and review.

We all witnessed the Newtown police force arriving at Sandy Hook Elementary school when the 911 call was received. I really was amazed at the amount of sophisticated mechanized vehicles and personal body armor that this local Connecticut small town police force has at their disposal. It was a shame that the killer was actually better armed than the police -- just out-numbered. He was able to amass all that firepower at home since his family owned and enjoyed shooting as a hobby, and buying so much ammunition over the Internet and at local stores did not cause anyone selling it to be the least bit concerned. Then when those hapless parent-less boys from Russia created those bombs filled with common ordinary metal objects that when propelled cause so much bodily damage halted the Boston Marathon and crippled the fine city of Boston for a week, what we saw on the streets of Boston was not the police force that I fondly remember from my days at the MIT Technology Lab or at Harvard visiting seminars and lectures by Professor Michael Dukakis. On the streets of Boston we could have been watching a Hollywood film with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leading warrior of highly trained military troops going door to door with SWAT team night vision glasses, Humvees that could have come directly from the battle ground of the Middle East lumbering down the streets of Boston, frightening folks that have committed no crime, who are left to ponder would we would be better off with less hardware and more intelligence to strengthen our community.

My research uncovered that the money for all the armament and paraphernalia comes from the Department of Homeland Security. Combine that unlimited amount of funds with new laws through the Patriot Act that now allows law enforcement to reduce our liberties and invade the privacy of common law-abiding citizens of our country without the old due process. We are allowing that erosion of our rights because we still believe that we are still vulnerable to outside enemies. I believe that the danger is from within.

I have been investigating the rise in random capital violence by law enforcement against unarmed civilians who happen to be in custody or cross the paths with uniformed officers and I find that currently it is happening against all forms of civil society, where that sort of violence in the past was focused on dwellers primarily in urban America. I have seen a strong complicity growing by the judicial branch of our system supporting the escalation of violence by law enforcement against civil society. I believe that it starts with the Internal Affairs department in a police force which is the first interview a law enforcement member involved with deadly force situation goes through, traditionally that officer is given a pass by his own, using the phase "In the Line of Duty", then the local district attorneys follows suit and will normally give any officer involved with a lethal attack on an innocent civilian a pass as again "all the in the line of duty", the officer involved will have no reprimand on his jacket or loss of pay and seniority. I will add here a little known fact, that none of these interviews are covered by a court reporter and are only audio recorded, so presenting them as evidence at trial is very difficult, that testimony it becomes almost a secret internal document. Go a step farther up the ladder to a Federal district court which is the only recourse that one has if a loved one is killed by accident through a mistaken identity or incident by law enforcement, is to sue on a civil rights violation. My finding shows that Federal District judges more times than not support the Defendants who in these cases are law enforcement. We have such a loyalty to our protectors it is almost treasonable to accuse that they could do us harm purposely, so those judges for the most part find in the favor of the members of the blue line, "in the line of duty."

Put all those factors into place what you have is the beginning of a national police force, which our founding fathers never wanted, because of the fear that so much power will put all civil society at risk. When our protectors become the aggressor with so much unchecked power, we are all at risk.

Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?