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Authoritarianism in black and white, printed in the Washington Post

Today the Washington Post published this, written by a former cop who now teaches something called "homeland security" at a for-profit online university:

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

"If you don't want to get shot…just do what I tell you."

Meanwhile, here are some recent stories in the news:

From Detroit: "A Detroit police officer is charged in the rape of a woman who called 911 to report being assaulted by her boyfriend."

From Hawaii: "Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations, touching off a heated debate.

Authorities say they need the legal protection to catch lawbreakers in the act. Critics, including human trafficking experts and other police, say it's unnecessary and could further victimize sex workers, many of whom have been forced into the trade."

From California: "A man brutally beaten by police in June after he surrendered and lay down on the ground is now at risk of being deported.

Police officers in Santa Ana, California, beat Edgar Vargas Arzate on June 20, according to surveillance video of the incident and interviews with Arzate's attorney. Arzate, who has struggled with addiction and mental health issues, went to visit the house of a friend, apparently not realizing that the friend no longer lived there, according to his attorney, public defender Frank Bittar. The new residents saw Arzate mumbling incoherently outside their house and called police.

Arzate ran when he saw the officers, leading them on a roughly four-block chase before he surrendered in the front yard of a neighbor's home, Bittar said. In the video, Arzate can be seen lying facedown on the ground. The officers then begin to savagely beat Arzate, punching, kicking and swinging a flashlight at him."

Those are the ones you probably didn't hear about.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.