Is America becoming a police state?

This was the topic of the last post of Arminian theologian Roger Olson, who besides debunking Calvinism deals with social problems plaguing the American society.

ImageHe points out alarming facts concerning abuse of power by the American justice system which most often affect black males, Obama notwithstanding.

If he (and his sources) are right, this is truly depressing.

ImageI like the way he described one experience he did at a court:

My eyes were opened when I recently served as a potential juror in a criminal case in the city/country where I live. I sat with about one hundred fellow citizens of all ages, ethnicities, genders, educational levels, etc., and endured an entire day of being lectured about the American justice system and questioned by the prosecutor and defense attorney (“jury selection”). The defendant was an African-American male. He was charged with possession of cocaine. We potential jurors were informed that, if convicted, he could be sentenced to five to twenty-five years in prison. Also, it was revealed almost as an aside, that if he was convicted he might be sentenced to life in prison. I assume this would be his third conviction.

The defense attorney asked the potential jurors how many of us asked ourselves “What did he do?” when we entered the courtroom and saw the defendant. The majority of hands went up. The defense attorney asked several people “Why did you think that?” Most of them said something like “Well, he had to have done something to be here.” Then the defense attorney asked us, the potential jurors, to choose between two answers to the question what our duty as jurors is. Answer one (clearly displayed on a large screen) was “My duty as a juror is to protect society from people accused of crimes.” The other answer was “My duty as a juror is to protect innocent people who have been wrongly accused of crimes.” Every juror before me affirmed the first answer. When he pointed to me I said “Answer one says ‘accused,’ not ‘convicted. So if I have to choose I choose answer two.” Every juror after me answered two.

I think that the war on drug greatly contributes to this evil state of affair and is responsible for many personal tragedies Afro-Americans are victim of.

He concluded with these words:

I used to watch some of the “police procedural” television shows called “Law and Order” (there were at one time several different but related shows under that “franchise”). Then I stopped when it became clear to me (my opinion) that the shows had an agenda. The police and prosecuting attorneys are almost always right and at least well-intentioned AND are justified in using illegal or at least questionable methods in conducting investigations including interrogations of suspects. (One female police officer frequently threatens young males with being raped in prison if they don’t confess or reveal evidence—as if being raped in prison is a good thing—if you are a criminal. Often it turns out the person she so threatened is innocent but there is rarely if ever an apology given for the terroristic threat.) A contrary show called “Injustice” aired for about six episodes—it was all about a team of attorneys who exonerated innocent convicts.

Our society is biased in favor of law enforcement to the point of turning a blind eye to their abuses of power. That’s how we are evolving into a police state—if we are.

2 thoughts on “Is America becoming a police state?

  1. I think this topic connects to America’s attempts to police the world too. I hope the recent lack of action in Syria, due to many pressures including strong public pressure, will mark a turning point in America’s road to becoming a police state.

    • Yes, I hope that too! We cannot know what the future holds.

      Will America’s power decline in comparison to China?

      Or will it still keep its huge worldwide influence?

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