Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Importance of Shutting Up

Check this out:

The above video is from Professor James Duane and I found it to be very informative and useful. I heard one guy comment once that this was the equivalent of not snitching, but in all honesty, I don't buy it.

The police, by and large, are a fraternity and as such, have segregated themselves from the rest of the population. This does not mean they cannot function in the real world or that it is necessarily wrong to do so. I would think that to do the job a police officer has to do, it would require a certain level of separation from the rest of society. But that means they will look at the rest of us in a certain way that is not always beneficial to our own well-being.

I am not saying that we should do away with the police, as they do perform a necessary function in society, but I am saying that police are the true representation of government force. As such, we should be wary of them and not assume they will be looking out for our best interests. After all, it was law enforcement who moved the Ten Commandments out of that courthouse, even though those guys who did it probably disagreed with what they were doing. I'm sure there are many times when police officers put people in jail when they clearly believe that there is no reason to other than the law as written. They are there to uphold the law, even if that law is wrong.

I'm not saying that the police are bad people. I have had limited run-ins with them and most of the time I find them to be professional. One time when my car was towed because I parked in a community that didn't like cars on certain sides of the road, I had to get a police officer to file a report. This was because the idiots who towed my car also broke my front passenger side window. The police officer was very friendly, helpful, and sympathetic.

Another time, I was caught driving down a street when it was prohibited during a certain time of day (that's Old Town Alexandria for you). This time I'm pretty sure the officer was a scumbag because he flagged three cars over and let about 15 cars pass by while he wrote up the tickets. If he really had cared about people driving down that street, a simple set of wooden road blocks would have done the trick. I would have contested the ticket, because I was pretty sure there wasn't a sign before the intersection as he had claimed, but the next day when I was taking pictures in preparation for my court date, I found the sign that I guess was blocked by a large van or something the previous day. The government had gotten me that time and there was no way I would succeed in getting the ticket revoked. So I paid the fine and moved on.

My overall point is that while I have nothing against police, I treat them like I would treat a pet tiger: with caution and respect.

On a side note, there is a second part to that video and it feature a detective discussing all the "interview" techniques he uses to get confessions and make arrests. I won't bother embedding that one since all you really have to do is search for "Professor James Duane" on google and you'll find the second part linked to it.