None of this shit can happen without the Police Unions backing up the cops, organizing the other cops to toe the party line, providing legal aid to misbehaving cops and generally acting like the mafia running a para-military gang of thugs.
Time for some serious thought about ending police unions and letting each cop hold his job independently under civilian control. Maybe then the mythical "good cops" will make themselves known and start helping weed out the "bad apples".
The really amazing thing is that the police have in fact picked a safe job.
Endless propaganda from the police and media have convinced most everybody that the police are in constant danger. Police training now reflects that same belief - making officer safety the first priority in all situations.
But nationwide statistics complied by the FBI show that a mere 27 police officers were killed by criminal action in 2013. Twenty-seven!
In the same year police killed at least 400 to 500 citizens, possibly many many more since local agencies do what they can to obscure and re-classify police killings.
Fortunately the narrative is starting to come unraveled. People are asking why police are killing at a rate 20 or 30 or more times the rate they are being killed.
All of the posters here babbling about "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law" seem to forget that celebrities are 100% creations of public perception. It's not a question of legal guilt at this point, rather a question of reputation and perception.
The pattern of accusations against Cosby is similar to the pattern of accusations against the Catholic Church in the past. Once a multitude of accusations become consistent enough they start to generate a shift in pubic perception which is what we are seeing here.
Literally nothing that I know of better illustrates how thoroughly corrupt our government at all levels has become.
No moral individual could possibly consider this to be acceptable. Government empowered goons seizing people's property at will is almost the perfect definition of tyranny.
Asset Forfeiture seems to be most abused in the red states like Texas and Georgia. Where are the legislators who are always crowing about property rights and ownership? Where are the courts that allow people to be robbed of their possessions with no due process or conviction required?
In the pre-digital past the government could always get at your papers or your info or your possessions in one way or the other if they wanted to bad enough. Digital encryption changes this and now government is freaking out.
When it comes to encryption, I think people's minds have been skewed by watching hundreds of TV shows and movies where somebody says "just give me a few minutes to crack the encryption" or "it's encrypted so I'll need a little time" or "it's encrypted but that shouldn't be a problem".
But, as somebody pointed out up-stream, encryption is real. Use a moderately complex key and encryption is essentially uncrackable without either the key or a built-in backdoor.
That's why law enforcement is so intent of getting backdoors into everything. If they don't have them it means, for the first time ever, they literally can't get access to stuff they want to see.
What a sad dysfunctional society we are. A epochal new communication system is discovered that can bring monumental advances in almost every aspect of human interaction.
So what do we do? We allow corporate monopolies to create roadblocks and toll gates and limits on this amazing technology in the name of maximizing monopolist profit.
Tiny strands of easily run fiber can bring almost endless bandwidth to everybody. But we can't have that because despicable companies like Comcast can make more profit from choking the internet than expanding it.
The great economic and political delusion of the 21st century is that we will shift most of the world's manufacturing to china allowing them to grow an immensely strong and powerful economy and then they will play by all the rules that western societies have built up over the centuries.
Sorry, but parents ARE responsible for their children and their children's actions until those children reach adulthood. This is an incredibly well-established legal principal.
There are vast hordes of really nasty little kids rampaging around the internet flinging obscenities and racial slurs right and left. Parents need to wake up to the fact that their little "angels" may be evil demons when left unsupervised online.
The people who serve in the legislatures of various nations know that, once in office, they no longer truly serve the desires of their constituents. Instead they serve the global corporate agenda.
Any attempt to cross their true masters means they would be marginalized in the future; no invites to global power conferences, no lucrative private sector jobs for them and their relatives, no campaign financing for future political campaigns.
This is why big corporations and their proxies in public office are working so relentlessly to normalize IP and trade issues through "free trade" agreements and cross-national treaties. This provides the framework that locks in corporate friendly policies.
Anonymous Coward above must be an off-duty cop performing his primary duty of protecting his brother officers.
Officer robs and assaults citizen with no criminal charges filed and he blames it on "anti-police sentiment" and the "morons" making the recording.
That cop should be in a jail cell at this moment.
Anybody care to guess how often this officer has done something like this in his 20 years on patrol? 100 times? 1000? The only thing that has changed is that he is no longer assured of getting away with it unrecorded.
Like the poster above me said, the essential problem is that there is no accountability. In fact there is a powerful structure of unaccountability that has grown in place over decades.
Anybody who works in any non-government job is held accountable for serious mistakes that conflict with the primary nature of the job. Work at a bank and make a mistake that costs the bank a million bucks and you will be fired. Work a restaurant and make a mistake that sickens a bunch of customers and you will be fired. But if you work as a cop and break the law and subvert justice and brutalize members of the public and you will be shuffled around and protected.
The only solution is to start rolling back the web of legal privilege and protection that cops have been granted. First step would be to ban police unions.
But none of this will happen because, for every one of us online who is outraged about things like this, there are 10 suburban voters who are happy to have the cops beating on "thugs" and "criminals" (which are their codewords for minorities).
It's not so simple as saying that data collection is "legal" under current laws until found to be unconstitutional.
What our despotic federal government is doing more and more is starting from misguided laws of dubious constitutionality and then creating SECRET interpretations of the laws that use truly Orwellian semantics to justify the actions they desire.
Once we are down the rabbit hole of the government interpreting and acting on the laws in secret then we truly no longer have any semblance of democracy.
Sad world where copyright lasts longer than an average lifetime, everything cultural is owned and protected and nobody can build new work on top of previous work which was pretty much how human culture always worked until corporate interests took over and perverted the concept.
A return to rational, constitutional copyright would be something like 16 years only IF registered, with one 16 year extension.
The really amazing thing about Asset Forfeiture is that it is not instantly struck down by the courts. It shows how monolithic the power structure is when it comes to protecting it's power and privilege, even when blatantly unconstitutional.
And what about all the cops that take part in what is essentially theft under cover of authority? Once again demonstrates how pliable police morality becomes when something benefits them and their gang.
The fact that we are outraged or even surprised by things like this is because we don't really want to recognize some of the more unpleasant aspects of human nature.
When people are placed within a power structure and given incentives such as increased status or money or position, they are typically capable of committing the most repugnant of actions and happily accepting the standard rationalization provided within the power structure. Most people have a very weak sense of personal morality that is easily overridden by group dynamics.
Additionally, dominant personality types will work incessantly to build power structures, expand power structures and seek out ties with other power structures in order to increase their personal opportunities for gain.
This is why our government has become so intensely dominant in our lives. The multitude of government power structures have grown to such a degree and become interconnected to such a degree that there is probably no way to reverse course short of a complete collapse and rebuild.