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Perry 2018
David Perry for NC House
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Police Abuse

Police Abuse

According to the Declaration of Independence, the whole reason for setting up government in the first place is so that it can secure our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property. Malicious and immoral people will sometimes try to steal those rights from us. Foreign powers may seek to kill, maim, and steal them from us. Therefore, that's why it's proper to maintain a defensive military. However, there are plenty of criminals right here at home that will murder, steal, and commit fraud against individual citizens, in order to get their way. This is unacceptable. Therefore, we rightfully have established a law enforcement and judicial system to protect us from these internal threats.

Our Founding Fathers recognized that this should be a nation of completely free people. Our law enforcement and judicial system were established to serve a nation of free individuals. We, as human beings with natural rights, do not exist to serve government. Government exists in order to serve and protect us! Our Founding Fathers were very suspicious of too much power being assumed by government, and therefore only granted very specific and limited powers to our law enforcement and judicial systems. We grant our police the limited power to protect us and to constitutionally arrest people when a warrant, based on probable cause and signed by a judge, is issued. In situations of imminent harm we might waive the need for a warrant, but probable cause is still mandatory. All members of law enforcement need to use restraint, assume everyone is an innocent and free individual, use specific caution not to violate the rights of individuals, and only use the amount of force that is absolutely necessary in order to facilitate a lawful arrest.

Constitutional policing is a dangerous occupation. When done correctly, there is a likelihood that injury, or even death, may come to the police officer. However, instead of compensating our law enforcement agents with a far greater salary for the amount of risk they are taking, government has simply made it easier for police officers to ignore the principles of constitutional policing and trample on our individual rights. One disturbing trend in this area is the militarization of law enforcement. Instead of just being equipped with a "gun and a badge", police departments are now being routinely equipped with military grade equipment. Automatic weapons, grenades, armored vehicles, and other equipment that would be considered unlawful to possess by the ordinary citizen, is now a staple of small town police departments. In order to pay for all of these new weapons, police departments have utilized the abhorrent practive of civil asset forfeiture. It used to be the case that the assets of a suspected high level criminal who had been charged with a crime, might be seized and frozen until the conclusion of their court trial. Today, those assets are permanently seized immediately, regardless of the outcome of the trial. Furthermore, police no longer limit the seizures to people charged with crimes. Ordinary citizens, who are only suspected to be engaged in criminal activities, are losing their cars, homes, and life savings, and having their lives ruined by this practice. Some will never be charged with any crime, but their assets will never be returned to them. This is a deplorable practice.

In addition, our law enforcement agencies now routinely violate our 4th Amendment rights. We are supposed to be free from unreasonable searches of our person, papers, or property, unless a warrant that is supported by probable cause is issued by a judge. Today, this prohibition is routinely ignored. Besides the personal and baggage searches we have to endure at our airports, we need to also put up with an increasing number of highway checkpoint stops. When I grew up, the only time this type of thing ever happened was if a prisoner, with a history of violence, had just escaped from a nearby penitentiary. Today, cops aren't just looking for impaired drivers at 2am, but have set up daytime "driver safety" stops. Each person is required to furnish their papers (drivers license and registration). Even if there is no other crime, a person that refuses to furnish their papers will be arrested for "resisting arrest" (Of course one wonders what the person was resisting arrest for!?). If you are not a white person, you will likely be commanded to exit your vehicle and submit to a full body search. Search of your car, without a warrant, is a real possibility. All of this is despicable, and resembles NAZI Germany way more than it resembles the "Land of the free and the home of the brave."

Police brutality is also a real problem. Instead of deescalating situtations, some officers take delight in barking orders at ordinary citizens. If those orders are not followed absolutely as expected, these officers get upset and will escalate a harmless encounter with a citizen into a violent one. Police officers who do their job the right way should be respected and valued. But we are not slaves, and police officers are not our masters! We empower police officers with the right to use necessary force to arrest somebody when warranted. We do NOT grant them the right to beat people up who do not bow to them. Fortunately, most police officers don't act in this manner. The problem is that there is a police culture of "us vs. them." Cops who do misbehave are not immediately dismissed from the force. Instead, otherwise good officers cover for them and "protect their own." This is unacceptable.

Finally, we have a real problem with some police unnecessarily shooting citizens. Of course a police officer, like every other citizen, has a right to defend themseleves. However, police officers all too often overreact to perceived threats, and use deadly and preemptive force in response. There have been countless people shot simply because they were reaching for a cell phone that was mistaken as a possible gun. Law enforcement officers must learn that they need to take the added risk of being absolutely sure of threats before reacting. This is risky, but necessary. In order to compensate police officers for this high level of risk, I propose that we substantially increase the salaries of police officers who do the job right. However, we must first be sure that there will be no further toleration of those who would do the job wrong.

Once I am elected, I will introduce legislation that would make it illegal for any law enforcement agency to have access to any equipment or weapons that are not available to ordinary citizens. Next, I would make it illegal for any law enforcement agency within the state to engage in any type of civil asset forfeiture or to participate in any federal program that does anything similar. While I can't do anything about federal TSA checkpoints, I would introduce legislation that would make all types of checkpoints and other warantless searches illegal within North Carolina. A judge may NOT issue a general warrant to authorize these fascist checkpoints. Individuals may only be stopped under individualized probable cause, and may only be searched when a warrant has been lawfully issued by our judiciary. Finally, I would introduce legislation that would mandate a community policing intiative in each juridiction within the state. Accountability through body cameras and public disclosure must be demanded. Once these programs are in place I will allocate more state funding for state law enforcement salaries, and work on returning more taxpayer money to the counties to spend on increasing the salaries of our brave law enforcement officers who do the job the right.

Paid for by the Committee to Elect David A. Perry

© 2018 - Committee to Elect David A. Perry
235 Silver Sloop Way, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Direct Legal Inquiries to: Christopher M. Nance, Treasurer
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