© Disturbed, Land of Confusion music video
It's a bit sad that, as each new US police brutality story breaks, I'm less and less surprised. When I was growing up, I was always taught that the police were there to help. It's a shame that today, the notion of police being there to "protect and serve" is a fairytale, something only the most naive could believe.

I want to highlight several recent stories of police brutality because the nature of what has been happening is so mind blowing, that when these incidents are viewed together, they give a pretty stark portrait of something extremely rotten in the state of my country.

© YouTubeTimothy Whittle
The first story is that of Timothy Whittle, who cops 'Tased' and face-kicked while he was on the ground with his hands up. Granted, Whittle was allegedly manufacturing meth in a garage and his arrest came at the end of a high-speed chase. That doesn't, however, entitle the arresting officers to torture and assault him. He was compliant, and I bet his pursuers were angry that he had the gumption to defy them. If you watch the video, you can clearly see how the second officer runs over and kicks the guy for no reason while he's handcuffed on the ground. Then when he reacts to getting face-kicked, they tase him.

© KWCHJohn Paul Quintero, 23 years old, was unarmed when killed by police
Just a few days ago a family called police to help with their son who was "acting out" - the police solved the problem by killing the son. This is yet another story of a mentally disturbed individual being executed for no good reason. John Paul Quintero, who had recently turned 23, was drunk and confrontational. He was in a car outside his family's home talking to his father. When the cops showed up, he refused to follow their orders and was tased. That didn't work and in order to justify murdering him they used the old 'going for his waistband' excuse. Of course, Quintero was unarmed, but two shots to his midsection and a few hours later he was dead and his family devastated.

© ShutterstockMary Frances Jones is suing the police for brutally assaulting her at her home when she was guilty of no crime
Woman files lawsuit against police for breaking her ribs after confronting her about crime she didn't commit. In this story a woman, whose sons took her truck out the previous night for some joy-riding, was assaulted by the police when they confronted her at her home. She had just bought the truck the day before, and had no knowledge that her sons had taken it. When the officers insisted she was lying about the crime she tried to go back into her home when they grabbed her, threw her to the ground and kicked her, breaking several of her ribs. She was subsequently hospitalized 6 times for a recurring pneumonia as a result.

© UnknownA Nazi parade, compare to the NYPD's use of their fallen comrade's funeral below...
Watch out! NYPD uses officers' funerals to deify the police force, justify police brutality, and challenge civilian authority. In this story we see that the entire political establishment (read as the pathocrats) showed up to attend and eulogize Officer Wenjian Liu; who was killed a few weeks ago in a 'lone nut' style shooting that claimed the lives of two officers in Brooklyn as they sat in their patrol car. I have my suspicions about who was really behind that, but I digress. The display was epic, with thousands of officers and politicians flying in from all over, everyone had a chance to let the police know how much they were 'on their side'.

That's the rub of it, no matter how violent, murderous or a threat to public safety the police become, the political establishment and the very system itself, will protect them from any negative repercussions. When the retraining program and body cameras were announced here in NYC, most people thought 'well at least that's something.' Officers unions were in an uproar, and representatives were more than vocal about denouncing anyone who questions their authority.

© James Keivom/New York Daily NewsNYPD turns their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio during his speech
In NYC we basically have a situation where the police are blatantly defying civilian authority and declaring how they will run things. In an odd twist, they demonstrate their own obsolescence, as crime remains low even as arrests and citations drop. I was out on New Year's eve, specifically around the Columbus Circle area, and they had multiple cross streets and avenues completely shut-down. We're talking 10-15 blocks north of Times Square. Tens of cops on every corner. Overall, their numbers matched the numbers of revelers and tourists who were in the streets. I'm sure the cops got paid overtime and did little more than manufacture traffic fines and give directions. Thankfully, they didn't kill anyone.

There have been on-going protests here since a grand jury failed to indict the officer who choked Eric Garner to death. They continued on New Year's Eve, as they marched from Union Square to Times Square and back. There were also many other protests in cities around the country. #BlackLivesMatter is the hashtag to keep an eye on, although the movement encompasses much more than protests against the inherent racism of police. Police do use violence and murder African Americans and other minorities much more readily than Caucasians, but what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: White people are just as susceptible to being victimized.

The above video introduces a story from Philadelphia that demonstrates a little something called 'civil forfeiture'. To summarize, the police claim your property (house, car etc.) was the "scene of a crime" or was somehow involved in a crime and confiscate it. In order to get it back you have to 'prove' its 'innocence' in a series of tribunals and courts that are anything but fair. Using this shady legal maneuver, the police seize millions in assets and that's just what we know about from this article:
Every year, the city collects almost $6 million in revenue from forfeiture. According to data collected by the Institute for Justice, between 2002 and 2012, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office seized and forfeited over 3,000 vehicles, nearly 1,200 homes and other real estate properties and $44 million in cash. Altogether, Philadelphia has generated a staggering $64 million in forfeiture proceeds, which equals one-fifth of the DA Office's entire budget. Forty percent of those funds - $25 million - pay law enforcement salaries, including the salaries for the prosecutors who have used civil forfeiture against families like the Sourovelises.
If you read the rest of the above-linked article you'll find that the Sourovelise family have been to 'Courtroom 478 four times', with no end in sight. They still have not seen a judge. The prosecutor handles everything and determines the outcome. Guess how often folks get their property back?

Until we fully understand what's going on, and get vocal about it, it's just going to get worse. Considering the police are deified in public displays, eerily similar to Nazi celebrations in 1930s Germany, we have a very serious problem on our hands. Welcome to the #PoliceState.

I must have dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street

Now, did you read the news today?
They say the danger has gone away
But I can see the fire's still alight
They're burning into the night

There's too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there's not much love to go around
Can't you see this is a land of confusion?