The Roots of Police Violence and Brutality
Police brutality and violence against the public is an accepted fact of life in the West, especially in the US. And, the target of police brutality is always the ‘working class’ – the poor. The roots of police violence and brutality lie in its very inception – Police force was created to Protect and Serve the wealthy and their property – and to keep the working population under control.
Police, from its very beginning, has been an instrument of suppression – a ruthless force in the service of the ruling elites. It was created to use violence to intimidate and subjugate the working people, make them obey the Law of the ruling elites, and to make them work longer and harder to produce more wealth for the wealthy class. From its very inception it has been a force essential to implement the Parasitic Economic Order that was envisioned by the Ruling Elites back in the nineteenth century.
The concept and formation of police force in the United States is based on the model of development of policing in England where police was created as part of the post eighteenth-century economic order. To understand the police violence against common people in the US, it is essential to understand the ideology that was behind the formation of modern police in England.
Police: The Economy and Labor Management
The blue print for the formation of the ‘modern police’ was presented by Adam Smith in his magnum opus (great work !) ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’, commonly known as ‘The Wealth of Nations’ in 1776. In it he outlined the actual details of the labor process to the world market of commodities. He proclaimed, “civil government, so far as it is instituted for the sanctity of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor.”
Previously, back in 1763, he had presented the ‘idea’ of Police in his Lectures on Police – a new hub in the Atlantic economy for banking and commerce of tobacco plantations. He had defined police as a force essential for establishing the order of “cleanliness, security, cheapness and plenty.”
Adam Smith is the delegated ‘Father’ of the modern capitalist economic system in the West. Adam Smith et al, in cahoot with the other economists of the era – from the same schools of thought, defined the role of “police” in context of the ‘modern economy’ which is based on the concept of ‘labor management’ – an economy that thrives on low wages and exploitation of labor of the workers.
His student, Adam Ferguson, put it quite blatantly, “wealth comes from inequality.” – The poor create wealth with their labor and work, and the rich own that wealth.
J Cunningham, another economist with the same school of thought as Adam Smith, in his essay ‘An Essay on Trade and Commerce (1770)’ declared, “A multitude of people being drawn together in a small territory will raise the price of provisions; but, at the same time, if the police be good, it must keep down the price of labor.” The poor house must become “a house of terror.” The workers are “a many-headed monster which every one should oppose.” To establish the six-day working week, “a good police must be established.”
The central argument of the essay is how workers should be made to work longer hours – and the ‘good policing’ is essential to this objective. Mr. Cunningham further elaborated in the same essay:
The economist like Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, and J Cunningham were the mouth piece of the ruling elites in England, and all over the western hemisphere. They were commissioned with the task of convincing all parties in the corridors of power to adopt and implement a policing policy to control, manipulate and suppress the labor – which was essential to increase wealth of the wealthy.
Formation of Police Force – To Protect and Serve the Wealthy
Following on those ideas and economic philosophy, in 1829 the first Metropolitan Police Act was passed in Britain. British Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel, was given the task to form the first Metropolitan Police Force in England – It was the birth of era of suppressive policing in the West – Police is the service of the wealthy.
The same ‘concepts’ and parasitic ‘Economic Modality promoted by the likes of Adam Smith and Cunningham was adopted in the formation of police force in America. But, unlike England, policing in America remained informal well into the early nineteenth century – well after the revolution. In those early days, it was more a force to monitor and control slaves, minorities, and the labor class.
Lineage in The Slave Patrols of The Past
The institution of slavery and the control of labor class, indeed, were two of the more formidable historic features of the early policing in America. Slave patrols and Night Watches – which later became modern police departments, were both formed to control the slaves and labor – the two most oppressed and suppressed classes in America.
It was late into the 1830s that the idea of formal municipal police department – on the lines of police departments in England, first emerged in the United States. City of Boston was the first city in the US to establish the very first formal American police force in 1838. Following on the lead of Boston were; New York City in 1845, Albany, NY and Chicago in 1851, New Orleans and Cincinnati in 1853, Philadelphia in 1855, and Newark, NJ and Baltimore in 1857 (Harring 1983, Lundman 1980; Lynch 1984). By the 1880s all major US cities had municipal police forces in place – all on the pattern of the old slave patrols.
The similarities between the slave patrols of the early days and modern policing in US are very obvious – the same mentality of violence and brutality against the general public – the poor, minorities, and the working class. No wonder, the modus operandi of the ‘modern’ American police force is still the same as the slave patrols of the past – the rampant use of violence and brutality with the objective to intimidate and control the masses.
Out-Classing Its Progenitor – The Slave Patrols
Police brutality in the US is rooted in it history. Police, following on its ‘slave patrol’ roots, has always acted with utmost violence against the poor and the working class. It has a long history of brutality against the masses: From the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, to the Pullman Strike of 1894, the Lawrence textile strike of 1912, the Ludlow massacre of 1914, the Steel strike of 1919, the Hanapepe massacre of 1924, and the massacre of the students during the Vietnam war era, the police has alway proven its loyalty to the masters – The wealthy ruling class.
During the early 1900’s, the brutal beating of suspects was a prevalent and accepted practice. Even the judges were on record commenting on the number of citizens being brought through the courts with broken hands and bruised bodies as a result of the so called ‘need for force’ in order to make the arrest.
Police force has since been methodologically improvising, refining, and polishing its skills in brutalizing the common people – the poor, the weak, and the defenseless. It is a force that invokes fear and terror in the hearts of innocent people.
There has been only one constant in police behavior – One is guaranteed a violent response from police whatever the call may be – Albeit with one exception, police brutality against the public is on a sharp upswing since the ‘terror attack’ of 9/11 – Police has no regard even for the very old and fragile or the very young – every one is terrorized with equal ferociousness.
The news headlines of police brutalities like these below are too familiar to elaborate any further:
- A San Antonio police officer Rapes a 19-Year-Old Girl after forcing her to stop her car.
- Cop Breaks 84 Year Old’s Neck For Touching Him.
- She Dialed 911. The Cop Who Came to Help Raped Her.
- California Cops Burn Man’s Genitals For Littering.
- Californian police officers who shot two innocent women will be sent back to field.
- Surveillance video of Chicago Police Brutality on Woman.
- GRAPHIC VIDEO: Homeless Man Shot During Camping Arrest.
- Police shot dead an unarmed man with hands -up.
- An unarmed man was killed by police in volley of at least 34 bullets.
- 23 Miami Cops unload 377 bullets at two unarmed men.
- Pasco police won’t say how many bullets fired at unarmed man shot dead by police.
- Cops rape woman in Courtroom.
- Boynton Beach police officer rapes a woman at gunpoint at a checkpoint.
- Houston police shot to death a double amputee in a wheelchair.
- 12-Year-Old Boy Dies After Police in Cleveland Shoot Him.
That is how the Slave Patrols used to terrorize the slaves in the past. Police force is still the same salve patrol of the old – The only things that have changed are the badges and uniform.
The cases of police violence and viciousness are almost every day’s stories. Further, most cases of police brutality, where police beats its victims viciously and break their limbs and faces, are not reported due to the fear of more police violence. As the victims of police violence are always the weak and poor, police act with impunity, their crimes are never punished.
Such acts of violence that the police carries out against the general public are not the consequences of the brutality of individual officers, but are the consequences of careful policies designed to have a police force that is trained and indoctrinated to use extreme violence to intimidate and control the working class to serve the needs of the economic order that thrives on low wages – consolidating the wealth in the hands of the wealthy class.
Police officers see themselves as part of the wealthy upper classes – the enforcers of Law – The Law of Ruling Elites – even while the upper classes see them as mere low level enforcers. As a reward for their loyal service to the masters, police are guaranteed a decent living. Unlike other workers, they are not subject to layoffs or pay cuts. These special ‘perks’ make them see themselves separate and apart from the ‘working class’ and also make them see the poor as their enemy. Police believe in an “us against them” attitude against the poor – and acts accordingly – with all its brute might and power. Because their targets are the powerless and poor, police can act with virtual impunity.
Expanding Role of Police – Morphing into an Occupation Force
With the unavoidable coming changes on the economic and financial front, the ruling elites are expecting a complete breakdown in the established ‘social order’ – and getting ready for it. In preparation for the public uprise and the resulting turmoil in the western hemisphere, police force – all over the West, has been transformed into an occupation army. That is the reason for a sharp increase in police violence against the people – it sees the public as “enemy”, and responds accordingly.
To fulfill its role as an occupation force, police has been armed with military grade weapons – “Counterterrosim” is the mantra to justify the militarization of police in the West. since 9/11, police departments in America have used more than $40 billion in grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to militarize in the name of counterterrorism.
Armed to the teeth, police departments across the country now carry military-grade weapons. They sport Humvees and armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battlefield, machine guns, sniper rifles, helicopters, tanks, and armed drones.
Police has now metamorphosed into an occupation force – and acts like one. Its SWAT unit regularly conduct military style operations in the neighborhoods. As the “Economist” commented in
Reforming The Police – Rooting Out the Violence
We have to recognize the fact that the roots of police violence and brutality lie in the Parasitic Economic Order that has been in place in the West since the early eighteenth century. Police force was created to subjugate and intimidate the labor to make them work longer and harder to create more wealth for the wealthy class. From its very beginning, it has been an instrument of suppression – a ruthless force in the service of the ruling elites.
It was created to Protect and Serve the wealthy, and to keep the working population under control. It has always been a force essential to implement the parasitic economic order of the ruling class.
So, Stop Kidding Yourself. There is no way to ‘reform’ police. It is part of the Parasitic Economic Order that is has been in place for more than Two Centuries.
Want to reform the Police: Change the economic system – Otherwise, don’t Kidd yourself.