During a long conversation with an out of state friend last night, I was asked why I hadn't followed through on the Erik Scott inquest. I didn't want to get sidetracked, so I promised to catch up on the story in print. Bottom line is, I have to admit to not having the stomach to follow the entire inquest into Erik's murder by Las Vegas police.
I understood that by any rational standard the process would be a joke. What I wasn't prepared for was the fury I experienced as the family sat helplessly through the proceedings. And fury is what it was - by the end of the second day, I could feel my blood pressure! The Scott family's attorney was present, but he was NOT allowed to speak. No cross examination, no objections, nothing. He was allowed to submit written questions(!) but the inquest wasn't required to show the questions to the "jury" - let alone read them out loud during the proceeding in a timely fashion. The whole proceeding looked like what you would expect to see in a corrupt third world hell hole, which is apparently just what Las Vegas is.
So it was that I only managed to watch the first two days of one-sided testimony. It was damning testimony, as expected, but if you were paying attention various details presented ranged from implausible to contradictory. Since the inquest ended, I've caught up on the low points (there were no high ones) from the third day on by way of print media.
Needless to say, the cops looked at themselves in their own mirror and liked the image they saw. In the kangaroo court that is a Clark County inquest, government marsupials painted a picture of Erik that was almost comically one-sided - as contrived and simplistic as an old western, with the good guys (cops) dressed in white and the bad guy (Erik) dressed in black. The farce ended with the jury ruling that the three cops who shot Erik seven times (five times in the back) were justified in killing him. (Right. Try shooting someone five times in the back and see if the cops let YOU get away with calling it justified...)
This isn't over. In fact, for those interested in the truth, it's just getting underway. From here on out, the Scott family will be able to speak. In court. They'll be allowed to present witnesses who contradict the "official" story, and to cross examine government witnesses. They'll also enjoy the power of the subpoena, which should lead to some very interesting revelations. And, thank God, the Scotts won't be compelled to sit silently while government thugs slander their son, which means I'll be able to watch again.
I hold out the hope that the truth will come out someday, by way of civil court or perhaps a federal civil rights case. Perhaps at that time the powers that be will have no choice but to prosecute the killer cops criminally. I also pray that something like the Innocence Project, which has secured the release of a large number of innocent people through DNA testing, will spring up to shine the light on all police misconduct. By freeing innocent people, the Innocence Project has had the delightful side-effect of killing the careers of a few dishonest cops and dishonest prosecutors. (See? The law of unintended consequences works just fine when you start out seeking the truth!) And, who knows? Perhaps the seeds of just such an effort are here: Amazing Police Corruption Website
Those close to me know my alarm and disgust at the transition of American cops from "peace officers" to "law enforcement officers" - a transition that pretty much took place during my lifetime. We commonly call this the militarization of the police, and it's an apt term. By temperament, armament and near-total immunity they constitute a domestic standing army, which the founders would have found intolerable.
One is now best off to avoid all contact with the police. It is unwise to call them, regardless of the circumstances, and even less advisable to talk to them - particularly if you are innocent. Which leads me to ask - again - what the hell's wrong with us??? Why do we put up with this? If you ask me, we are again shirking our birthright as Americans, and the large part of the answer is to be found here: Are Cops Constitutional?
Surprisingly, many of my fellow conservatives (liberty oriented people, supposedly) are so blindly pro-cop that over the last several years of speaking out on this mess, I've taken serious abuse and even lost friends for my position that America is descending into a police state. Well, I'll take it, and continue to protest, for whatever it's worth. Increasingly, I'm just saddened that this denial remains so pervasive that public opinion perpetuates abuse by cop, and that my countrymen must continue to awake to this problem through the needless beatings and deaths of family members.