Americans as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, tasered and held at gun point for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike -- i.e., not being compliant enough.
Americans as old as 95 are being beaten, shot and killed for questioning an order, hesitating in the face of a directive, and mistaking a policeman crashing through their door for a criminal breaking into their home -- i.e., not being submissive enough.
And Americans of every age and skin color are being taught the painful lesson that the only truly compliant, submissive and obedient citizen in a police state is a dead one.
It doesn't matter where you live -- big city or small town -- it's the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents, hyped up on their own authority and the power of their uniform, ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry. In turn, Americans are being brainwashed into believing that anyone who wears a government uniform -- soldier, police officer, prison guard -- must be obeyed without question.
The message being communicated is that it doesn't matter if you're in the right, it doesn't matter if a cop is in the wrong, it doesn't matter if you're being treated with less than the respect you deserve. If you want to emerge from a police encounter with your life and body intact, then you'd better comply, submit, obey orders, respect authority and generally do whatever a cop tells you to do.
In this way, the old police motto to "protect and serve" has become "comply or die." As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and in my forthcoming book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is the unfortunate, misguided, perverse message being beaten, shot, tasered and slammed into our collective consciousness, and it is regrettably starting to take root.
Despite the growing number of criminal charges that get trotted out any time a citizen voices discontent with the government or challenges or even questions the authority of the powers that be, the problems we're experiencing in terms of police shootings have little to do with rebellion or belligerence or resistance.
Rather, the problem arises when compliance doesn't happen fast enough to suit the police.
For instance, World War II veteran John Wrana, 95 years old, dependent on a walker to get around, and a resident of an assisted living center, was rushed by five police officers -- one with a Taser and riot shield, others with handguns and a 12-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun -- after refusing treatment for a urinary tract infection and brandishing a shoehorn. One of the officers, allegedly fearing for his safety, fired multiple beanbag rounds at Wrana at close range, who bled to death from internal injuries.
James Howard Allen, 74 years old and recovering at home from a surgery, was shot and killed by police who were asked by family members to do a welfare check on him. When police crashed through the man's back door, they found Allen, perhaps having just awoken and fearing a burglary, armed with a gun.
These shootings constitute a drop in the proverbial bucket when it comes to police killing unarmed American citizens.
Rarely are these officers given more than a slap on the wrist. More often than not, they operate with impunity, are shielded from justice by the governmental bureaucracy, and are granted qualified immunity by the courts.
A recent report by the Justice Department found that half of the unarmed people shot by Philadelphia police over a seven-year span were "shot because the officer saw something (like a cellphone) or some action (like a person pulling at the waist of their pants) and misidentified it as a threat."
Now it's one thing for those who back the police -- no matter what the circumstance -- to insist that if you just obey a police officer, you'll be safe. But what happens when compliance isn't enough?
What happens if you play it safe, comply and do whatever a police officer tells you to do, don't talk back, don't threaten, and don't walk away -- in other words, don't do anything that even hints at resistance -- and still, you find yourself staring down the wrong end of a government-issued gun?
After all, the news is riddled with reports of individuals who didn't resist when confronted by police and still got tasered, tackled or shot simply because they looked at police in a threatening manner or moved in a way that made an officer "fear" for his safety.
How does a citizen protect himself against a police officer's tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective "feeling" of being threatened?
The short answer is you can't.
The assurance of safety in exchange for compliance is a false, misguided doctrine that has us headed towards a totalitarian regime the likes of which the world has seen before.
Rest assured, if we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we'll find ourselves repeating history. However, history also shows us a different path, one that involves standing up and speaking truth to power. Jesus Christ walked that road. So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.
Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion. Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire's dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence. Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement. And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.
The long answer, therefore, is that we must adopt a different mindset and follow a different path if we are to alter the outcome of these interactions with police.
No matter what path you follow, it will be fraught with peril. America is in the midst of a nervous breakdown, brought about by prolonged exposure to the American police state, and there are few places that are safe anymore. This is the death rattle of the American dream.