A Tale of police brutality New America: it’s just entertainment unless we act.

Summary: Today we have another story of bold police brutality, with racial overtones. Like the revelations of massive NSA surveillance, these stories produce excitement before we relapse into apathy. They show the construction of a New America rising on the ruins of the old regime.  What will it take to spur us to action? {1st of 2 posts today}

Are these proud words from an era now ending?

Police: To Protect and to Serve

This is New America, where the police act boldly to establish their dominance over the proles and outer party (they’re deferential to the inner party). As Floyd Dent found: pulled over, beaten up, and then charged with resisting arrest and drug possession (dropping one of their handy dime bags of dope). The charges provide deflectors to the police against the inevitable brutality charge. Here’s his story (there will be another next week, or tomorrow): “Detroit-Area Cops Shown Beating Black Man During Traffic Stop“, NBC, 25 March 2015 — Excerpt:

“Why you beating on me like this?” the driver, Floyd Dent, 57, asks after police pull him to the hood of a cruiser.  Accounts of the incident from Dent and from Inkster police — all of whom in the video appear to be white — are wildly different:

  • Police said Dent attempted to flee the police car, but the video appears to show Dent maintaining a consistent speed and then pulling over safely across the street from a police station.
  • Police say Dent threatened to kill the officers. Dent says he didn’t — and none of the 6 officers’ microphones were turned on at the beginning of the incident to substantiate their claim.
  • One officer said Dent bit him on the arm. Dent said he didn’t, and the officer didn’t seek medical attention or photograph his injury to support the allegation.
  • Police said they found a bag of crack cocaine under the passenger seat of Dent’s car. Dent, who has worked for Ford Motor Co. for 37 years and has no criminal record, said officers planted the cocaine. A post-arrest blood test showed no drugs in his system. Inkster Police Chief Vicky Yost said that “appropriate action” would be taken if the investigations found the cocaine possession charge to have been manufactured.

A judge dismissed all charges involved in the physical confrontation with police after watching the video obtained by WDIV. Dent’s lawyer said he was offered a plea deal resulting only in probation on the cocaine possession charge, but Dent turned it down, telling the station he wouldn’t plead guilty to a crime he didn’t commit.

See the dashcam video


Note the exculpatory video was provided to the judge by the TV station, not the police who had possession of it. The action in the video starts at 1:50. Note that the second police car arrives one minute later; the third 20 seconds later — all for a traffic stop of one unarmed man.


Stories like this entertain us. They are vivid tales about people and events at which the tribes of America can cheer and boo. The politics of these events interest only the outer party. The inner party knows our passivity and apathy, and so ignores them. The proles don’t care, except for the occasional small riot.

It need not be so. For all its flaws, the news provides our best window through which to see America. It can show us the pattern if we see these events as flowing stream, not unrelated beads on a string.  But unless you put what you learn to use, why bother? It wastes time that could be better spent. Life is short.

For More Information

For more about this see Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces (2014) and John T. Whitehead’s A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State (2013).

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Click here to see all posts about police brutality. Of special relevance are these posts (it’s a symptom, not a problem):

5 thoughts on “A Tale of police brutality New America: it’s just entertainment unless we act.”

  1. One “reply”. Watching this video is cause for outrage. These police swarm cities under the guise of serve and protect.
    Really what too many are doing is looking for a fight.

    In regards to this post and the one about this Judge who willfully destroys any sense of a Judiciary oversight, I am at a loss. I’ve thought for hours off and on…..why is there so very little push back from any level of civil society. I’m unable to arrive at even a cursory answer.


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