Road to Dystopia: The Canton Cops

My editor is in the process of cutting the massive manuscript of my Tail of the Dragon down to under 100,000 words, which will be a difficult rewrite process, but the topic of that novel was on my mind as Doc Thompson spoke with State Rep. Danny Bubp about gun control.  The case of the Canton Police officer who openly abused a man because he had a concealed carry permit was the primary topic.  Tail of the Dragon is all about how politicians use police to impose policy that is not good for the general society, but purely for the good of the politicians who write the law.  Even though abusive cases such as theCantoncop are not the usual situation, it does happen more often than it should, and points to the danger of giving police officers too much control over the general population.  You can hear that discussion here:

To see the officer in question and exactly what was said you can see the entire video below.  This occurrence happened in June of 2011 and is deeply disconcerting for a number of reasons.   

I believe many of the police officers across the country are very much like the other guy in this video, the partner of the primary officer.  That officer seems to be pretty level headed, and is certainly the recessive officer in this search and arrest.  I can understand the initial suspicion of the officers pulling over a questionable vehicle with a known prostitute, her pimp and a guy carrying a gun.  Everything about that situation spelled out trouble. 

However, such a situation requires a coolness that comes from a battle tested individual that can handle the stress of any situation.  Not a panic prone officer who has obvious problems psychologically.  And before I launch into what those problems are I must report that I’ve been shot at, threatened, and I’ve walked into dangerous situations willingly time and time again.  Danger is not something that bothers me, and when I hire someone to work a dangerous job, I expect that person to handle it with cool collectiveness.  I do not expect over-reaction of any kind.  The officer in that video is a dangerous man for many reasons, but the primary reason is that he’s a “pussy.”  Sorry ladies, but that’s the only term for a man like that. 

There are two reasons for the officer’s behavior; first he may be psychologically damaged and ready for the rubber gun squad.  If that’s the case, he should not be on the streets.  If he is such a shell shocked person, if he’s been shot at, or threatened one too many times that he can no longer function in that position, he should not be carrying a gun, driving around in a car, and have the ability to pull people over.  The second and most probable explanation is that the officer is simply a bully, the type I write about in Tail of the Dragon. 

The officer obviously works out a lot, so he has an obsession with his looks.  There isn’t any problem with this, but such people often have a tendency toward narcissism and to satisfy that narcissism they pursue positions of authority to satisfy their hunger for self-admiration.  These types of people are naturally insecure, because real life cannot fill the image of themselves that they’ve built, so they seek a collective consensus of like minded “brothers,” which he referenced twice in this recording to the other officer.  This is a tendency toward insecurity that is unmistakable, which he seeks to cover up visually with body building.  This officer uses the law to beat people into his own self-gratification.  Any level headed individual would approach the driver who did reveal that he had a gun with caution but not be so easily threatened.  The officer obviously used the situation and timing of the gun revelation to satisfy his hunger to abuse someone. 

I propose that the officer had full intention as he pulled up to the car to abuse somebody.  He had set his target on the prostitute, knowing that she was a repeat offender.  This was his clear intention.  But when he came to the driver, who was not the original target, and the driver revealed that he had a gun permit and was carrying, the officer realized that he had a better target to satisfy his narcissism, so he let the girl and her pimp go.  

At this point the narcissistic officer proceeded to harass the driver profusely threatening to “execute him.”  Obviously the officer had crossed the line several times in this exchange.  The driver showed no inclination toward violence and any officer with any experience with violence would know that.  Instead, it is obvious that under the guise of a proposed danger, the officer used this entire situation to satisfy his need for a power trip. 

Every police department in the country has a percentage of their officers who exhibit similar narcissistic behavior.  In fact every class in school, every office, every business, has a few of these abusive types.  Narcissists are a natural by-product of the human race, so we must contend with them.  But we must also use caution on how much power we allow them to have, because such personality types are prone to seek authority positions.  They will fill jobs with police departments, TSA agents, and mall security guards and like positions because those are the most obvious places where they can live out their distorted self-images.  This is why it is a very dangerous tendency of Homeland Security to give more and more police powers to these departments under the guise of protection.  A society who changes itself ideologically out of panic is no different than this foolish police officer who used his cleverly disguised fear of being shot, as a self-fulfillment of his desire to harass another human being with fear.

When terrorists attacked the United States, they sought to create a situation where the narcissists of our culture could be used against the population in general.  By creating a situation that justified panic, we handed more power to the least trustworthy of our citizens in a flimsy trade for national security.  And that situation isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse.  The Fourth Amendment, like the Second Amendment has been distorted and revised for years to gradually wear away the effectiveness through case law of these Constitutional provisions.  The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and arrest should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it.


The real tragedy of this entire event is that our society has forgotten the meaning of the Fourth Amendment to such an extent that it has actually fed the kind of tyranny present in this video.  All three of the occupants in the car completely submitted to the officers without even questioning their rights, and this only accelerated the narcissistic officer in his search for a weakness to exploit.  The person being harassed should have been upset, not where he put the officer in any danger, but he actually fed the fire by saying, “yes sir.”  That officer didn’t deserve any such recognition for he did not earn it.  A uniform is not enough to give up everything a person is in their life, or to have the threat of that life extinguished to fulfill the fantasy of a mini tyrant under the guise of security.  When a society accepts this behavior as normal, and acceptable, the steps toward a complete loss of personal freedom are not far behind. 

If I had been in the same situation, which I have been on several occasions, there wouldn’t be anything close to the submission shown in that video.  But unfortunately, people who question these policies are fewer than they ever had been and those willing to put their whole life on the line by saying “yes sir,” hoping to appease a tyrant are a growing segment of our population. 

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

2 thoughts on “Road to Dystopia: The Canton Cops

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