"...when it comes to beating folks up, this country has nearly a million people legally authorized to beat, kidnap at gunpoint (arrest) and kill if deemed necessary, a large portion of which exercise the first two of these rights thousands of times daily. At last count in 2002 America had 14,254 law enforcement agencies employing 675,734 sworn officers and 294,854 civilians. With the "war on terror," heaven only knows how many have been added.
Public protest usually provides a glimpse into this force, and every year we see more smuggled videotapes that somehow seldom make the news. Jumpy footage of ordinary folks beaten with wooden clubs, shocked with Tasers, and riddled with rubber bullets, even while on their knees praying. Elderly protesters of Miami's free trade zone were Maced in the face and dragged across the ground in handcuffs and a female reporter testified she was forced to strip before male cops. People who bother to find and watch these videos on the Internet keep saying the same thing over and over again: 'This is not America.' Unfortunately, it is.(...)"