Why are cops – federal and otherwise – showing such contempt for people demonstrating for their rights? Why are they acting like a military force ‘containing’ the people like some caged enemy rather than “protecting and serving” them as their mission statement used to proclaim?
I think the best answer is that today, what ‘the people’ are protesting is — cops. Out of control cops. And the response from the cops, who are the ‘enforcement’ arm of the US hierarchy from the corporations controlling Congress on down to the DA and mayor of wherever you are, is, “who are you to say what we can or can’t do?” They are saying this to anyone in the hierarchy — like Bill de Blasio or even a president (Obama) who questions their impunity – because they know that they are the only line of defense between a very angry populace and so-called ‘leaders’ the people now recognize as their socio-political enemies.
The police and Donald Trump are on the same page — the majority of you may not like us, but you damn well better do what we say, or we will hurt you. We will disappear you. The law will not constrain us. We are the law.
So if you wonder why the “higher authorities” (judges, politicians, etc.) aren’t doing anything about cops rioting in the streets, I’d say look at the power structure. Cops protect the interests of those farther up the chain, and all parties are aware. This is why DAs are so reluctant to charge cops with crimes – they depend on police to risk their lives bagging criminals and then cooperate with the judicial process up to conviction. Every link in the chain must hold. If City Hall doesn’t recognize their power, the cops can stop cooperating. If the cops stop cooperating, no arrests, no convictions.
Those farther up the chain are beholden to police in their own way – they can’t ‘reign them in’ because they don’t really have the power to do so. Their power is counterbalanced by the power of the police to render them impotent, their courtrooms and jails empty. And when some political neophyte tries to exercise power over the police, watch what happens – police unions and their hard-right defenders will take them down, not physically but professionally. “Leftist.” “Anarchist.” “Soft on crime.” “Hostile to law and order.” In the case of the current president, he will simply fire whoever waves the Constitution in his face. A more ‘cooperative’ public servant—one who wants to get ahead—will then take their place. Balance of power restored.
The war is on, and it has been for some time. But there’s really only one side waging it, so it’s more like a never-ending series of drive-by executions. You play or you pay, so Pollyanna liberals peddling “equal justice under the law” need not apply—or they too will be tear-gassed. As Trump and his criminal ilk (like Roger Stone or Michael Flynn or Mitch McConnell) understand, it is about power. Not laws.