“Everything around us is changing… laws, society, personal idiosyncrasies, as well as the realm that cannabis resides. Sometimes it is time to sit down the bowl and really focus on the issues… well then pick it back up because politics are stressful…”
On October 12th, Florida State Trooper Donna Watts pulled over and arrested Fausto Lopez a Miami Police Officer on the way to what he called an “off-duty detail.” As the video shows, Lopez is weaving in and out of traffic at speeds in excess of 120 mph which drastically alarmed Watts. So, as any self-respected servant of the people should, she proceeded to apprehend him. Lopez attempts to sway Watts from the arrest but she holds adamant in saying “You don’t respect me…you don’t respect these people out here…” Recently, the police dispatch recording has been released in order to delve into the intricacies of the situation at hand.
In the wake of OWS (Occupy Wall Street) protests all over the country, the inglorious amount of police brutality in all conceptions of the word is becoming ever more evident. OWS wants to inspire economic insight into the community, but in the midst of their campaign non-violence and passive resistance has shown the nature of our law enforcement, a myriad of conglomerates subverting their own public by force and by not upholding the most basic of codes “to protect and serve.” In the recording as well as the video itself, there is a definite pause by the FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) to pull over the cop on the basis of who he was affiliated with. Regardless of who is located within the vehicle, everyone should be held to the same standard. Once we start making exceptions for police officers on the basis of some grandiose scheme of protection, we submit our ethics, our morals, our laws, but more importantly our rights and ultimately Justice. Plato’s Republic gives a great discussion of Justice as something that is not only a virtue entailed within society, but a virtue that we all must carry within ourselves, that means resistance, prudence, and moderation of power. Within the Roman Empire, Augustus pushed the Gallic tribes of Gaul all the way to the Elbe, which was the furthest that anyone had ever campaigned. Instead of cadastrating the land or moving beyond that point, he went back to Rome to display a control of power instead of its abuse.
Though Octavian may seem a digression, we are 2 millenia away from a time when people considered infanticide, fratricide, and uxorcide a regular occurrence within life, but yet there is a clear consciousness of the institution of power and its limitations. Donna Watts needs to be elated for her deed instead of harassed and criticized for breaking some “unspoken” rule between officers that disallows different departments to instill order. Is this country not built on a world of checks and balances, where the populace should be protected from absolutist ideas wrapped within oppressive structures? To an average American, this situation is unique due to the proactive nature of Watts not the careless actions of Lopez. Frequently, I see (as I am sure ALL of you have) cops WAY over the speed limit without emergency lights, disregarding other drivers by driving erroneously, assaulting citizens on the grounds of “enforcement,” and in general avoiding laws that are set in place for the protection of the populous and the entities that inhabit that sphere of influence.
This is our nation, our state, our cities, our towns, our well-beings at stake when allowing the atrocious affronts of our current law enforcement system to continue to propagate a framework of oppression aimed at subordination rather than protection.