New York, NY — A common meme amongst those in the police accountability movement is that it is only a matter of time before an entirely innocent person crosses paths with the wrong cop and gets a hefty dose of police state USA.
All too often we hear the ridiculous statement from the apologist crowd saying, “If you don’t break the law, you have nothing to worry about.”
However, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.
Former NSA official William Binney sums this myth up quite accurately, “The problem is, if they think they’re not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does.”
Attorney Harvey Silverglate argues that the average American commits three felonies a day without even knowing it.
In reality, there are too many cases to count of innocent people, some who’ve been recognized as pillars of society, being attacked and imprisoned by a system which claims to protect them.
When people assert that not breaking the law protects them from police abuse, those of us with our finger on the pulse of this corrupt police state, answer back by stating, “it’s only a matter of time before they are proven wrong.”
As a point of clarification, it is important to state the difference between hating cops and holding police accountable.
Those of us who hold police accountable are often referred to as “cop haters” and “anti-cop.” Police officers are human beings, they are our brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, and sons and daughters. To blindly hate a person because of a badge is irresponsible as well as dangerous. However, equally irresponsible and dangerous is to blindly apologize for criminals and psychopaths because of that same badge.
That being said, former police apologist, Carsten Vogel, had his “time” come last month. According to his Facebook page, Carsten Vogel was one of those people who seemed to blindly support police, no matter what.
During the NYPD slowdown, Vogel was involved in a heated argument with a Facebook friend, according to the Village Voice.
“The police in NYC are now refusing to make the mayor look good,” Vogel wrote in a thread on his Facebook page. “I get it. I don’t think the police are abandoning their jobs or responsibilities. I think they are refusing to play the game.”
However, in January, Vogel’s attitude would quickly change after he was approached by an NYPD officer on a mission to deprive someone of their rights.
Vogel was on his way to work when an NYPD officer detained him and asked him what he had in his pocket. Vogel was carrying a completely legal pocket knife, which was visible by the clip on the outside of his pocket.
Vogel’s knife is no different than any of the other millions of folding knives legally carried by Americans every day. But the fact that this knife was legal did not stop this NYPD officer from making it illegal.
After Vogel handed the officer his knife, the officer, with the flip of his wrist and using the weight of the blade, caused Vogel’s knife to pop open.
“It looked like a magic trick,” Vogel says of the officer’s move in a statement to the Village Voice. “That’s the best way I can describe it. It looked like magic. It’s something that this guy has obviously practiced a lot.”
The NYPD is unique in the respect that they are one of the only departments in the country to use this “flip of the wrist” to convert legal pocket knives into illegal gravity knives. This practice is known to be controversial and immoral, but this does not stop the NYPD from doing it, often.
The Village Voice reports that even police officers know that this tactic makes people dislike them:
When we wrote about gravity knife arrests in October, it set off a lengthy discussion on Thee Rant, a verified online forum for NYPD officers. One user, in what seems to be a prescient comment, wrote that gravity knife arrests are “Why the public hates us. [Be]cause discretion has been taken away and it’s all about numbers.”
Vogel was subsequently arrested and brought to the station. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. He is now facing multiple trips to court, legal fees, and thousands in court costs and possible fines.
Prior to the ride down to the station, Vogel was still accepting of what these officers were doing. He figured that this was their job, and they were doing what they had to do.
But then he started listening to the officers talking. According to Vogel, the officers were openly talking about how they needed to make arrests in order to receive promotions.
“They were saying, ‘Why is he getting promoted?’ “ Vogel recalls. ” ‘He’s only got, like, two guns and a burglary and a few robberies?’ “
“Here they are talking about promotions, and the relationship between arrest and promotions. And I’m just a pawn,” said Vogel.
The Village Voice reports:
After his ordeal, Vogel went back to Facebook. He was upset, and he was trying to warn others about the knife law. One of his friends, the same one he’d occasionally sparred with over the police, chimed in. “Aren’t you the one always arguing how great cops are and that they’re just doing their jobs?” she wrote.
“Never again,” Vogel replied.