Leesburg, VA – Leesburg Police Chief Joseph Price is a model of virtue among cops. After becoming fed up seeing police brutality happening all over the country, he decided to retrain his entire force with “de-escalation” tactics.

The cold-blooded murder of Walter Scott was the tipping point for Price.

“The North Charleston (S.C.) shooting, clearly, was the last straw. There was no weapon anywhere near Mr. Scott.”

Price is using that video, along with others from Seattle and Albuquerque, in five-hour training sessions for his nearly-100 officer force. Many were upset over the actions of their colleagues, with one officer saying their egregious behavior “puts everyone in uniform in potential danger.”

Unsurprisingly, other officers did not like the idea of trying to avoid the use of excessive force against citizens. Price reminded these naysayers of their duty to “protect,” which he summed up in a curious metaphor.

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“We live with the sheep, but we never turn against the sheep. When the wolf comes, we protect the sheep to the death. …The warrior mentality has a place, but it should not dominate. In today’s world, you need the skill set of a warrior and the mindset of a guardian.”

While his efforts are laudable, they miss the overarching problem that the very existence of modern police is to serve the leviathan. The militarized surveillance state needs the “sheep” so it can perpetuate the ruling class by extracting wealth and usurping power.

Through the presence of badges and guns, or the appearance of top-down order, government can continue its extortion of the citizenry through countless means—from income taxes to parking tickets to the billions brought in by the War on Drugs.

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By enacting endless, frivolous laws to dictate how citizens should behave, how they should make a living, how they should spend their money—and using police to enforce these delusions of control—the State distracts from the real criminals that inhabit the halls of government and direct the tentacles of the corporatocracy.

If cops were serious about protecting the “sheep” from the “wolf,” they would turn against the leviathan.

The murder of Mr. Scott is a symptom of law enforcement that has lost respect for the dignity of human life, to fully and faithfully serve the interests of the State.

The Leesburg Police Department is at least making an effort not to become part of the most cold-blooded enforcers. In fact, they haven’t discharged a firearm during an encounter with a suspect in six years.

Leesburg Sgt. Bob Thompson is aware of the “warrior” mentality that has taken over police training, fueled by the post-9/11 surge of military-grade equipment and tactics into local police forces.

Then you saw a lot of technology and equipment used in the military start to transform police policy. It was making us look more like the military … There was this focus on the warrior mindset, but it was leading us down the path of a siege mentality.

One wonders why more cops cannot recognize this truism.

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Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo.