Providence RI -- In what can only be considered an absolutely mockery of "justice," a young man was recently pulled over by an overzealous law enforcement officer for the horrific crime of having an air freshener in his car. Yes, you read that correctly and this is not the onion.
In a video uploaded to YouTube yesterday, a young man can be seen in what appears to be a standard traffic stop. When the officer approaches his vehicle, he immediately demands the man's license and registration. The man complies with the officer's demands, but is very adamant in asserting his right to be informed as to why he is being detained.
After a few moments, the officer realized he had no reason to charge this man with a crime, or even a reason to extort revenue from him.
When he was pressed to explain the reason he pulled someone over quite literally for no reason, the officer attempted to justify his actions by saying that the man's air fresheners were obstructing his view. Just before the man stops recording, he remarks that the officer is 'bored', and the officer seems to acknowledge this assertion just before the video ends.
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While the authenticity of this video has yet to be verified by independent sources, the likelihood of a situation like this occurring is unfortunately extremely likely in Police State USA.
As The Free Thought Project reported last month; the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that it is suspicious for a vehicle to have air fresheners, rosaries, or pro-police bumper stickers. Alas, we now have video evidence of the absolute ridiculous consequences policies like this can have.
While concern for the safety of others is admirable and should be encouraged, the truth is that police are rarely looking out for the well-being of citizens. Their primary purpose, as evidenced by Warren v. District of Columbia, is "law enforcement," which in most jurisdictions equals revenue generation.
Accordingly, the average traffic stop leads to having your money taken from you under the threat of violence, or worse, death; as was the case with Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, and many others. We can now begin to understand why there truly is no such thing as a "standard" traffic stop.
The fact of the matter is that all traffic stops require the initiation of force. Whether subtle or explicit, every person is well aware that behind the flashing lights, the shiny badge, and fancy uniform, there is a gun waiting to end their life possessed by an individual that will (most likely) not be charged for their misdeeds.
Johnny Liberty is a researcher and investigative journalist. You can follow him on twitter @LibertyUnltd