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As CC’s intrepid reporter J. D. Oxblood just pointed out, New York City cops ain’t too bright. But it turns out (and this is no surprise) that the problem doesn’t stop at the street.

The New York Times is reporting that the city decided to settle a law suit from 2003 for two million dollars. The suit claimed wrongful arrest: the cops swept the street to crush any sign of political dissent, made mass arrests that imprisoned innocent passersby, and in the end, after deciding to settle out of court rather than face a trial, the cops refused to apologize. (Sounds a little like how they recruited inmates for Gitmo.)

It would be easy (and correct) to blame this gross infringement of our rights and liberties on Guiliani, the Republicans (Mayor Mike, that means you too), and the nasty political culture of hate and fear that has been allowed to flower since Reagan announced it was morning in America. Ann Coulter should serve the same amount of time in jail for undermining respect for political dissent in this country that those 52 innocents had to spend for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Even a couple of days times 52 is a lot). As Ahmad Shirazi, 70, one of those arrested said:

… as he was being handcuffed for the first time in his life, he told the officer that the plastic cuffs were squeezing him. “He said, ‘You should have thought about that before you came out this morning.’ It was like a dagger in my heart, that a police officer of my city would come up with anything like that.”

But in New York City at least we have another Lady who we can look to as justification of our petition to have cops and politicians punished who try to strong arm us into giving up our freedom.

This now infamous video is proof that the surveillance state cuts both ways. (Thanks to Shawn for pointing it out.)

My sympathies are obviously with the bikers. For that matter, I never liked cops much. Their job is to go out cruising for trouble. Bad news in my opinion. The only people who should be cops should be the ones who pass a rigorous exam on ethics. But then there wouldn’t be many cops. Or politicians probably.

Bikes need to displace cars in the modern city — absolutely. They need to be sacred cows, so long as they don’t make a habit of running over pedestrians, who are by far the most sacred form of life on and in the street. And cops who make asses of themselves and abuse their power on video should be canned — immediately, no questions asked.

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