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One of Every Three American Adults is a Criminal

Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal posted an article on the growing epidemic of criminal records. The article reports that nearly one out of every three American adults has a criminal record -- a statistic corroborated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose records show 77.7 million individuals on file in the organization's master criminal database. Is this an indication of a society which is becoming more violent and criminal, or of one which is becoming ever-populated with needless and overreaching laws, ordinances, and regulations? In a country whose growing majority depends upon government for salary or entitlements, this is indeed the mechanism through which the dependency is enabled. Some are obviously more than willing to surrender increments of freedom for the promise of free stuff.    

Along with the extensive and pervasive development of laws in the United States, their execution has become more vile and horrid. And the experience of police brutality, along with the truncation of Constitutional rights which comes with it, has become more commonplace. Many activists, journalists, Facebook pages, and online applications and articles, such as those found through The Free Thought Project, populate the web every single day with accounts of government misconduct. My Twitter account @SavingAmerica, as well as other websites, such as reason.com, regularly document these violent encounters. As we observe the events in Ferguson, Missouri, we witness a heavily-militarized police force which possesses the capacity to effectively immunize government from the people. The sole protector of freedom is the capacity of the individual to secure it for himself. The celebrated "generosity" by government in its allowance of a "peaceful protest" is an admission of their original propensity to thwart it. A government too insulated from the people will invariably own them.

In closing, I may offer one of my own recent encounters with law enforcement. The following testimony offers insight into the events of my recent arrest. The officers involved in the events violated not only the supreme principle of self-ownership but the supreme law of the land: the Constitution of the United States. In this testimony, I spare no detail to reveal the absurdity of the business of government, which is to squash its benefactors under the thumb of imperialism and political expedience to force their increased obligations to, yet also their overall dependence on, the system. It is constantly, through the shortsightedness of philosophical, economic, and political comprehension, an acceptance of that which is seen at the expense of that which is unseen. In the end, we sacrifice a measure of freedom for a measure of security, but all that we are here able to accomplish is to replace the threats against liberty with a steadfast and institutionalized guarantee of them.    

My Testimony 

My 1st and 4th Amendment rights, among others, including Title 18 U.S. Code Chapter 13, Section 241, were violated on the afternoon of July 28th, 2014. I was arrested after honking my horn near a police scene -- an attempt to warn potential approaching vehicles and cross traffic of my passing, as such I deemed necessary due to the unique positioning of the police scene. Upon recognition of flashing lights behind me, I quickly pulled into a parking spot in The Village apartment complex, where I currently reside. When Novi Police Officer Sgt. Warren arrived at my window, I asked for his reason for pulling me over. He acknowledged me and demanded that I wait while he presumably documented and reported my license plate number. The officer, whom I then and again later identified as Sgt. Warren (badge# 219), then approached my window, which was nearly entirely rolled down so as to permit an easy and free exchange of words and documentation. After asking the officer to explain the cause of my detention, I immediately presented my license, but refused to hand it over to the arresting officer, Sgt. Warren (badge# 219) of Novi PD, who shortly thereafter summoned backup before proceeding to demand that I relinquish possession of my license, registration, and proof of insurance. 

I identified myself as the owner and operator of the vehicle and notified the officer that I would provide him with registration and proof of insurance, but that I only first ask that he detail the reason for the stop along with the reasonable suspicion upon which the stop was executed. I asked him to describe the crime that I had committed, or the crime that I had been suspected of committing. Upon the arrival of two other officers at the scene, I begged each of the officers to explain the reason for the stop. Apparently, all officers had only one intention: to force my compliance with an arbitrary, broad, and equally unreasonable set of laws which any man could, without any evidence and at any time, be suspected of committing. 

In short, as was the dialogue between the four of us, the officers displayed no intention of allowing me to speak or to understand the cause of my detention and eventual arrest. The three officers, at the behest of Sgt. Warren, began to impatiently and forcibly remove me from my vehicle. Unfortunately, my window had been rolled down, which -- conveniently for them -- swiftly permitted their access to my driver-side door lock. Sgt. Warren then unlocked my car door, forcibly flung open my door, then grabbed me by my arms to drag me from my car -- during which time I had remained buckled into my seat. 

After I had finally released the buckle, the three officers grabbed and threw me to the ground, aggressively pinning my legs and smashing my head to the ground. I repeatedly expressed that I was not resisting and that I would comply. All attempts were moot, however, for the officers were more than intent on exercising their brute force over me. After dragging me from my car and hurling me to the ground, the officers commanded me to stop resisting, all while I had acted much like a noodle, attempting no resistance at all. The officers threatened to use their tasers while continuing to throw me around and abuse my limbs. I had on countless occasions begged them to ease their force and to permit my compliance. No such permission was granted. I wanted nothing more than to end this torture to return to my residence to unload my groceries and relax after a day of work. After the officers attached their cuffs to my wrists, the officers rushed me to a patrol car and forced me into the backseat. 

From there, I watched the officers enter my vehicle to proceed with a search. I had nothing to hide in my car, but I was quite disturbed by this process, as I had never consented to a search, and I was still unclear as to the charges pending against me. During the search, one of the officers approached me to insist that I comply -- which was a bit unusual, as I believed that I had made abundantly clear my desire to comply. After minutes of a thorough vehicle search, the officers departed from my vehicle, at which time Sgt. Warren returned to his squad car to escort me to the station for booking and fingerprints. At the station, I continued to comply with Sgt. Warren and the two cadets on duty: Cadet Mitchell and his senior cadet in command. 

The two cadets processed my booking information along with my fingerprints, following a thorough pat-down by Sgt. Warren. Following the booking procedure, I posted bond in the amount of $100 cash, and I was then escorted to a lobby in the building to pay a $20 cash fee for my vehicle release. Cadet Mitchell executed this transaction under the supervision of his fellow senior-ranking cadet. Shortly thereafter, I set out to find Hadley's Towing, where my car had been impounded -- although I had declared that I currently reside in the apartment complex wherein the arrest had occurred, the officers insisted, over my reluctance, that my vehicle be towed. Upon arriving at Hadley's Towing, I was fined $85 cash for the release of my vehicle from the lot. In the end, I had incurred $205 of fees and a loss of more than 2 hours of my life. 

That moment was one in which I take no pride and which I entirely regret. I know that each of us involved in the events outlined herein can learn an array of lessons from this encounter, and I truly hope that this opportunity is seized. I take full responsibility for my actions, and I have invariably learned a great deal from this encounter. Let it be known, however, that I had on that day no intentions of disobeying orders. I had no intentions of creating a violent or criminal scene. I only wished to preserve my proprietary and personal rights as a free and independent human being. 

After the lengthy booking process, posting bond, paying to have the police department release my vehicle from the impound lot, and paying the towing company, I had incurred $205 of fees and lost over 2 hours of my life as a free and independent man. I am here asking for justice. I am asking for compensation for my time and for my financial loss. I am here to ensure that this type of behavior is never tolerated and that my children and yours will never experience a world in which this type of behavior is tolerated or endorsed.

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