TSA-Style Pat Downs Hit The Streets
In Philly, You Don’t Have To Go To The Airport To Be Molested By The Government
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, December 6, 2010
In Philadelphia, you don’t have to visit the airport to have the government molest you, TSA-style “stop, question and frisk” pat downs are already being conducted by police on the streets targeting people who act suspicious, by doing things like putting their hands in their coat pocket.
As we have repeatedly warned, everything unfolding in the airports, from naked radiation body scanners to pat downs, is now being implemented on mass transit as well as every major street corner in America. Constitutional protections of privacy and immunity from unreasonable search and seizure have been abolished, replaced with guilty until proven innocent.
As Judge Napolitano reports, residents in the “city of brotherly love” are being patted down by police officers on the streets as part of an aggressive “stop, question and frisk” policy instituted by Mayor Nutter. The program is now the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU which accuses police of routinely violating civil rights, including those of Rep. Jewell Williams, a former Temple University police officer, who was handcuffed and bundled into a squad car after enquiring about the safety of two elderly men police had detained and then threatened to beat up.
In the video, Philadelphia radio host Dom Giordano attempts to defend the unconstitutional policy by claiming residents were “happy” with being treated like criminals by “specially trained squads” who target people for “holding their hands in their coat on a street corner.”
Confronted with the fact that such policies are right out of North Korea or East Germany and have no place in a free country, Giordano invoked the non-existent “constitutional right to not have your kid shot,” which could also be enforced if authorities simply placed the entire population under house arrest and prevented them from ever going outside.
Much to Giordano’s chagrin, Napolitano responded by paraphrasing the most famous Philadelphian of all, founding father Benjamin Franklin, who said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
The stops have increased from 102,319 in 2005 to 253,333 in 2009 – an increase of 148 percent – with just 8 per cent of all stops leading to arrests. An alarming one in six residents of the entire city of Philadelphia has been stopped and frisked under the program, far more than would ever be subjected to a TSA groping at an airport.
“These unconstitutional actions have had and continue to have a devastating effect on the lives of many Philadelphians,” attorney Paul Messing said. “Beyond that, these police practices have had no real impact on stemming criminal conduct in our city. They just subject innocent people to humiliating and degrading treatment.”
“Most of those arrests had nothing to do with the reason they were stopped,” Messing said. “The charges were often for disorderly conduct because they complained they were stopped for no reason.”
By harassing people for putting their hands in their pockets, US authorities are mimicking the British stop and search policy, which by no coincidence has become notorious for its failure to catch any real criminals.
Indeed, in 2008 our own writer Steve Watson was stopped by goons in yellow jackets who proceeded to bark orders at him while standing at a bus stop in Trafalgar Square, London. His crime? He adjusted his clothing and put his hand in his pocket, an action that put him into the category of a potential terrorist, according to section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In Britain, stop and search powers have been routinely abused to intimidate political protesters and break up demonstrations. Out of the hundreds of thousands of stop and search incidents, not one has led to the arrest or apprehension of a terrorist, and the powers have recently been ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights.
Americans who believe they can avoid being molested by the authorities by simply not flying are going to be in for a rude awakening when they find that body scanners and pat downs have become mandatory to enter shopping malls, sports events, or to simply walk down the street.
Unless we stand up in unison and revolt against such unconstitutional intrusions no matter where they take place, America will increasingly resemble the former Soviet Union, where agents of the state ceaselessly demand to see our papers and feel us up as part of the process of humiliation that trains the slaves to fawn over and acquiesce to the orders of their masters.