“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
This quote by American Revolution-era orator Patrick Henry is instructive in the debate that is currently taking place around the nation, over police encounters with civilians in which individuals end up beaten, arrested and even killed.
A public discussion about the need to reach an adequate balance between law enforcement and the fundamental constitutional rights of individuals, is long overdue. Unless such balance is achieved, the lives and liberty of many, particularly people of color, will continue to be put at risk.
Anyone stopped by a law enforcement officer should be respectful and obey the instructions given to them by the officer. It protects the officer and themselves. Officers, in turn, should comport themselves in accordance with the law, civility and respect, when interacting with the public. Read more...