According to the Oxford Dictionary, a ‘gang’ is “an organized group of criminals”. According to the FBI, there are around 33,000 gangs in the united states, and over one million gang members. However, there is one very influential and dangerous gang that many people know/think little about. Yet, when presented with linear logic, many people would agree that this group, too, is a violent gang. This gang has around one million individual members spread all across the unionand nearly all of them are masters at deception.
Though they are often referred to by initials that may stand for “Compassionate Omnipresent Protectors”, in reality, they are none of those things. Of late, even they are finally acknowledging that they are generally not compassionate, and they could not possibly be omnipresent – no human or group of humans could occupy every space in a city. We discussed the ‘omnipresent fallacy’ in this article.
While specific gangs vary in their industries and methods, they generally seek money, power, and control over their communities. Respect is crucial for control. Many gang members, especially the higher-ups, seek respect and/or fear from the members of their community. Without respect or fear, people are impossible to control. Sicilian families began to control many large neighborhoods in the united states in the 19th century, primarily through extortion. (which is defined as “to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power”). Similarly, the Mafia famously operated a protection racket, in which they would demand money from a business in exchange for protection. Business owners did not really have a choice, because choosing not to hire the Mafia would result in physical violence and/or theft.
The most powerful gang in the union relies on very similar practices, though the protection that they provide is likely not as effective as the security provided by the Mafia of old. In fact, it recently became public knowledge that the new gang is not obligated to protect the people or businesses that it often professes to protect. Possibly as a result of this court ruling, at least one local gang is beginning to return to the old-fashioned Mafia-style protection racket. The Detroit contingent is beginning to offer protection to local businesses in exchange for a monthly fee. Ironically, Detroit citizens seem to be losing faith in the C.O.P. On May first, Vice reported that just one competing private security business is currently protecting 5,000 civilians and 100 businesses in Detroit. According to Forbes Magazine, private security companies outnumber the C.O.P. gang worldwide.
In addition to what may be looked at as its protection racket, the C.O.P. also commits simple theft on a regular basis. In 2017, the gang stole over $50 million in just one state from unwilling citizens. These gangsters have stolen cash, guns, drugs, cars, and even entire houses from people who were never convicted of a crime and in many cases, not even charged with one. The gang has increased its direct theft revenue massively throughout the years and now steals over $5 billion annually. C.O.P. members refer to this theft as ‘civil asset forfeiture’, and they justify it by claiming that they only take property that may have been used in a crime or may potentially be used in a future crime. The gang has successfully brainwashed the general public into supporting this practice. In fact, some New Hampshire C.O.P. affiliates use money from this theft to pay public relations firms to create propaganda which paints the gang in a positive light – which could brainwash more citizens into supporting them.
This gang seems to have many other rules that they believe all Americans (besides for them) must obey. The gangsters arbitrarily enforce these rules, generally by fining people or through actual violence. Sometimes, they kill the offender, in ways that many reasonable people may see as arising from bloodthirstiness or even boredom. And after any such incidents, they seem to always have a reasonable sounding excuse.
This gang seems to be at least somewhat involved in gun-running rackets. Members in NYC were recently caught in an elaborate gun-running racket. Top members of the NYC gang were involved in the operation, but none of them have been convicted of any crimes, to our knowledge. Other affiliates may want to make money and terrorize cities in this way, but they first need to make sure that guns are already illegal before being able to duplicate the NYC model of being the sole gun provider in town.
Nearly every C.O.P. affiliate seems to act as if they own the roads in their areas, much like typical gangs who claim to ‘run these streets’. They charge money to park on the streets and people refusing or neglecting to pay are issued fines by these C.O.P. that are ultimately enforced by violence. These fines cost people in New York City half a billion dollars annually.
While the gang operates independently in each city, they cooperate quite well with each other on gang operations, especially on serious and violent matters.
The craziest part? The members of this gang are almost never even charged with a crime. When they are charged by the government, they are found innocent or spared prison time on nearly every single occasion. In 2018, the gang was responsible for the deaths of 1,165 people. 99% of the murderers got off without any conviction at all.
By this point, you may suspect that the gang in question is the same one commonly referred to as ‘police’ in the United States. Some readers would challenge this article despite its airtight linear logic and sources. From our point of view, the most likely challenge from pro-police readers would be something along the lines of this:
“Come on, Liberty Block! American police do not fit the definition of a criminal gang because their operations are inherently legal, and the definition that you cited at the beginning of your article implies that only illegal activities could be considered gang-related.”
This challenge has some validity, but can be rebutted in two distinct ways:
1) While all orders given by police and nearly all of their actions are inherently legal, murder and rape are still technically illegal, and no laws clearly state that it is legal for cops to commit violent crimes, though ‘qualified immunity’ case law does come frighteningly close to saying just that.
2) Partially related to the first response, police do violate the law. Nearly every cop breaks the law nearly every time they go to work. Nearly every American would agree that the US Constitution is the law of the land (and the Supreme Court agrees). And the Constitution guarantees that all Americans have the natural right to free speech, possess and carry any weapon they want, live privately without cops searching or investigating anything that they do not have a specific warrant for, and many other rights that are violated by police on a regular basis. Indeed, every square inch of the union has police officers who enforce at least some gun laws – from Wyoming to Miami – all of which do violate the Constitution. Even here in New Hampshire, police find new ways to violate the 4th amendment regularly, too (LPRs, surveillance cameras, etc.)
It is understandably difficult for many people to reconcile that police are not the “compassionate omnipresent protectors” that we may have been led to believe. I once believed that cops were moral, just, and that they protected me. However, over time I learned that I had been sorely misguided. Anyone who believes in personal freedom, self-ownership, the Constitution, or justice could not possibly support the police, at least not blanketly. After all, they arguably are the nation’s largest and most prolific gang.