Police from five Connecticut towns participated in a botched raid in Easton in 2008, one that was predicated on a warrant that permitted cops to "search for a small quantity of drugs and to seize anything in the house where a box the size of a breath mint container and two glass pipes might be hidden," as the Connecticut Post reported on the disastrous raid. It ended with alleged drug user Gonzales Guizan killed at the hands of police. An attorney's general report cleared cops, based mostly on their own testimony, but while Easton tried to fight a decision to allow a civil lawsuit to go forward, it ended up on the hook for $3.5 million. None of the police officers or the supervisors who thought a five-force raid on an alleged petty drug user was worth the effort and exertion of violence were held accountable for their actions. But now the arrest of one officer involved in that raid, William Ruscoe of the Trumbull police department, on charges of sexual assaulting a teenage girl, with the possibility of more victims coming forward, calls to question the systemic policy decision not to hold police officers accountable in the kind of fatal and unnecessary situations like the one they created in Easton in 2008.
If you've ever had to go on your state's DMV website to pay a ticket, you might have noticed the state reminding you that "driving is a privilege, not a right," usually by way of explaining why in addition to paying a fine "points" are added to your license. Accumulate enough points, and your license is suspended. Participate in a raid that ends with the fatal shooting of a citizen while in the employ of the government, however, and have access to more labor protections and due process "rights" than almost any other profession in the world. Incidents of police abuse and nothing else happening are available aplenty. There is something seriously wrong with our relationship to government when we accept driving as a privilege and carrying a badge and gun and exercising a monopoly on violence as a right.