Police

'Where Are Libertarians on Police Reform?' Right Where We've Always Been.

Real changes will require fewer laws and less violent enforcement.

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After the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, America is finally embracing police reform. As is so often the case in matters of personal freedom, libertarians were here long before mainstream political counterparts and fought a frequently lonely battle against abusive government power. Now, just as they did with same-sex relationships, drug reform, and the ongoing battle against the surveillance state, people across the political spectrum seem ready to concede that a little more freedom could be a good thing. If the effort succeeds, we may not get the credit—newly converted reformers are already trying to separate the cause from its long-time promoters —but at least we'll live in a better world.

"Where are the libertarians?" is such a knee-jerk cry after incidents of police brutality that it's safe to assume that it's a matter of bad faith rather than of ignorance. Having left the issue on the back burner for so long, some people don't want to admit that we were there ahead of them. Unfortunately, when it comes to police misconduct, we've been way ahead of them.

"Of the three political alternatives, a free economy, a mixed economy, a totalitarian state, only one provides the economic, political, and cultural context in which systematic police brutality cannot be a problem: a free society," wrote Reason founder Lanny Friedlander in a very '60s-ish 1969 essay. "The police of a free society, engaging in retaliatory force only, enforcing laws of a defensive nature only, would be bound by the same laws they enforced, and would stand fully accountable for their actions."

Going beyond window-dressing, libertarians favor minimizing opportunities for police to act against the public and making any interactions as non-confrontational as possible.

In 1971, the fledgling Libertarian Party (L.P.) called for "the repeal of all 'crimes without victims' now incorporated in federal and state laws," such as the prohibitions on drug use that have driven so much of the escalation in aggressive police tactics. The same platform declared itself opposed to "so-called 'no-knock laws'" of the sort that got Breonna Taylor killed by cops this year when they crashed through her door at night, unannounced, looking for illegal drugs.

In cases of police misconduct, libertarians favor holding government agencies and their employees accountable for their actions.

"We support full restitution for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them which do not result in their conviction," the L.P. proposed in 1976. "Law enforcement agencies should be liable for this restitution unless malfeasance of the officials involved is proven, in which case they should be personally liable."

That police agencies too often foster abusive conduct was no secret to libertarians long before the Minneapolis Police Department failed to implement reforms that might have saved George Floyd's life.

"When a rookie Houston patrolman named Alan Nichols did the unthinkable and reported three fellow officers for the vicious beating of a black prisoner, police internal-affairs investigators tried to have him fired, the chief publicly reprimanded him, and other police ostracized him," Glenn Garvin wrote in Inquiry, a Cato Institute publication, in 1979 coverage of violent and racially charged policing in Texas.

"Civil libertarians need to recognize that federal prosecution of law-enforcement officers who use excessive force often provides the only check on such unrestrained state power," Dirk G. Roggeveen urged in the pages of Reason as Americans reacted to the 1991 police beating of Rodney King.

Through these years, police not only misbehaved but also came to act like an occupying army lording it over a hostile populace.

Seattle's "police force has spied on local political activists for more than 20 years," Roxanne Park warned in Inquiry in 1978. "The intelligence abuses discovered in Seattle are 'typical examples' of the practices of urban police departments."

"Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work," Radley Balko cautioned for the Cato Institute in 2006. He expanded his argument in his 2013 book, Rise of the Warrior Cop.

Now, after decades of manifestos, journalism, research, and advocacy, America seems to agree with libertarians. "Americans by a 2-to-1 margin are more troubled by the actions of police in the killing of George Floyd than by violence at some protests," the Wall Street Journal reports from survey results. That just may result in policy changes.

Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the only Libertarian in Congress, literally wrote the bill that would eliminate qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that makes it so difficult to hold police accountable for their bad behavior unless courts in the same jurisdiction have already ruled that such conduct is wrong.

If Congress doesn't rise to the occasion, the Supreme Court could. Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor both look eager to revisit the mess the court created when it invented qualified immunity.

No-knock raids, which so often end in tragedy when police kick-in the wrong door, or when suddenly awakened residents try to defend against intruders, are also getting a second look. Louisville, Kentucky is considering banning such warrants, a half-century after the Libertarian Party proposed exactly that.

City council members in Minneapolis are even talking about disbanding the police department amidst a national, though ill-defined, movement to "defund police." Whether or not that's an improvement depends on what comes next. Retaining harsh enforcement by another name will continue the abuses, the intrusiveness, and the disproportionate use of state violence against disfavored communities under nothing more than different branding.

Maybe that's why it's taken so long for people to seriously consider police reform, and why they're so resistant to giving libertarians credit on the issue. Real change requires not just dropping the word "police" but reducing the opportunity for government agents to use violence against the public. That means fewer laws to be enforced and less intrusive enforcement of those laws. That's a hard pill to swallow for ideologues who are committed to forcing people to do what they don't want to do, or to forcibly stopping them from exercising their own preferences.

Libertarians should be happy that Americans are ready to discuss police reform. But we'll have to see if the country is actually prepared for less policing.

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  1. Embrace libertarian ideals? Not likely, as long as those ideals are grounded in individual autonomy and responsibility.

    Groups (key word) may be changing their positions and messaging, but will never give up group identity–and group promotion. Racism is just one variety of tribal grouping, but what I see is not any desire to eliminate tribalism. Rather it is all about some groups stomping on others, and gaining leverage, by using their own racist club.

    1. That’s certainly true of any side that doesn’t want government to be completely color-blind.

      What we need to solve both police brutality and riots is full accountability. I would do this by giving victims a right to pursue private prosecution as exists in the UK.

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    2. I think you’re entirely right. People generally are not interested in actual equality under the law (or whether or not such a thing is truly possible) they’re interested in advantages that benefit them. I think there’s a large number of people (the majority?) in these movements that would happily pass laws that are explicitly racist as long as they are the beneficiaries.

      I thought of a great idea for one of those videos where you go around polling random people on the street. You tell them that you’re going to read off somethings that BLM would like to put into law and read them off. What you actually read are Jim Crow laws that are reworded to benefit people of color. See how many people have the balls to push back on anything and get their reaction when you tell them what they’re actually endorsing.

    3. I went to the Twitter thread that was linked in the article r/t “Where are Libertarians?” Some of the replies just said, “Libertarian just means racist.”

      Zero depth of thought goes into these questions. The type of people who ask this clearly don’t know any libertarians and haven’t been paying attention in the past 5 years.

      1. Actually reading through that discussion reminded me why I stay off Twitter. Libertarians have been screaming about police reform for the better part of the past decade, we’ve been sharing our ideas and railing against no-knock raids.

        And then someone is like, “Why are libertarians so quiet on police reform?” because he’s never once listened to a libertarian in his life. All he’s ever gotten are leftist news reports that call Rand Paul a racist because he votes against the pointless anti-lynching bill.

        1. His question wasn’t “Why are libertarians so quiet.” He asked, “Y’all notice how all of your “libertarian” friends on social media ain’t been saying shit?” And anybody who has libertarian friends, rather than “libertarian” friends would answer that, “No, I haven’t noticed that at all, because my libertarian friends natter on about this pretty much incessantly. For every example that comes up in national news, they have ten others that nobody but they, and the victims’ family members, have even heard of.”

          Really, his question is a statement, “Hey, I just want you all to know that I don’t have any libertarian friends.”

          1. Considering that his statement ended with the phrase “being a libertarian is just cool ranch white supremacy,” I can see why. If he ever had any friends who were libertarian, he drove them away by calling them racist. He couldn’t engage with them on ideas, I’m sure, so he went for ad hominems.

            I don’t know why Jo Jorgensen’s campaign deigned to respond to this asshole. It’s really digging your white shoes down into the mud if you’re trying to justify yourself to the people who call you a racist without knowing shit about you.

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          3. So much all of this. People were just GOBSMACKED to hear about the Tuttle shooting, or the video from Daniel Shaver. They had no idea who Tony Timpa was.

            I mean, I’ll take allies where I can get them (as we all should), but DAMN, don’t talk down about how the libertarians are nowhere to be found when we’ve been the one spewing this shit all over for the last decade when nobody else was!

      2. That makes sense in the wokeness of the 21st century. Anyone not pro-black race is a racist.

      3. They will pay attention, when they feel that libertarian spoiler vote clout–after it’s too late and the election is over with.

    4. Racial collectivism is the exact term.

    5. I love when Reason brags about being such good libertarians. When it suits them, they are. But if it’s an issue that could help Trump… Not so much.

      For example: The surveillance state, malicious prosecution by corrupt law enforcement, excessive use of force. How come we’ve seen virtually nothing on Reason condemning the illegal surveillance and illegitimate investigation of the Trump campaign? The malicious prosecution of Carter Page, Flynn, Papadopolous, Roger Stone, and Paul Manafort is textbook abuse of power.

      Yet, Reason went out of their way to MOCK those who believed the FBI was framing them to get to Trump. And Reason has barely (if at all) covered the damning revelations of recently unclassified documents that implicate Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Brennan, Clapper, Strzok, and Lisa Page.

      And Reason has failed completely to demand that anyone be held accountable for the malicious surveillance, investigation, and attempt to overthrow an American president. Why? Because Orange Man Bad, and Reason writers and editors are more interested in being invited to dinner parties by their hip liberal neighbors.

      1. Go cry.

        1. Lick boot.

      2. One set of tax-parasites does shady shit aimed at a different group of tax-parasites… the appropriate libertarian action is to get popcorn and hope is escalates to the point where they’re shooting each other in their beds.

        Anyone who crosses the line to being a professional tax recipient, ought to be PNG[1] to libertarians until they cross back into the domain of productive human beings. If a fight breaks out among concentration camp guards, libertarians shouldn’t give a rat’s arse which side they ought to be on… the correct answer is “I hope the last two die by simultaneously stabbing each other”.

    6. Here’s another suggestion: make the cops leave their guns and clubs locked up in their squad-cars, arm them with a full variety of stunners (hand-stunners for close range, stun-batons for medium range, and Tasers for long range), and train them with the same so intensively that it becomes automatic to reach for a stunner instead of a club or gun. It’s much harder to kill someone with a stunner than a gun or club.

    7. Unfortunately, I believe you are right. Most of our laws are designed by groups to promote their self interest or to impose their doctrines, philosophy or religion on reluctant others

  2. After the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, America is finally embracing police reform.

    Not really. I see most people embracing “ending systemic racism” and “ending white supremacy”.

    1. Cops won’t be able to use tear gas *or* gas that causes tears when they put a knee on the neck of an alleged paper hanger.

      1. Why haven’t they tried using laughing gas?

        1. They need to carry flowers instead of pistols.

          1. They’d carry something with thorns, and whip people with them.

        2. From the safety data sheet for nitrous oxide (NO): “Do not inhale product on purpose because of the risk of asphyxiation.”

          Tear gas is not great, and people definitely can die because of exposure, but flooding an area with NO would be extremely dangerous.

          1. But funny.

          2. Ask Steve Martin’s character in Little Shop of Horrors.

          3. They’d die laughing.

      2. To deal with a rioting crowd, use smoke grenades thrown all together. Once the smoke rises, the rioters won’t be able to see to throw firebombs/rocks/acid-bottles/etc. The cops can then raise their shields and wade into the smoke swinging stun-batons. They won’t be able to see the rioters either, but simply contacting the rioters will — ZAP — put them down. When the smoke dissipates and the rioters are either snoring or fled, the cops can then pass among the bodies quietly cuffing them, then stuffing them in paddy-wagons and carting them off to wake up in holding cells.

        1. Leslie, well, aside from the negative visual, why not water canons? It won’t kill you, it puts out fires, cleans the street, it will drain away without muss or fuss, and it cleans protesters too! Ha ha!

    2. I suppose next you’re going to claim that Lenin didn’t reform the Russian government and Hitler didn’t reform German government. Look, Antifa is anti-fascist, it’s right there in the name! And they’re anti-fascist in exactly the same way Stalin and Mao were anti-fascist – fascists are merely moderately socialist instead of extremely radical socialist. No wonder Antifa hates those moderate pussies too willing to compromise their collectivism instead of violently stamping out any trace of individualism.

  3. Waiting for the chorus of prog-tests over the black & brown bodies that lose their jobs when the police are defunded.
    Two possible future narratives; a) they were complicit in supporting institutionalized racism and therefore the only non-whites capable of racism and thus deserved to be canned, or b) straight to the point just fire all white police officers.

    1. Police POC’s are the modern day Kulaks.

  4. This is such a cop out Tucille. The problem I have with the Libertarian’s posistion is there is no condemnation of any of the protesters as absolute lunatics. Antifa and black lives matter are just as extreme and have just as radical a message as the right wing marches in Charlottesville. Where are the articles condemning this radicalism that resulted in far more deaths and millions in looting and property damage? Noone has any doubt what reason’s position is on the police we’ve know that what I don’t understand is this embrace of BLM and no reporting at all on Antifa and in fact agreeing with some of their message without condemning them as the radical communists and racists they are by their own admission. These groups are virulently antisemitic and antiwhite and are dangerous retards. This isn’t a movement that’s going to embrace libertarian positions or your’re position they are going to replace the shitty system we have with something far worse and pernicious. And you’re silent on them. Which is to be expected. There have been Charlottesville equivalent damage and death tolls in multiple states and you guys are basically saying a few bad apples and we agree with the overall message. Fucking so courageous you cowards. These people aren’t ideological allies they are dangerous cultish Luddites who will snuff out any even marginal dissent. We are witnessing the birth of a new religion and a hysteria one would think a publication called reason would understand that busy body evangelicals can be totalitarian assholes.

    1. This movement isn’t rooted in individualism but collectivism and racial identity you will never convert them and you’ll be first against the wall. The mob is just as dangerous as the state to individual liberty.

    2. I’m sure the white nationalists had planks in their platform that were of some merit to liberty, where were the articles embracing those planks as evidence of positive change and attitudes? Oh wait you rightly didn’t publish those because the white nationalists are retarded collectivists and have disgusting views on racial identity. Have some balls and a different and more nuanced opinion than fucking Taco bell or pepsi on this issue for fucks sake.

      1. None of this is about actual reform either. We know this because there’s protests in Washington DC in front of the white house which has absolute fuck all to do with local policing. Even if these protesters had decent positions besides getting rid of police in total. The position BLM has makes absolutely no sense they seem to think that the only reason there is violence in their communities is directly due to policing which is fine I get it but it’s just one piece. These issues are being used to divide not reform, they are using language for political purpose of making this an election year issue and just want team red on the otherside.

        1. This is last week’s news brah.

    3. dangerous retards
      yup
      These people aren’t ideological allies…We are witnessing the birth of a new religion and a hysteria
      It seems a lot like the present moment’s incarnation of communism/socialism. The State replaces the need for outmoded concepts of god (state is now mandatory uppercase, God is lowercase) and everyone is defined by their peers, who incidentally all happen to be ratting on their neighbors and employers for a coupon booklet from city hall.

    4. The problem I have with the Libertarian’s posistion is there is no condemnation of any of the protesters

      Who are we? Chopped liver?

      You’ve not read the constant condemnations and even calls for the boot to the head by people in this comment section – many of whom think they are libertarians?

      Reason Magazine is not the king of libertarians. Its not even the voice of libertarianism. Its just one group among many.

      1. All fair points.

    5. i’m going to clarify my all libertarian position as just specifically to the majority of libertarians who write for this publication. But they are far from the only ones.

      1. The more popular/institutional Libertarians have been saying something along the lines of, “Reform the police and that will take care of the looters.”

        I don’t understand why that is such a bad position to take. I’m right on board with them. I condemn looters, but so what? What the fuck do you want to do about those looters now that I’ve condemned them? Because the only answers I can think of have to do with enabling exactly the same law and order instruments that killed George Floyd in the first place.

        We have looters and abusive cops today. We could have had looters and reformed cops tomorrow. But for some reason all libertarians should be doing is condemning looters.

        1. It’s not just the looters they need to condemn Overt. The BLM has some horrid and regressive positions that are on par or worse than what white nationalists say. I’d have more respect for some of these publications if they showed some consistency in the coverage. There’s not one is portrayed as more actively evil than the other when they both are racial collectivists cut from the same cloth with similar policy prescriptions of racial separation and collectivizing whole groups based on the color of their skin. They don’t make that distinction though.

          1. Neither one of those organizations are healthy for american discourse and one has infinitely more power or influence than the other.

    6. ??

      https://www.statesman.com/news/20200607/austin-activists-militant-group-co-opts-black-lives-matter-protests-skews-message

      “The massive daylong May 30 protest at Austin police headquarters was organized by a group calling itself the Mike Ramos Brigade, which announced itself on Facebook on April 29, five days after Austin officers fatally shot the unarmed Ramos during an arrest.

      But Brenda Ramos, his mother, said through an attorney that the Mike Ramos Brigade never asked for her permission to use her son’s name and likeness on their social media posts. And even though brigade members solicited donations on her behalf, according to a video posted on the group’s Facebook page, Brenda Ramos said she has not received any aid.”

      “The brigade’s leaders have branded it as a militant group and have blasted the black-led social justice group, the Austin Justice Coalition, for canceling a rally May 31 after the brigade’s demonstrations ended with arson and looting.

      Coalition leader Chas Moore criticized the brigade, accusing its majority nonblack leadership of co-opting Ramos’ image and missing an opportunity to sit back and listen to black community members last weekend.”

      “Brigade members appear to be aligned with the Marxist–Leninist–Maoist group Red Guards Austin and the affiliated group Defend our Hoodz, which works against gentrification of Austin, Ramos’ attorney and activists have told the Statesman.

      Red Guards Austin disbanded in December 2018, according to its Facebook page, but the group resurfaced earlier this year when congressional candidate and self-described Democratic Socialist Heidi Sloan reported she was attacked by its members. Sloan said she was shoved and smashed with eggs filled with red paint after a political canvassing effort in East Austin.”

      “On what was supposed to be the day of Ginyard’s rally, the brigade created another event to protest at a Target store at the Capital Plaza shopping center, which historically has served nearby minority neighborhoods. An hour into the demonstration, after protesters pried off security cameras, the store was looted.

      Authorities announced Saturday that three people in their 20s had been charged with burglarizing the store and that the FBI is assisting in the investigation through a joint domestic terrorism task force. Charges included rioting, felony burglary of a building and criminal mischief. The Travis County district attorney’s office said in a statement that the three people arrested are members of a local anti-government group that is “a self-identified communist/socialist ANTIFA group.”

      Watching some of the violent scenes unfold on May 30 and fearing looting the next day, Ginyard reached out to Moore and other members of the Austin Justice Coalition to cancel the event.”

      “Even though Ginyard and Moore individually joined peaceful portions of the protests last Sunday, they believed canceling the event was the right choice to protect families who wanted to bring children. Moore added that he didn’t want the justice coalition to be blamed for violence that wasn’t its doing.”

      “Moore said he is open to meeting with the brigade to hash out their differences, but he says that they differ on ways to reach a common end. The coalition wants peace while the brigade apparently does not, Moore said.

      The coalition has proposed various reforms to Austin policing, including rewriting of the Police Department’s use-of-force manual, changing public oversight of department and retaining unaltered police body camera footage.”

      “Moore said he would ultimately like to see Austin Police Chief Brian Manley resign.”

      “He’s one of those good people. He’s a person that if you went on vacation for two weeks, he’d come water your flowers. But when it comes to leadership, I don’t think he’s that guy.”

      This article paints a different picture. Not only are the BLM protestors making absolutely reasonable demands, they are also denouncing the shithead ANTIFA rioters.

      1. The American Cultural Revolution is breaking into factions. By September, instead of distance learning options all children will be mandated to go to school where peer-led groups adhering to the appropriate ideology will ‘guide’ them in recognizing and apologizing for their privilege.

        1. Minneapolis city council agrees, on the record, that the ability to call 911 is a systemic white privilege.

      2. Austin was a Merry Pranksters town beginning in 1968. Men with guns kept trying to force prohibitionism on the populace at gunpoint, and what you see is what that gets. As long as leaving us be is off the table with the force-initiating kleptocracy, making them lose elections is on the table with us. Q.E.D.

    7. +100 for calling out Reason for their silence on the destruction that BLM and Antifa caused. They killed 2 black ex-LEO and one of them videoed and live streamed. Where their hell is Reason on this? These groups destroyed mostly poor/minority neighborhoods. You’d think Reason might try to be balance.

  5. But we’ll have to see if the country is actually prepared for less policing.

    Spoiler alert: It is not.

    1. It’s not popular with any demographic. Spoiler alert looting and burning down cities might have also poisoned the well on this. Even though the cops were totally mia on that i fear the message was received by most sane people is that what we need is more policing and we need it good and hard.

      1. And “Abolish the police” is actually a code word for “Create a second police force with a different name.” Which is why libertarians are down on it-not because we’re pro-status quo, but we recognize how the overly simplistic hashtag-able solution is not actually a solution.

        1. Any city where the mayor has agreed to ‘defund’ the police should just go on strike.

          1. Good idea… Chicago fire monopoly, Mayor Jane Byrne, 1980? I sent her a Who Is John Galt? postcard when the looters went on strike.

  6. Step one, get rid of police and all government unions. Step two, end the drug war. Step three, end qualified immunity . Step four , all police need to be bonded and personally responsible for any unlawful act on duty.

    1. Step 4 would reduce a feth ton of misconduct. I am all for bonding in this situation. If a fucking driveway pressure washer needs to be bonded then why not a cop?

      1. That’s essentially been my position, though with insurance as opposed to bonding. If my painter needs private insurance, why not cops? If they can’t receive coverage, they can’t be a cop. Very simple.

    2. agreed on all points and would add deny pensions to those convicted of tortious crimes

    3. Step 5, turn policing over to private contractors.

      1. You fucking idiot – that’s what we need – competition to see who polices the hardest.

        1. I’ll take no police over private police.

  7. This movement isn’t about restricting government. The widespread interest in police reform is a stepping stone to massive spending on welfare programs that benefit communities based on identity. Reason’s coverage of this debacle has been incredibly short sighted. Yes, one pet libertarian issue is being taken seriously, but it is in the name of a movement that is ultimately antithetical to libertarian ideals.
    What sort of government is more legitimate from a libertarians perspective: one whose purpose is to protect property rights by way of enforcing the law or one whose purpose is to ensure economic ‘justice’ and to pump tax payer dollars into ineffective welfare programs? It’s clear to anyone who has paid any attention to the details of the movement that the second kind of government is what is being advocated for by protestors right now.

    1. Methinks the looter doth protest too much…

    2. All movements are co-opted. Hopefully we can negotiate some libertarian values into this one while we’ve got a chance.

  8. If it’s solely a race thing, then you might as well reform Hollywood and all of Wall Street. I’m still waiting for a media outcry for education reform. It won’t ever happen. 50% graduation rates for black Americans is perfectly acceptable to the Left. What they don’t like is discipline, even the most benign. Minneapolis stopped school expulsions in 2017 when its radical black activist superintendent banned any disciplinary actions against it’s mostly black student body. This is how the Left has dealt with social issues for decades. Meanwhile, the result us less education, higher dropout rates, and an entire generation who can’t function in society. Thus is hardly the concern if black educators who earn mid range 6 digits. 75% of all black doctorates receive their degrees in education.

    1. When I attended the same school system (Detroit) and graduated, I say you are another clueless clown that ignores the reality that you cannot teach someone that doesn’t want to learn. When studiedness is labeled “trying to be white” and when math is racist, the absurdity of the whole reform proposal is exposed for the nonsense that it is. Back in the early 2000’s I did some research and Washington DC was spending $23K per student at a time when the average was around $14K and that same low graduation rates among blacks still prevailed.

      1. I’m sippin’ Tanqueray and juice and what’s the use
        ‘Cause I’m a hopeless thug
        Ain’t no love reminiscin’ on how close we was
        Way back in the day, before they put the crack in the way
        And hey, how much money can you stack in a day?

        ‘Pac knew what it was – the crack.

  9. Not one talking head has said end drug prohibition which is what causes the violence and oppressive policing.

    1. AND give up gratuitous asset-forfeiture looting? This legalized extralegal brigandage is the main reason no Americans understand the Crash and Depression. The other is that no kleptocracy party has ever admitted to having been wrong.

  10. The left lost what little credibility they had when they turned tail and lost their voice on the Iraq war (exception being maybe Code Pink and some actual socialists) when Obama got elected. I recall Glenn Greenwald pointing out their hypocrisy in relation to libertarians during the Ron Paul newsletter fiasco (which pretty much made Glenn a pariah in populist leftist circles) and even then, many of the same types of sticks used to castigate Paul could rightly be applied to Obama as well.

    Absolute fucking silence.

    And even before George Floyd, there was condemnation of Waco and Kelly Thomas.

    Where was the left’s outrage over police brutality then?

    And now this.

    The whole shitshow with the populist left has made it abundantly clear that actual reform (and even on tangential things like UBI, which, hey, happy you could make it to the party, but Friedman was discussing aspects of it in ’62) isn’t a part of the program. Grifting and race-baiting seem to be the call of the day, and you have to wonder why libertarians are more focused on policy than undying support of BLM?

    As an aside, there was a George Floyd protest in my hamlet, to which it was pointed out “hey, the police here are actually pretty decent, so while I understand the outrage over Floyd, why not support the police who are doing a good job as a model for other police departments”?

    Absolute fucking silence.

    And you won’t see BLM support for initiatives that bridge the gap of community policing either.

    Where are they at?

  11. Well, we do got us a big problem, a police officer murdering a citizen,that shall not stand. But it’s imbecilic to cite these occurrences as reason to disband or disarm the police. If we lived in Libetaria, then unarmed police and unlocked doors would be appropriate; but now it’s like feeding lambs to the lions. Besides, none of these are ordinary occurrences, quite the opposite.

    To fault the police or anybody else for not protecting citizens property from marauders and then to use that as a reason to disband the police, just doesn’t make any sense, you need a better REASON.

    Riots are not normal occurrences, it would be like asserting a doctor of malpractice because their patient died, could be malpractice, could not be malpractice. I find spurious reasoning employed, with little effort. Yes, if you were to completely disarm the police this would never occur, but that’s as convincing as the argument for disarming everyone to prevent the gunn homicides.

    We’re witnessing pendulum of public opinion on NYPD swing from unholy adoration to contempt. Cops slamming people into objects and holding their nose an inch away from a circular saw is glorified in entertainment; who doesn’t want to be the star in real life?

  12. love the pic at the masthead…just a perfect image for folks like me that know cops are a bunch of fat psychos. hey, nice shirt, they make it in your size? what’s my solution to their psychopathy?

    end qualified immunity
    forfeit pensions if convicted
    defund police unions

    i’m open to other ideas as well

  13. Dear Reason,
    Again, and for the thousandth time, this is not a libertarian moment
    Thank you.

    1. It is THE MOST libertarian moment ever. For once people are embracing libertarian ideals and yet without a single libertarian involved. For once people are thinking outside the system, statism, and considering alternatives to a ruling class of sociopaths and their jackboots. What could possibly be more libertarian than that? You only speak of revolution, and yet never act. I have slowly left the libertarian movement when I saw an encroachment of conservative racists join it and then falsely adopt the name for themselves. Now they’re all authoritarian, Trump loving bootlickers. Rothbard must be spinning in his grave.

      1. How can it be when libertarians won’t get the credit for it?

        Sure the bigger picture is police reform finally came but it’s libertarians more than any other group who have strenuously and continuously pushed for it.

        Instead, it sees light with a cynical Democrat party drenched in identity politics. A party police unions gave a lot of support to.

        Politically, is it a winner for them?

      2. you said nothing, literally nothing….nothing of substance, no examples…just vacuity

        1. No, she said that her group identity goes with the wind and in order for her to remain part of her group of cattle she needs to disaffiliated with anyone that says a good thing about trump. In other words, she is a black sheep progressive.

    2. Note to foreign readers: this is an instance of what Americans refer to as “WHISTLING IN THE DARK”

  14. Qualified immunity and asset forfeiture should be abolished, but let’s not forget that they are effectively state and federally created.

    Actual policing should be a local decision, subject to local political control. It shouldn’t reflect policies libertarians or anybody else decide on the entire nation.

  15. The question isn’t where is the libertarian position on police reform, the question is where are the so called “libertarians” who until recent years have been in opposition to authoritarianism, at the protests? Why are they not seen at protests? Why are they not vocal in support of protests and holding up signs at protests? WHERE are they? Not where is their position. You’re all words and no action. You all claim to be libertarian yet all I see is pro-authoritarian racists, ever since the Ron Paul movement in 2008 it’s been nothing more than an encroaching alt-right statist conservative invasion of libertarianism and nothing of its core principles remain. You speak highly of revolution but it’s all just talk and cowardice.

    1. The libertarian party is all VOTES and no theatrics. This is the part that really troubles the looter kleptocracy… Think about those 4 million spoiler votes blossoming into 12 million on the hockey stick curve. Think about those 109 electoral votes in 13 states, and “mind the gap”…

    2. I’m sure you’ll be able to point out all those instances of libertarian racism. Right?

    3. Why are they not seen at protests?

      Even if the protests weren’t actually violent riots (or excuses to party), libertarians are probably absent for the simple reason that the guiding principles of BLM are incompatible with libertarianism and that the assumptions and facts on which the protests are based are factually wrong.

      You can’t simultaneously be a libertarian and a supporter/follower/member of the BLM movement, any more than you can be simultaneously a socialist and a libertarian.

  16. This is becoming very serious. I just pray everything comes to an end soon.

  17. The reason it doesn’t get heard is most libertarians throw their lot in with the lesser of two evils. In exchange they get authoritarianism, massive deficits, drug prohibition,etc. We’re like an abused wife who thinks her husband will change if she sticks with him and tries to convince him to stop beating her.

  18. Stop the drug war.

    Stop the drug war.

    Stop the drug war.

    1. Legalize plant leaves, repeal cruel usurpations…

    2. Yeah, and where have “libertarians” been on the whole “legal weed” thing, huh?

      Yeah! I thought so!

    3. repeat after me “the war on drugs is over, drugs won”. we failed at prohibition, failed at slavery, failed at limited suffrage, failed at relocating indians, failed at public schooling, failed at the war on poverty, cannot make the post office profitable…the dunces that populate the state and federal govt’s could fuck up a trainwreck, stop letting them try things…THEY’RE NO GOOD AT STUFF

  19. Taking a victory lap over George Floyd’s corpse … I’ll allow it. You really have earned it. But don’t jump the gun, there’s been no reforms yet and the insane doctrine of qualified immunity invented by some conservative SCOTUS judicial activists will be very hard to chip away at. Maybe Justice Thomas will kick some ass and twist some arms to turn thinks around when the IJ’s King case comes before them.

  20. Where Are Libertarians on Police Reform?’ Right Where We’ve Always Been.

    Right with Ilhan Omar. I guess Reason really wants us to be like Somalia.

    1. God’s Own Prohibitionists are really sweating the possibility of libertarian spoiler votes knocking them out of the trough. The Herbert Hoover administration went through the same agony, and made the wrong choice…

      1. Yes, the Democrats, God-fearing drug prohibitionists and authoritarians that they are, are probably shaking in their boots over a libertarian spoiler vote.

        Republicans, not so much.

  21. Excellent reporting, thanks.

  22. “Where are libertarians on Police Reform? Right where we’ve always been” – and where we’ve always been is NOT here!
    – Black Lives Matter because, what, all other lives don’t? That’s the implication, since saying “All Lives Matter” earns you scorn and accusations of racism
    – It’s suddenly a big no-no for Police to stop rioting, looting and arson, let alone stop rioters from beating the shit out of innocent bystanders?
    -Defund or dismantle the police – so that citizens and their property have NO protection (excepting those who can afford private security – you know, the asshole gated community lefties pushing this shit on behalf of rioters and those who sincerely don’t know better)

    One more thing – while it is outrageously bad the abuse police have committed on individual people like Floyd, it is even more outrageous that police don’t shoot to kill the rioters who are looting and burning and beating – especially when their personal body cams can show the rioters in the act when their asses are taken down – with no question of guilt. Of the very few examples of when the police should be getting nasty on someone’s ass – this would be it! And I guarantee you, if they had done this on day one of the riots, there wouldn’t have been a day two of riots.

    1. If property crimes were capital, this would be so, so much easier.

      Instead of being murder.

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  24. Who hires and fires the police?
    If your city council has been promising police reform since Rodney King was beaten, and nothing has happened, your problem isn’t the police. The city council who hired the current police chief will use the same criteria to select the next one.
    You need to quit fooling around in the streets with demonstrations and riots, go to the voting booth, and fire the city council.

    1. Exactly. This is not a problem with police, it’s a problem with local government. The same cities that have lousy police also tend to have lousy schools, homelessness, filth, and transportation problems.

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  26. Ukrainian and Muslims men will be the next US policemen. Right now, their truck drivers ‘the worst’ in waiting for new orders. You think its bad now, just wait and see what the Left has in store.

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  27. To a lot of the left, the idea that power won’t be abused if it isn’t put into the hands of the state is something that just doesn’t compute. They see libertarians as a group with a sole focus on destroying all of the roads in order to lower taxes, and live in a world where the Koch brothers are personally doing the bulk of all political spending in every election (despite the fact that Bloomberg and Steyer each outspend the entire Koch family/organization almost every year).

    For people who have themselves convinced that the DSA is somehow anti-authoritarian, and that the “Green New Deal” plan to restructure the global economy from the top-down is somehow freeing everyone from the oppression of markets, it’s probably easy to not realize that they don’t see libertarians lining up behind the left on an issue where the left has finally come around to where the true liberals have always been.

  28. Libertarians were with BLM – until they start to demand government ran healthcare, redistributing wealth to benefit minorities, and disarming of citizens.

    BLM isn’t your friend. These are race driven anarchists who think movies are racist if they don’t have enough black people. They do not believe in a market based economy and private ownership. The radical left has many reasons to support a centralized state, and big brother intruding on our lives to influence our behavior and make autonomous decisions in the name of “stopping racism” is a particularly big one.

    One of the biggest threats to their libertarian model of society is raging in our streets, and Reason remains oblivious. The mob has taken charge of society, and the tech masters and big business have vowed loyalty. Scores of people will lose their freedom and jobs in the name of stopping racism. Cancel culture will be a national policy.

    Are there many libertarians here who think the French revolution was a great idea? A bunch of radicals overthrowing the ruling class, instituting some liberal reforms, but then engaging in their brand of fascism?

    1. BLM isn’t your friend. These are race driven anarchists

      They aren’t actual anarchists; they are socialists and neo-Marxists who want “anarchy” in the sense that they want to destroy liberal democracy. They have no problem putting a totalitarian socialist state in its place.

      1. Yes they are. It would be in Reason’s best interests to acknowledge this. I am selling my home over this absolutely disgusting takeover of a neighborhood about 13 miles from my home.

  29. No libertarian should accept reform of the initiation of violence.
    Reform of coercion is still coercion.
    No police would reduce total loss by theft overnight. More property is lost to the police by Civil Asset Forfeiture than by burglary.
    Common law or any law chosen by mutual agreement between parties allows for reason, rights, order. Not so now, with the coercive politics worldwide.
    We can have individual sovereignty or a sovereign elite ruling over us, but not both. They are mutually exclusive. You may choose to be ruled, i.e., let others choose for you, run your life, or you can govern yourself.

  30. I live near the country of Chaz. I’m a libertarian. Police reform is not the same as defunding the police and taking up self governance. Stop aligning yourself with collectivist bs Reason.

  31. There were 10,500,000 arrests in the last reported year. Let us just ROUND UP and say, there were 250 blacks killed by police. That would be a POINT ZERO, ZERO, ZERO, ZERO TWO PERCENT, [.00002%] death rate. Hardly racism OR anything at all to be honest. But, HERE is the problem! My last 4 years as a Peace Officer were teaching a Relationship/Rehabilitation class [Which BTW was moderately successful in reducing recidivism and studied by the FEDS.] in a Sheriff’s Boot Camp. During one overtime shift I was assigned to a Trusty Dorm, where 1/2 the dorm [about 30 inmates] was off, for the afternoon. They were watching some movie I could not see, laughing and chuckling. I could not see the movie from the desk, SO wondering what was so funny I walked around front. They were cracking up at a movie that had scenes of black thugs ROBBING & BEATING an old oriental store keeper and his wife!!! THAT in a nutshell is THE PROBLEM for America. That dorm was the “nice guys.” Trust me, there isn’t that much difference between them, and the maximum security folks. And in my career I arrested 10 murderers and have had to fight for my life! When you have black officers, 90% PLUS will have the EXACT SAME interactions with blacks!! And, BTW the 4 officers in Minneapolis were, ONE White, ONE Hispanic, ONE Asian and [TA DA!!!] ONE BLACK!!! THE PROBLEM for America, is the black culture, ABSENCE OF FATHERS [also white culture BUT NOT NEARLY AS BAD!] and the black “culture of death.”

  32. End the drug war.

    End the drug war.

    End the drug war.

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