[updated September 22nd, 2017]
Eric Garner put in a choke-hold by a cop that led to his death, for attempting to sell single cigarettes without paying taxes (which supposedly may harm society, and so "justifies" such preemptive violence against him).
Walter Scott killed by gunshots to his back while fleeing police who pulled him over because his car had a taillight that wasn't working (to supposedly protect society from the dangers of the non-functioning taillight).
A father tazed and arrested by a Louisiana cop when he tried to rescue his infant son from a house fire (to preemptively "protect that father from himself"), and the boy died as a result.
San Antonio police tazing an overweight asthmatic man because he wouldn't get on his stomach as commanded (to preemptively "protect" the officers who he supposedly, but not at all believably, might have been a threat to); the man couldn't breath on his stomach, he died too.
Kelly Thomas, a homeless and mentally ill man, was taunted and then beaten to death sadistically by Fullerton California cops, again supposedly because he was a threat to the six police officers that surrounded him.
The supposed legitimacy of preemptive attack is one of the main underlying premises that statists/controllers operate on. They will give examples of others doing harm as "justification" for doing something bad to you, even if you haven't actually harmed anyone; it's part of an irrational ideology based on false equivalency, based on lies. Cops think they can legitimately give you tickets for driving your car at a certain speed, or even for jaywalking, based on the premise of preemption, saying that this may cause harm, so they have the right to harm you first. The seemingly reasonable cases (e.g. a speeding ticket) are used as the foundation for the unreasonable (e.g. a cop shooting an unarmed man or boy because he appeared to be a threat). These preemptive actions operate on assumption, on unreality; again, it's very important to recognize that what we are dealing with fundamentally here is lies.
The "justice" system supposedly operates on the premise that you are "innocent until proven guilty," but preemptive attack demonstrates the exact opposite, you are deemed guilty even before you have done anything truly wrong. We must reject the seemingly reasonable examples of preemptive violence (being subject to fine/arrest/imprisonment for not wearing your seat belt, or for driving fast, or for jaywalking; nonviolent individuals being interrogated, searched and stopped at borders; adults and children being irradiated and molested at airports; people fined or arrested for being in a park at night or having a dog off-leash in a park; drinking or smoking marijuana in public; etc.) if we are ever going to do away with the obviously unreasonable examples (e.g. cops killing unarmed people, or military forces/CIA/etc. preemptively invading foreign nations and killing people deemed "threats," etc.). Once the premise of preemptive attack is accepted in society, it will immediately (and continually) be used for tyrannical/authoritarian/imperialist/evil purposes. If we believe the delusion/lie of "justifiable" preemptive attack, in any form, that supports/enables those people that are carrying out the clearly unjustifiable forms of it; to object only to the latter and not the former is an ethical contradiction, and it is that very contradiction that nullifies one's activism (against such things like police brutality), it destroys the moral-power of truth, what Gandhi called the truth-force, "satyagraha." This is getting into the spiritual/karmic nature of Reality, but you can observe this dynamic in everyday life if you pay close attention to what is continually ineffective (e.g. irrationally and unethically opposing only some kinds of preemptive attack, operating on false beliefs) and what is actually effective at bringing positive change. (e.g. opposing all preemptive attack, being consistent in truthfulness, rationality, and morality). The idea that there is "necessary evil" in the world (like the coercion and aggressive force of a police-state) is itself actually an evil/toxic idea, and like all toxic ideas, it's comprised of three fundamental aspects: lies, irrationality and immorality; all things that need to be fully rejected if we are to have real personal and social progress.
The crucial insight to remember is that preemptive attack, in any form, is never truly reasonable, it's never completely rational and ethical. If someone wants to suggest to me to not jaywalk, drive fast, etc., and they give me information/history to back up their suggestion, that's perfectly fine. If what they're saying makes sense I may very well choose to follow their suggestion/request and cooperate fully, but that's my choice; if I choose to not cooperate, that's not automatically unethical, because I still wouldn't have had actually harmed anyone. When an "official" of some kind commits aggression (or threatens to use aggression) against you for noncompliance to some "preventative" law, then they have committed an immoral act, they have engaged in a preemptive attack, and preemptive attack/violence is always wrong. The word violence shares the same etymological root with the word violate; when you commit violence against someone you are violating them with aggression, which is never legitimate. Self-defense is of course legitimate though, that is an ethically sound use of force, it's not truly violence, it's actually an expression of self-love. And yet if you resist violence/arrest imposed on you for no good reason by police, that's against the law, so therefore to love yourself is illegal; this is another related example of an accepted absurdity that leads to atrocities.
To sum up the main point again: If someone was actually harming you or someone else, then using force to stop them would be legitimate, but that is use of force to defend against aggression that has already commenced. To say you can commit violence against someone now because they may harm you or others in the future is totally bunk and immoral, it's the "slippery slope" that opens the door for endless abuses of power.
Returning to the deadly assault on Eric Garner, the violence against him was supposedly justified by the underlying belief that "if you don't pay taxes then the government can't protect and serve the population, so you're harming society if you don't pay taxes, and so therefore aggression is justifiable against you." Now has that background belief been given much scrutiny? No, it usually isn't even spelled out like that in the first place, and that's a big reason why lies maintain and proliferate, they're covered up in the background of social-consciousness. Destructive beliefs operating in society that are irrational, untrue and unethical, need to be unearthed and debunked, so I'll do that again now with the belief that preemptive attack is legit: To be subject to aggression, to violence, in order to prevent you from doing something that's possibly harmful, has no sound logical or ethical basis, in the scenario with Eric Garner, or any scenario, (and since most of our taxes are used for military uses like killing thousands of Iraqi, Afghani and Palestinian civilians, one could definitely argue not paying taxes as Mr. Garner didn't is the less harmful thing to do!).
The State Mafia
Additionally, the State's preemptive violence is really no different fundamentally from the mafia telling people in a town that they have to pay them money, for their “protection.” Whether there is any truth to that or not is irrelevant, because they're committing an act of aggression, they're stealing from others; it wouldn't be considered ethically sound to say “Actually yeah as long as we pay up to the mafia things go pretty well, so we have a moral imperative to pay the mafia whatever they ask, no matter what they do with the money, or how many people they unjustly rough up or kill.” So, likewise society being "protected and served" by police (which sometimes means being beaten/choked/killed by them) is often nothing more than violence backed by imagination (i.e. non-reality/non-truth), and an excuse for the wielding of authoritarian aggression against innocent people, like Eric Garner. We usually use the term "police-state" to only refer to extreme abuses of authority wherein the people are victimized by the government, but the truth is all States are fundamentally police-states, victimizing people all the time, from birth, by having them born into States, i.e. automatic non-voluntary State membership/citizenship with no choice to opt-out.
Problem, Reaction, "Solution"
On the large social scale we have the issue of preemptive war, which takes this bunk premise to its most destructive ends. Traditional international law is against preemptive attack, but gives the loophole of it being justifiable if there is an "immanent danger of attack." So, all evil people need to do is lie about about what's "immanent," and/or create a false-flag event to "justify" the violence; as one major recent example, the Bush Administration in its 2002 National Security Strategy said slyly that the United States “must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries.” It contended that “[t]he greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction—and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.” In other words they exploited that loophole as much as possible, commenced to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq, leave depleted uranium for the future generations, and then build military bases there for expansion of the empire. Hell was unleashed on Earth again because the bunk premise of preemption wasn't fully rejected. This relates to the issue of police brutality on two levels: 1) both are examples of preemptive violence, and 2) both are used to "justify" further control by those committing the violence. In the context of police brutality, this further control can take the form of more gun control of the general population and by further federalizing/militarizing the police, both given as false "solutions" that actually just further empower the ruling class and dis-empower the masses. So it's very important to keep this bigger picture in mind, not losing sight of how police brutality, and the reaction against it, can actually be utilized to further the power and control of the powers-that-be that are the greater problem for society.
The Declaration of Independence asserts that humans are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights," and "among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Interestingly, the words "the pursuit of happiness" were placed in substitute for the single word property, which is made apparent by the fact that pursuing happiness would fall under Liberty, so it's a repetitive and unnecessary substitution, though it does sound nice. The problem with this substitution is much worse than bad semantics however; the truth is that if you don't have the right to any private property, namely a fair share of sovereign/private land and water, or the control of your own sovereign/private body, you are then necessarily enslaved to someone else. The French philosopher Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) said in his book The Law: "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because we have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. What, then is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense [of those natural rights]. Each of us has a natural right--from God--to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. ... [But] The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law I say, not only turned from its proper purpose, but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself [is] guilty of the evil it is supposed to punish!"
For officials to have the right to engage in preemptive attack against us ultimately equates to us not having any solid inalienable rights, because if we can be subject by statist law to violence/aggression by officials (e.g. preemptive attack), then for them to say that they honor our "inalienable rights to life, liberty and property" (including the property of one's own body), is really a farce. Look at the photo above of Eric Garner again, taken shortly before his death; his inalienable right to life, liberty and property were all being violated simultaneously! As Larken Rose, author of The Most Dangerous Superstition, said: "What does the term right even mean if you have an obligation to allow jack-boots [i.e. cops/military] to violate your so-called rights? It makes the term absolutely meaningless." If we can't defend ourselves against the immoral acts of law-enforcers, if we can't act in self-defense as Bob Marley says in his famous song I Shot the Sheriff, that means that, along with our rights, our sense of morality is also meaningless to the authoritarians in power; we are treated as an inferior sub-class of humanity that must always obey the "elite" and accept whatever violence they bring forth. And what is a person that doesn't really have any rights? Now might be a good time to look up the word slave in the dictionary. I know this may seem to be an exaggeration to many people, but before you just roll your eyes and think you know better, remember these other words of Voltaire: "It's difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." We are living under a form of slavery if we don't receive true respect for our inalienable rights, and don't have a society based on true egalitarianism; real freedom translates to a society with no coercive ruling class that imposes it's superiority-complex delusion on the rest of the population. And no, "democracy," with its false representation, forced-citizenship, and disregard for the individual sovereign woman and man, is not exemplary of such a society, only an anarchist (literally "no ruler") society is. Democracy, or majority rule through "representative" government, is a lie. Most decisions aren't made by the majority (and even if they were, majority-rule doesn't necessarily equate to the most moral decision), nor do officials truly represent most people (that's actually an impossibility anyway); the entire edifice that their supposed legitimate authority is based on is just lies on top of lies, filled with non-stop violence. Ultimately statist law really comes down to "might makes right," packaged here with the propaganda wrappings of government that is "of, by and for the people."
The Declaration of Independence also asserts that we are all "created equal," yet those with the occupation of "official" (like the cop putting Mr. Garner in a choke-hold) are clearly considered superior to those that don't happen to have that occupation! They have the right to do things that "ordinary" people do not, like commit preemptive attacks against others, which shows very clearly that this governmental "respect for equality" is nothing but a farce. The premise of preemptive attack is supported by the other main underlying premise/assumption of authoritarianism: automatic superiority just because they deem themselves the "authority." This superiority-complex delusion supposedly justifies government officials doing things that "citizens" can't (like preemptive spying, kidnapping/arresting, enslaving/imprisoning, killing); we are indoctrinated by the subliminal message that officials are superior to normal people, e.g. they can have all the guns but you shouldn't have any, because you are somehow sub-human. Looking for the solution, many think "upholding the Bill of Rights" is the answer, but this is flawed for two big reasons: 1) it's violated all the time (the 4th Amendment in particular) and there's no way to really prevent that abuse of power, and 2) it's ultimately a list of rights that are lesser than the most fundamental rights (life, liberty, property) that are violated by the very "social contract" of which the Bill of Rights is a part. Trading our inalienable and fundamental natural rights in exchange for lesser rights isn't a good deal, it's the beginning of a police-State.
The main difference between an anarchist society and a statist one in is that the former is based on freedom, and the latter is based on slavery; and freedom is much much better than slavery, in case you forgot! So therefore it's rational and ethical to make inalienable rights the foundation of society, along with acknowledging women & men as sovereign individuals, each with a birthright to a fair share of land & water, rather than base society on aggression and slavery, incorporating the bunks premises of automatic superiority and preemptive attack. There's something they'll never teach you in a State school!
Additionally, the destructive potential of racism, which is a mindset of inequality, is amplified by social-systems of inequality. Therefore rejecting that systemic inequality greatly diminishes the negative potential of racism in a society; racist people can do a lot more harm when they have the powers of the State to back them, as countless cases of police brutality where racism was involved makes clear. And the way to rightly reject that systemic inequality is to support real individual equality, i.e. individual sovereignty:
"The sovereignty of every Individual in his or own sphere, places all mankind upon the only possible plane of political Equality. All being sovereigns, none can be less, none more."
- Josiah Warren, True Civilization (1868), p. 147
The examples of police/government brutality and murder are countless and will keep coming as long as there is unnatural/false authority and power given to the few, who absurdly are considered of a higher moral order than the "ordinary" woman or man, and therefore are "justified" in doing all kinds of harm to others. Authoritarians fundamentally believe they somehow have the right to commit violence against others, just because they say so; that is the nuts (pun intended) and bolts of the delusion. Yet instead of recognizing that craziness for what it is, we are supposed to have infinite faith in police/officials being morally superior to ourselves, we are supposed to trust the NSA/CIA/FBI, etc. with their spying, drone assassinations, black-ops and so on. Why? Why should we trust? History and current reality don't give us any reason to. And because they are given the “superior” status of “authority,” we are actually for all intents and purposes given no choice as to whether to trust them or not. Are we to assume these people are faultless angels, that they are Divine? "In God We Trust" says the dollar bill, yet it is not God(dess)/Tao that we are told to really trust, it is our parental "official" overlords, who by self-perceived divine right (nowadays called "the legitimate political process") can engage in preemptive attacks against anyone, anytime, forever. This nonsense is not safety, it's just tyranny.
Missing the Forest for the Trees
And just to clarify to those that may misconstrue my words, I'm not saying cops are never helpful to anyone at all, of course they are, they can be good-intentioned people that help people in a crisis. But we need to realize, despite the constant news reports influencing people to be afraid of their neighbors, that most people are not physically aggressive, and that's why society functions as well as it does, not because laws and police are holding everyone back from being violent crazy people. In reality it is the social-system itself, and the unnatural disturbing life it sets up for us, that can and does make people crazy and violent. Additionally it's only when certain people have access to advanced weapons (that only exist because of the system in the first place), and especially a military, that good/normal people are not able to be neutralize bad people in their communities. In an egalitarian and natural community, one crazy violent guy can be handled by other guys in the community, but one crazy guy in control of a military cannot be.
On the psychological level, don't forget that unnatural power always corrupts the minds of men too, so whether you're at the top of the social-system pyramid (rich & powerful) and corrupted by that power, or at the bottom of the social-system pyramid (poor and exploited) and corrupted by that poverty, you can be severely disturbed, and disturbed people are not their natural good selves. It is the system that keeps on corrupting the lives of individuals and society as a whole, yet we've been led to believe that it's the system that prevents corruption; it's a big lie humanity desperately needs to wake up to.
So, taking all this into account, I hope you can see that the bigger problem (the forest) is the system itself, not individual cops (trees). Law enforcement is integral to the system made up of positions of unnatural power/authority, positions that are always sources of abuse and destruction that undermine personal freedom, sovereignty, and dignity. In other words these positions of power are inherently unjust because of the false superiority and forced subservience of others those positions entail, and therefore further injustice like police brutality is inevitable because more bad fruit must keep coming from that same bad root. Therefore they are automatically more bad than good, being a manifestation of a master/slave dynamic, and that can't be reformed away. The proper response to a form of slavery is abolition, slavery is completely bad, it's evil, and tolerating it at all always has unavoidable destructive consequences, it's karmic/natural law. (Think about it, how could slavery produce anything really good?) And once we acknowledge that what we are dealing with is a form of slavery, and we acknowledge that slavery is in fact an evil that can't contribute to social-justice, then we must deal with these words of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
and similar words from Mahatma Gandhi:
The good intentions of those wanting to help others can be (and surely would be) exercised without the slavery of social-systems as their vehicle, it can instead be done within an egalitarian society of sovereign individuals, who dialogue and cooperate with one another, and use self-defense when necessary. The very reason given as justification for the false authority of state officials, that "some people are bad and we need to protect ourselves from them," is actually the other big reason why we should do away with those positions of extreme/unnatural power: those positions enable much more harm than anyone could commit without a centralized authoritarian apparatus at their disposal. Have we ever been able to keep bad (or at the least misguided/misinformed) people out of positions of statist authority? Of course not (just read some political history!), and it would be impossible to achieve, again because something fundamentally evil (slavery) can't be a receptacle or vehicle for good in the world. Even when people enter government with purely good intentions, one or more of the following is what we observe: a) they get corrupted by the evilness of the system and end up turning bad ("selling out"), b) they are completely ignored, c) they lose the monetary-support they need to stay in office, d) they get assassinated. The reason things like that always happen to those attempting to do something truly good is because the system is foundationally bad, and therefore not reformable, no matter how hard you try; natural/karmic law doesn't allow for goodness to thrive out of the evil of slavery.
People naturally help each other without a centralized authority, and as in the tragic case mentioned above with the man who was violently stopped by an "authority" figure from saving his own son, we are even restrained from helping each other by authoritarian systems. Other examples of that include feeding the homeless being made illegal, having local organic seed libraries being restricted, etc. So these positions of false power are destructive on multiple fronts, they are a lose-lose.
Fundamentally this counter-philosophy I'm offering here is simply a rejection of lies and violence, which is not at all an extreme thing to do! It's actually just basic morality, a basic morality people have been duped into losing sight of. And considering this deception on the spiritual level, what has traditionally been associated with something/someone that always lies and always commits harm? Who have we ultimately been submitting to and enabling? This is another good time to pick up the dictionary, again looking under the letter S.
If we keep accepting absurdities like preemptive attack and automatic authority/superiority, then the pattern of lame tragedy will just keep repeating, there's no doubt about it; just look at what's happened and continues to happen.
[To hear more about how social-systems/States engage in preemptive attack and exercise a false superiority complex all the time via the slavery of sovereign individuals (forced citizenship and taxation, and denying them their birthright to a fair share of sovereign land & water of their own), please see the top posts on https://colindonoghue.wordpress.com]
Below is another example of sickening preemptive attack by police, the violence initiated because the boy supposedly may have been a threat, just because of the way he looked at the cops!
"Miami-Dade Police Choke Black Teenager Because He Was Giving Them "Dehumanizing Stares"
By Kyle Munzenrieder Wed., May 29 2013
[article excerpts below]
Fourteen-year-old Tremaine McMillian didn't threaten police. He didn't attack them. He wasn't armed. All the black teenager did was appear threatening by shooting Miami-Dade police officers a few "dehumanizing stares," and that was apparently enough for the officers to decide to slam him against the ground and put him in a chokehold.
During Memorial Day weekend, McMillian was rough-housing with another teenager on the sand. Police approached the teen on an ATV and told him that wasn't acceptable behavior. They asked him where his parents were, but MicMillian attempted to walk away. The officer jumped off the ATV, and tried to physically restrain the teen. According to CBS Miami, police say the 14-year-old kid gave them "'dehumanizing stares,' clenched his fists and appeared threatening."
Zabaleta claims with a straight face that flailing one's arms and clenching one's fists constitutes a threat, and is not swayed by McMillian's insistence that all he was doing with his arms were carrying a puppy.
"At that point we are not concerned with a puppy," Zabaleta told the station. "We are concerned with the threat to the officer."
see http://www.copblock.org/ for many other examples.]