Freedom is beginning to ring within local police departments as the numbers of libertarian-minded cops are growing in law enforcement. I interviewed one such officer who won the “Not Lazy But Free Award” from the Cato Institute last month for his impressively low number of arrests. Although our interview was cut short, I still learned a lot about the changing role of law enforcement and its impact on the quality of life for citizens.
“Who am I to intervene in the consensual affairs of American citizens?” said award-winning Officer David Essex as he relaxes behind a gas station in his police cruiser; his hands were casually folded and rested on his stomach as he smiled. He made a good point – after all we are in America, land of the free. He reached down and pulled out a can of snuff from his pocket and began to pack it in and said, “I use to chase guys around all the time for things that weren’t hurting anyone but themselves – or those who entered into consensual contracts with them.” With his lips full of minty tobacco, he added, “I was just a bully.”
Officer Essex was referring to drug dealers, drug users, and prostitutes. Essex said he believes in the legalization of drugs and prostitution and asserts that the government’s intervention into the consensual transaction of chemicals and sex is what is causing all the problems.
“Criminalizing humanity,” said Essex as he spits into an empty coffee cup. “Why are we criminalizing humanity?”
A dispatcher’s voice on Essex’s radio interrupted our interview as she broadcasted a report of two teens on a nearby street corner arguing and getting ready to fight. “See what I mean,” said Essex. Who am I to intervene in their quarrel? They have a right to argue.”
Officer Essex went on to explain ticket quotas and revenue generation before he was interrupted a second time by the dispatcher. The two teens who were arguing grew into a large crowd that was gathering. Essex tilted his ear away from his shoulder-mounted radio mic and said, “Freedom of assembly. Debating in public is not a crime, now where was I?”
We talked about liberty and how people are inherently good before we were interrupted again. This time Essex leaned forward and held his ear close to his mic as the dispatcher reported that several of the teens were armed with firearms. “Open carry,” said Officer Essex as he spit again into his coffee cup. “If I try to intervene in a public assembly where citizens are exercising their right to bear arms, I could be sued for violating their constitutional rights. And rightfully so, this isn’t the Soviet Union.”
Essex began to talk about a brighter future for children who won’t be bogged down by government intrusion. I asked if his childhood was different and how he was able to survive the tyranny. Then I asked how things will get better as we move toward liberty, but Essex ignored me. The dispatcher alerted Essex that gunfire had been exchanged within the crowd and a four-year old child bystander was struck by a stray bullet.
“How could this happen? What is this world coming to?” yelled Essex as he sped off.