All through the ‘seventies, we were inundated with propaganda about how the law doesn’t protect innocent people, that the police can’t arrest anyone who commits a crime, that “law-abiding citizens” are fearful about being in their homes and going out. This idea permiated through the “mainstreatm news media,”-I’m thinking of a scary cover article in Time from 1975- and in cop-oriented TV shows (Dragnet, Strasky and Hutch) and movies (Dirty Harry), where through a too-lenient “liberal” legal system the most vicious and evil villains are set free to terrorize “law abiding citizens,” and a certain amount of “excessive force” is needed to eliminate them. This makes it easier for people to accept repressive measures, not necessarily upon the real criminal element, but at protestors, activists, and other fighters against the system.
This all came after the ‘sixties and the Civil Rights movement, when African-American people fought for their rights and made some progress; the Nixon administration, as evidenced in the White House tapes, sought to use the “War on Drugs” as an excuse to impose a near police state in Black communities, as a reaction to Black Civil rights achievements.
J Edgar Hoover and his FBI-his, his own personal domain, and Congress allowed it-violated all manner of laws, with sending the letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. telling him to commit suicide, to sending in moles and provocateurs to harass and undermine the Civil Rights and anti-Viet-Nam-war movements, along with the rising LGBT, Feminist, and environmental movements. The FBI was simply a secret police system, not interested in defending anyone’s rights or safety.
It’s a great propaganda ploy-who DOES NOT fear crime, who DOES want their wallets stolen or their houses burglarized? But remember, this has come from the Nixon and Reagan administrations, who used the “soft on crime” label on liberals and who used such fear to get elected; but they were comfortable breaking the law when it suited them, Nixon with the Watergate scandal (he once said, “If the President does it, it’s not illegal.”) to the Reagan administration’s Iran-Contra activities.
This was all done in the name of “fighting Communism,” with the idea that all challenges to the injustices of our system in red propaganda, followed by Moscow-besotted dupes (more likely in university campuses), and not the REAL reality people face. I, on the other hand, do NOT believe that ALL law-enforcement people are bad people at all, some are very dear friends; but we must reclaim the law-enforcement agencies, and our government in general, and get them back on our side.