A 21-year-old motorist, knowing his legal rights, refuses to get out of his car or follow a policeman\’s orders unless he is told he is being formally detained.
A 21-year-old motorist, knowing his legal rights, refuses to get out of his car or follow a policeman\’s orders unless he is told he is being formally detained. (YouTube)
Senior Washington Correspondent
Neil Macdonald is the senior Washington correspondent for CBC News, which he joined in 1988 following 12 years in newspapers. Before taking up this post in 2003, Macdonald reported from the Middle East for five years. He speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.
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Increasingly, and openly, ordinary Americans are committing a legal act that some police nonetheless regard as among the most heinous of all offences: it\’s called contempt of cop.
It\’s otherwise known as asserting your constitutional rights.
Citizens, feeling empowered, are pointing smartphones, rather than just an accusing finger, at abusive authorities.
Civil libertarians with hidden cameras are challenging the so-called \”suspicion-less\” roadblocks that police set up to catch lawbreakers. Motorists and others are fighting back in the courts and online against police shakedown rackets on U.S. highways and elsewhere.
Everywhere, it seems, Americans are openly challenging arbitrary behaviour by those in authority.
Furthermore, they are winning. Not since the late 1960s have those in authority, from heavy-handed cops to the federal operatives sifting metadata in super-secret intelligence installations, been exposed to so much disinfecting sunlight.
It\’s marvelous to see such courage, and further proof that whatever the world might say about America, no other democracy takes the rule of law more seriously.
And while it is difficult to tell what\’s driving this new assertiveness, you have to feel it\’s part of a recovery from the almost supine attitude that most people here adopted in the years after 9/11.
During those years, in response to demands for security from a terrified public, the American \”deep state\” grew almost exponentially, at a cost so staggering no one seems able to produce a reliable estimate, the Washington Post reported following a two-year investigation.
Today, though, Americans seem to be rediscovering their sense of independence, and technology is the heavy weapon in their push-back.
Just as their government has used it to obliterate the notion of………