I've just started a new book about the growing police state in America. Because of my research, I've come across several things that prove to me that the police state is in fact, here already. It is simply in the process of growing. Of course, there will be much more detail in my book, but I'd like to present three areas of concern related to the existing police state.

TSA Checkpoints and Crowd Control
The TSA is no longer just in airports eradicating our 4th Amendment rights. They have now moved out into urban areas as well, walking the streets, at entrances to sporting events, and along highways. Teams of TSA agents - referred to as Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams - roam parts of America determine willy nilly whom they will search. This clearly (at least in my mind) eradicates or severely limits the 4th Amendment, but TSA doesn't seem to care and as long as people are willing to accept this illegal behavior, it will continue and worsen. "To justify their unconstitutional infringements, they claim the checkpoints are 'administrative searches' that are exempt from probable cause therefore conveniently impervious to constitutional scrutiny."

Going door to door after Boston Bombing Marathon

Going door to door after Boston Bombing Marathon

For those who aren't clear on what the 4th Amendment states, let me spell it out. The 4th Amendment is "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

In short, what this means is that for a police officer to search your home or your belongings, he must present a warrant. There are extenuating circumstances that allow police to search without a warrant, but generally speaking, we, the people, have a right not to be searched. The "stop and frisk" law in NYC was just ruled to be a violation of the Constitution.

Yet, TSA believes it has the power to set the Constitution aside. An "administrative search" is what is used at airports to violate our 4th Amendment rights. This type of search has actually been upheld in a court of law (U.S. vs Davis, 482 F.2d 893, 908) in airports. However, now that the TSA is taking their show on the road, so to speak, there may likely be some resistance. If police officers are not allowed to simply randomly stop and search people, why should TSA agents be allowed to do so?

Asset Forfeiture
Another thing we've seen happening within the past few years is something called "asset forfeiture." While both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit the government from takings of life, liberty or property without due process of law, the practice is alive and well in police departments across the United States. "In civil asset forfeiture cases the government proceeds directly against the property. Consequently, an individual need not be convicted of a crime and more demanding criminal procedure does not apply. Furthermore, typically the burden of proof is on an owner asserting unawareness of criminal activity associated with the asset (such as a automobile loaned to a friend that was used to transport illegal drugs) or presenting an innocent explanation for possessing large sums of cash. Possession of significant amounts of currency, while not illegal, is frequently perceived as coming from illegal drug sales. Since the forfeiture action is against the property, the owner is a third party claimant requesting to be heard by the court."

In other words, if you have large sums of cash on you, police might think you're a drug dealer even if they find no other evidence of it to corroborate their beliefs and claims. Consequently, they can simply take your money. In just one example, "The police stopped a woman at Houston's Hobby Airport because a police dog had scratched at her luggage. They found no drugs, but did find $39,000 in cash. The police took and kept the money, even though she could prove she had the cash legitimately." In another example, "In New Jersey, a man was accused of practicing psychiatry without a license because he was counseling people in his mother's home; even though counselling does not require a license, the police confiscated the house and furniture."

It is clear because these are considered "civil" cases, a person is not necessarily considered innocent until proven guilty. The person (victim) becomes responsible to prove their innocence.

Militarization of Law Enforcement
Who can ignore this area? Radley Balko recently released a book - "Rise of the Warrior Cop" - in which he details the "hows and whys" of police officers and departments that have become militarized. We saw this when SWAT moved into Los Angeles under Chief Daryl Gates in the 1960s. Originally, SWAT teams were only used during situations that had the great potential of becoming extremely violent. Now, they are used for just about everything as a first responder.

James Simpson notes that "the use of SWAT teams has since exploded. Massive SWAT raids using military-style equipment are becoming routine methods for executing search warrants. One study estimates 40,000 such raids per year nationwide." More and more cops and police departments utilize SWAT teams and tactical gear for their officers. It's turning law enforcement into the military and Americans are increasingly seen and treated as enemy combatants.

This is happening largely due to huge subsidies granted by the federal government. More people on both the left and the right are concerned about this growing police state mentality. "Today this trend is reflected in reports coming out of the Department of Homeland Security, the military and various law enforcement 'fusion' centers that identify gun-owners, patriots, ex-military, Christians, pro-life activists and tea party members as 'potential domestic terrorists'."

In 2008, Obama told us that he wanted a national police force that was as strong as the military. Why? Obviously, to war against the factions within society that progressive leftists want to hammer on.

Folks, it seems clear to me - just within these three areas - that America is becoming a police state. We'll discuss a few other areas in which this is the case in an upcoming article.

This is Part 1 in a series. Read Part 2 here. Read Part 3 here.

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