Warehouse B
No Longer Peacemakers
Page Two
Page 3

America's Police Becoming More Militant


By James Donahue


There was a scary story that occurred in Baltimore. A young couple in town to attend an athletic event got lost and then arrested because they hailed a police officer to ask directions.


As the story is told, Joshua Kelly and Llara Brook, of Chantilly, Virginia, got caught in the heavy traffic while making their way out of the parking lot after attending an Orioles game on Saturday. After getting on the streets of Baltimore, the couple found themselves lost and confused in their efforts to find a route out of town.


When they saw a police car standing along the road ahead, Kelly stopped his vehicle, walked up to the squad car and asked the female officer seated in it for her help. Instead of doing her job as the public servant an officer is hired to be, this particular Baltimore cop, Natalie Preston, arrested Kelley for trespassing on a public street. When Brook protested she also was apprehended.


The two spent the night locked up in the city jail.


When they were released the next day, they discovered that the officer left their car unlocked and with a window open in the police impound yard. The vehicle had been vandalized, with a cell phone charter, a pair of sunglasses and 20 CDs stolen.


The story is a dramatic illustration of something most Americans are discovering, often under similar circumstances, with more intensity each passing year. There is a growing separation between police and the general public. America has become a police state.


There was a time when police were hired to protect and serve. Today they exist as enforcers of the law. And there is a distinct difference.


People who are aware of the change have a saying now. If you are in trouble, the last thing you want to do is call the police. They will only aggravate the problem rather than help matters.


Joshua Kelley and Llara Brook would have been better served if they had stopped at an all-night service station or party store and asked for directions, rather than approach a police car.


The moment they made contact with that uniformed and armed officer, they became victims of the enforcer. And as they learned, there appears to be a law to violate with every move we make these days.


The couple filed a complaint with the Baltimore Police Department. They were told that the department would investigate the incident. That they took their story to the media may do more good. But it may not. The wedge between police and the public has gotten very hard of late.