Saturday, May 6, 2017

How much do we really need the police?

I've read countless stories over the past 5 years where someone calls the police for some wrong done to them only to have the police arrest or kill the person who called.  I was under the general impression that this was a fairly recent behavior by the police but I'm also aware that there is nothing new under the sun except the history you don't know.  Case in point was I was doing some weekend reading and came across the wiki of Alan Turing who is well known for his "Turing Test" of artificial intelligence.  But before that, Turing worked as a Nazi code breaker for the Brits and Wiki credits his work as potentially cutting WW2 short by 2 years and saving 14 million lives:
"During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre that produced Ultra intelligence. For a time he led Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic, and in so doing helped win the war.[7][8] Counterfactual history is difficult with respect to the effect Ultra intelligence had on the length of the war,[9] but at the upper end it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over fourteen million lives.[7]"

But Just a few years after the end of WW2, Turing made the mistake of calling the police after his house had been burgled.  Instead of going to work finding the burglar, the police detected that Turing was gay.  Instead of telling the police to fuck off in their gay investigation, he made the mistake of talking to them and admitting his homosexual relationship which at the time was a serious crime.  The result was a conviction and then mandatory chemical castration:
In January 1952, Turing, then 39, started a relationship with Arnold Murray, a 19-year-old unemployed man. Turing had met Murray just before Christmas outside the Regal Cinema when walking down Manchester's Oxford Road and invited him to lunch. On 23 January Turing's house was burgled. Murray told Turing that the burglar was an acquaintance of his, and Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation he acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were criminal offences in the United Kingdom at that time,[114] and both men were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.[115] Initial committal proceedings for the trial were held on 27 February during which Turing's solicitor "reserved his defence", i.e. did not argue or provide evidence against the allegations.
Later, convinced by the advice of his brother and his own solicitor, Turing entered a plea of guilty.[116] The case, Regina v. Turing and Murray, was brought to trial on 31 March 1952.[117] Turing was convicted and given a choice between imprisonment and probation, which would be conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted the option of treatment via injections of what was then called stilboestrol (now known as diethylstilbestrol or DES), a synthetic oestrogen; this treatment was continued for the course of one year. The treatment rendered Turing impotent and caused gynaecomastia,[118] fulfilling in the literal sense Turing's prediction that "no doubt I shall emerge from it all a different man, but quite who I've not found out".[119][120] Murray was given a conditional discharge.[121]
Turing's conviction led to the removal of his security clearance and barred him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British signals intelligence agency that had evolved from GC&CS in 1946 (though he kept his academic job). He was denied entry into the United States after his conviction in 1952, but was free to visit other European countries. Turing was never accused of espionage, but in common with all who had worked at Bletchley Park, he was prevented by the Official Secrets Act from discussing his war work.[122]
Decades after it was really of any value, the British government decided to pardon his "crime" and apologize for the way Turing was treated, "In August 2009, John Graham-Cumming started a petition urging the British Government to apologise for Turing's prosecution as a homosexual.[179][180] The petition received more than 30,000 signatures.[181][182] Prime Minister Gordon Brown acknowledged the petition, releasing a statement on 10 September 2009 apologising and describing the treatment of Turing as "appalling":[181][183]"

Well I guess we can all breathe a big sigh of relief now, huh?  Big government oversteps in the life of an individual of amazing talent, pretty much ruins said life, and then 40 0r 50 years later wants to apologize.  Lessons learned?  ZERO.   They will do it again in some other way next time.  The bottom line is that you are a fool if you trust the police in any way.  Learn to take control of your own personal security and never call the police for any reason because they have a very bad track record for making a bad situation worse.

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