The city of Baltimore was on the verge of martial law this week as a proposal by a city council member to impose curfews, grant police extended search powers and shut down businesses was seriously considered in an effort to tackle violent crime.
Baltimore lawmakers have rejected a proposal to allow the mayor to lock down streets and close businesses in high-crime zones, the most recent attempt to curb violence the city, reports the Washington Times .
The bill was introduced by Robert W. Curran, a Democrat.
The AP reported that Police would be encouraged to aggressively stop and frisk individuals in "public safety act zones" to search for weapons and drugs. They would also have been able to limit the number of people on city sidewalks, and halt traffic during two-week intervals.
"While I do agree that desperate times call for desperate measures, I do not agree that trampling on citizens' civil liberties is the answer," said council member Keifer J. Mitchell Jr., a Democrat also running for mayor. "This bill gives the mayor tremendous power, tantamount to declaring martial law, and I have grave reservations about that."
MSNBC ran a report which asked "are curfews a good idea?" Former Baltimore police commissioner Ed Norris described the proposal as "the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time, a horrible thing, and an act of desperation."
He then went on to ask "how is this going to work are they going to lock everyone in their homes?" asking "have you ever heard of the Constitution?" When asked "has this type of plan ever worked anywhere?" Norris replied "yeah I think it worked in Itlay in the 1930s."
The fact that this kind of proposal is even being considered in America shows how freedom is being systematically undermined on a national level and the post 9/11 police state mentality is filtering down to the local level.
The media reaction to ask "is this a good thing?" shows just how far down the road towards a police state we now are, when just a few years ago such proposals would be considered ludicrous and would be universally denounced without debate.
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