February 7, 2013

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I read a bit on vigilante squads cropping up in Mexico to fight the drug cartels that aren’t being addressed by the Mexican government, their federales or even their army.

Crazy, right? Citizens gathering arms and rising up against criminals despite “laws” in place to keep the criminals in place. I’ve poured over what research is publicly available, but I can’t find an answer to my two basic questions regarding this madness.

First, “laws” were passed making murder and the weapons used to commit them a crime. (Insert intentional silence/brief pause here.) 

Second, to enforce these laws, the proud people of the United Mexican States (look it up, I was surprised too) have hired police officers on local and federal levels as their neighbors to the north the American model of low pay and numerous deaths on the side of law enforcement, these laws are still largely ignored by the criminal element. 

To make matters worse, you have common citizens running around arming and protecting themselves, leading me to believe they don’t have “the telephones” down there because otherwise they’d be doing what most people are told to do in a civilized world—call “911” when their life is in danger and wait for someone else to come handle it “appropriately.” 

I don’t want to embarrass any Mexican citizens, but I’m seriously questioning the class of criminals lurking down south. I mean, how can you have a successful constitutional republic if your criminals and drug cartels aren’t going to respect laws? 

That’s not to say we don’t have our own occasional “criminal blemish” here from time to time. On Jan. 28, a 23-year-old man was shot and killed by two other men in the 1200 block of Grove Street, smack in the middle of the Westside projects. 

While not only a tragedy for the family of the victim, it must be horrifyingly embarrassing for the local activists of Concerned Citizens for Justice and the occasional Chattanooga Organized for Action members, who spend a great deal of time in those projects filming police to capture their alleged acts of brutality in that area. 

We all looked on in disbelief just last October when they blew the lid off of Chattanooga Police brutality with the stunning depiction of Aaron Mitchel being placed in a patrol car, which is tantamount to Hitler’s Germany, apparently, when you can’t break the same law 12 times in a row (the charge of criminal trespass) in this great country without being arrested for it.

The repeat offender and felon was even placed face down when he refused to be cuffed prior to the tape rolling and was then slowly placed in the back seat of a police car. And this in the year 2012!

These wounds are still fresh and the town is still reeling. Yet with all their efforts to curb the “police problem” in that high-crime area (as opposed to “the murder problem,” which someone should probably tell them about), it must have happened right under their noses. And now with this newest homicide, it’s probably going to entice more police to address the drug-fueled violence in that area. Once again feelings are almost certainly going to get hurt and the thought of that makes me SICK.

All that said, with laws, police and now even activists, there is a systematic and definable pattern emerging that shows criminals are simply not responding to laws being passed.

While Congress wrestles with this emerging phenomena largely by ignoring it, they are at least continuing to place restrictions on the only ones actually following these “laws.” I hope the people of the United Mexican States are taking a cue from our lawmakers, lest they risk addressing the actual problem as it is feared the U.S. may one day attempt.

In case you are wondering, yes—taking a cue from City Hall. I already have placed into motion the most direct route to a solution by applying for a grant for a well-funded study with which we can aggressively pursue the “police problem,” the “self-defense” hysteria and still mercifully avoid the actual problem in one fell swoop. 

No need to defend yourselves, citizens. No need to even have the option; we have The Government and back-up from Activists. I just hope the people of Mexico can be saved from themselves before it’s too late. Until we start addressing the actual problem or defending ourselves, where will it end, I ask rhetorically?

Alex Teach is a police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at



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