The identifying characteristic of a police state is that it moves with armed or illegal force to usurp the proceeding government, and then uses it's improperly gained position of "authority" to gain personal benefits for it's members and supporters, using the implied or direct threat of, or actual, armed force to meet it's ever expanding goals.
The Rule of (objective) Law is displaced in those countries, or city, as police-state tactics take over.
Pittsburgh business and individual residents or visitors have increasingly been victimized by the illegal actions of officers who routinely violate objective laws that all citizens are supposedly limited by, and businesses have been virtually blackmailed into using uniformed "off-duty" officers for what I have termed a police protection racket .. and lately that racket has been openly supported by our current Mayor-by-default, who with police support has further extorted "his" cut of the illegal guard action, by raising the fees that captive businesses must pay for the use of these illegal guards, whose misdeeds while working have caused losses to City taxpayers in the millions of dollars... some of these "deals" done outside the court system in "compromise settlements" that do not cost the illegal off-duty police officer a cent.
But now, another inside deal has been cut, with court approval (Judges have to run for office too, and need FOP support) for an officer who has been accused of violating a law .. and this particular "deal" points out directly what happens in a police-state city.
While Pittsburgh business managers who make cash night deposits, legally licensed security staff of licensed private detective agencies, jewelry merchants who travel with their goods, and muckraking news staff have their gun collections and rights to protect themselves from street thugs seized when hit with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) case, the police and their friends in the Court have decided that the same rules that pertain to all "lesser" citizens do NOT pertain to the police of Pittsburgh. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07297/827927-52.stm because they are "special".
FLASH: In a free country everyone is equal, there are NO special classes of people.
Of course, in a Police State or City, the Police are all powerful, and get themselves "special rights". In Pittsburgh this means, among other things, having official sanction for covering your license plates with FOP stickers so your numbers can not be given a speeding or parking ticket, parking wherever you want, even illegally, while you work an illegal after-hours security job where you sometimes get cash, and sometimes have to kick some of your "take" upstairs to your supervisors ..... and in this latest case, you can be exempted from mandatory gun confiscation, where (like 35 brother officers) http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07292/826680-53.stm you have been served legally with PFA papers.
PFA's are within the public domain, and the same "street thugs" that can read in the paper that Party A is not allowed to protect himself/herself legally any more, can also read that Party B is under the same restriction: What makes your badge toting off-duty police people any more vulnerable to street crime than the legal security guard, licensed private detective or business owner?
Given that it is well known that to harm a police officer will bring an inordinate amount of police retribution and presence not available when a lesser citizen is attacked, I would expect that no one could be safer from harm than an off duty policeman, armed or not. In Pittsburgh or elsewhere. I mean look at the line up of police at the courthouse during a trial of someone daring to attack one of "theirs". http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07300/829055-85.stm
Does anyone think that this kind of armed show of force (Were these armed men on or off duty, I wonder .... if they were off duty, what are they doing at a courthouse in uniform and armed, while a jury deliberates? If they were on duty, what "public duty" were they performing, at public expense with such an armed and uniformed show of force?
Just a thought.
I wonder what would happen if (loaded) sidearm and rifle toting Vietnam Vets in ragtag uniform showed up at the courthouse and lined up to glower at incoming jury members and judges .... because someone shot one of "theirs" .. would the public stand by and say baaaaaaaaa, or would there be some serious questions asked by the Post Gazette and others?
The Pittsburgh police, who are highly paid for, and supposedly take seriously, safety of, it's citizens, have never to my knowledge, gone to bat for any of the hundreds of honest and hard-working "normal" citizens who have had their self-protection guns taken from them under a PFA, and as a matter of fact, have been there johnny on the spot to TAKE them from the lesser citizen's Pittsburgh homes - probably (what do you bet) offering their off-duty armed and illegal services to protect those PFAers who plead that they need to carry a weapon for their own safety at or on the way home from work.
The fact that many PFA's issue from unhappy girlfriends, boyfriends, and spouses who have a vested interest in "stretching the truth" sometimes more than a little, to get a PFA issued does NOT make this matter better, it makes it worse: Armed police, sometimes with SWAT gear, dogs and machine guns with silencers can show up at any plain citizens door to seize sometimes valuable collections from an unsuspecting PFA accused citizen, who can be "legally" shot dead for resisting this seizure.
The same Chief or Sheriff who can and does authorize such armed seizures can and probably has sent armed officers out that are under the same restriction of use of a firearm, due to having a PFA filed against that or those officers .. but that is "OK", the POLICEMAN'S gun is necessary for his/her protection, right?
What about the rest of us, Chief/Mayor/FOP head Malloy? Where is your sanction for OUR exemption from objective law? Why can YOUR guys keep their self protection subsequent to a PFA, but it is ok with you if all others not "yours" have theirs seized? Especially when you and "yours" are highly paid to take risks ......... and YOU are responsible for the safety of the citizens in your City, who also need to protect themselves?
I actually expect no reply from you, guys ...... for years you have sanctioned illegal actions of your officers and deputies, and bilked estimated hundreds of millions of dollars for your illegal services... and who knows what else.
I for one understand that in an armed Police State you guys and your political pals do not have to answer to anyone but yourselves. Perhaps this is why the police and politicians are so determined to take all the guns and even larger capacity magazines from the "lesser" citizens ....... calling it Democracy?
I saw a great t-shirt one time. Two wolves, sitting at a dinner table looking hungrily at a sheep sitting at the same table. The wolves had forks and knives, and the sheep had nothing but a big unworried smile.
The shirt read: "Democracy is two wolves and one sheep sitting down for dinner, voting for whats for dinner: FREEDOM is when the sheep have a gun AND a vote.
When Pittsburgh's sheep at long last discover your game and decide to take action, I expect and hope that it will not be too late to re-establish a great City, after the criminals now in control are indicted and prosecuted.
I hope my actions speed this evolution.