Police have used may creative techniques to arrest criminals. According to a story from the San Francisco Bee, a man was arrested after a mask he was given to wear in a meeting with police concerning an unrelated matter was tested and the DNA on it matched with another crime he committed some years ago.
Police said Major Crimes Unit officials met with Ramirez to “discuss an unrelated matter” at the King City Police Department.
“When Leonardo Ramirez arrived he was offered a disposable mask to comply with the ongoing Monterey Public Health Order as investigators were to be in close proximity as they spoke,” the news release said. “Upon receiving the mask Leonardo Ramirez discarded a mask he had been wearing which MCU staff collected at the conclusion of the interview.”
The mask was submitted for DNA testing by the California Department of Justice, and the DNA on the mask matched a sample collected in 2018, according to the news release. (source)
Now I am not going to speak to the situation about this man’s crime. This is absolutely not the reason why I found this story so interesting.
The reason I bring this up is because of the principle that, as one’s Miranda Rights state, “anything you can can and will be used against you in a court of law”.
Years ago, I read an article discussing the future of civilian-police relations. According to this author, he said that if the trend towards militarization continues, then the future of civil disobedience itself will be contingent upon the anonymization of those who disobey as much as possible. In so much, he added that the era of 1960s-style “mass marching” was over, and that such events, while creating a large public presence, would be very sparingly and only at the end of a movement that had been building for a long time with already existing support from individuals in power, essentially as a transition.
The fact that police went so far as to privately collect, analyze, and try to match him with other crimes is not an issue of this man’s crimes, but that just as political opponents at this point will go back into a man’s history practically back to middle and high school to try and use words he said or did not say against him, so too is this going to come to the citizenry albeit in a different form.
This does not mean that one should not try to solve crimes. This does not mean that one should not look for justice. This does not excuse criminal behavior. What it does mean is that we are seeing a philosophy of a strange sort of darwinism mixed with a drive for power at all costs by any means possible using modern technology.
It is still said that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, but this is not necessarily true anymore, for if the drive to “known everything” persists, then it just results in the creation of a veritably dragnet of surveillance that scoops up all but now openly lets certain people go free because they are powerful while mercilessly condemning the others in the name of “justice” that is but an exercise in what Orwell described as a ‘boot stomping on a human face forever’.
Look beyond the crime in this case, remembering that the concept here is principle and criminal behavior is arguably the most commonly used excuse to justify and implement totalitarian style behaviors in a society, for given event such as this, the current post-9/11 philosophy, and the curious circumstances and even reaction from some police with these protests, one may be looking at something much more serious than what it appears.