How The Police Manipulate Democracy

Former Metro police captain alleges abuse of power

O’Leary alleges a chief in the department called a closed-door, private meeting of captains in the investigative services division. The chief floated the idea of investigating Commissioner Sisolak—just days after the first time county commissioners rejected the “more cops tax” advanced by Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

“[Sisolak] was viewed as an obstacle to getting the ‘more cops tax’ and that was very contentious,” O’Leary says. “He’s not very well liked by the Police Department.”

The meeting’s purpose, O’Leary says, was “putting together a group of people who had the expertise of working organized crime to revisit and review some of the things about Commissioner Sisolak from his past.”

“You look at his business associations, his personal associations, his business practices…other sources of information. Are they digging? They’re digging. Yes.”

“Is that unusual? Very,” O’Leary says. “It’s something I’ve never heard we’ve done before; an act of desperation, resentment, anger.”

“There was no doubt in my mind that the inference was to try and bring discredit upon the county commissioner,” O’Leary adds.

Democracy is a word in the Western lexicon seemingly synonymous with good. This is because democracy is the status quo. Even when positions are different — as in the case of major political parties — an agreement on democracy as the form of government exists. The limitations and downfalls of democracy are rarely discussed. And when they are it is only in superficial ways.

A drawback of the representative democracy of the United States is susceptibility to manipulation by law enforcement. This may exist at the level of a rural police department, a metro area, or as high as quasi-military organizations such as the NSA. A small group, even an individual officer, is able to influence the tide of politics by directing his or her legal powers against someone seeking (or holding) government office. An arrest, or even the taint of corruption that comes with an investigation, could end a career.

Nancy Pelosi recently admitted that members of the US Congress were afraid of attempting to regulate the CIA, because the CIA will “come after you.” This is not just a corrupt department or a city. The same form of manipulation is happening at the highest levels of government. The law enforcement apparatus of the United States has grown to the point that it is no longer under the full control of the government, the democracy.


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