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“Papers please!” – Georgia deputies pull over Lyft driver and assault passenger for not having ID

“Papers please!” – Georgia deputies pull over Lyft driver and assault passenger for not having ID

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The stereotypical depiction of totalitarian oppression in the movie world invariably includes a scene where a random traveler is stopped by the police and asked for their identification documents.

With a crisp, demand of “Papers, please!”, at least the authoritarian goons in these fictional depictions of fascist or communist societies past were polite enough to say please.

Americans  — who have no national law requiring them to carry and always hold on their person any sort of national identity document — have always found the very idea of a national registry of every individual residing in the country as antithetical to the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness enshrined in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Yet in the modern, data-driven, digital society that we now inhabit, the erosion of individual privacy has been widespread but inadequately discussed in public debate.

The reality of this abstract manifestation of individual liberty literally hit home for one astonished Lyft passenger in Georgia caught on a viral video that showed him being detained and assaulted by sheriff’s deputies after he couldn’t produce satisfactory identification for the law enforcement officers.

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While the beginnings of the incident were not caught on camera, bystanders refute the deputies claims about being bitten by the man as they brutally punch him as his child looks on in fear and horror while the woman capturing the needless physical abuse on camera shrieks at what she’s afraid will end up as the police killing of a presumably unarmed Black man in violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

A second camera shows the unfolding scene from a different angle and in longer detail.

While online searches failed to yield any further details on what may have been the motivation for the sheriff’s deputies to stop the Lyft vehicle to begin with, the unnecessary brutality and the enthusiasm with which the blows are delivered does nothing to change the image of police as unable to scale the scope of their response to the situation at hand.

If the Georgia sheriffs indeed had a valid reason to detain the passenger, they certainly weren’t sharing their information with the bystanders.

Trump may rant about “Law & Order,” but when the law is enforced unevenly and unjustly in such an obvious manner, the majority of the nation knows that the way police interact with citizens of all races and colors needs to change dramatically.

If it doesn’t we may soon be living in a society where the constant refrain of “Papers, please!” echoes through the land and totalitarianism rules.

Vote Donald Trump out of office if you value your freedoms and want to see things in this country headed back on the right track.

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