America is not a police state. This is not a country in which the arm of justice is empowered to pursue arbitrary and selfish goals.
Instead, America is a land of laws that restrict harm, damage, selfishness and the arbitrary use of force by police, as well as citizens. Power in America is not absolute because it is restricted by law. Yes, the arm of the law is long, but in very predictable ways.
In particular, the exercise of power in America is properly limited by accountability. In each and every one of my own roles, I have both designated authority and defined accountability.
When the system works properly, the accountability increases the likelihood that I will use my authority to strengthen the good of society and limit any arbitrary or selfish exercise of power that harms others.
In my role as father, I was expected to exert my authority in the training and education of my boys, increasing the likelihood that they would become contributing members of society. I was accountable to local authorities who had the responsibility to ensure that my parenting did not become neglectful or abusive.