Law Forum : When cops look like an invading army

Kadijah

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Apr 7, 2013
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The militarization of the police is a fact of life. NOW! Guess who they're arming against?

==============

The “most striking” images coming out of Ferguson, Mo., over the past week were not of angry protesters reacting to the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown, said Jamelle Bouie in Slate.com. The images that startled the nation were of the police: small-town cops clad in gas masks, Kevlar vests, and camouflage, riding mine-resistant armored cars and training their military-grade weapons on the mostly black crowds as if they were “a population to occupy, not citizens to protect.” This is what comes of the growing “militarization of the police.” Since 2006, the U.S. military has transferred 435 armored vehicles, 432 mine-resistant armored trucks, 93,763 machine guns, and 533 planes to local and state police departments, which have used them to outfit SWAT teams with weapons designed for firefights in Iraq and Afghanistan, not for policing Main Street. SWAT teams may be needed in some American cities, said Ross Douthat in The New York Times, but the use of military weapons has gotten way out of hand, thanks to the ill-defined wars on drugs and terror. When cops start “playing soldier,” it’s “time to take their toys away.”

Don’t blame the equipment, said Rich Lowry in NationalReview.com. Blame “a small, lawless fringe of protesters bent on mayhem” who began looting, rioting, and attacking the police. These outsiders came to Ferguson to cause trouble, and the initial presence of SWAT teams was immaterial to their bad intentions. As the NYPD’s former chief of department, I wholeheartedly support the police’s use of leftover military equipment, said Louis Anenome in NYTimes.com. Terrorist threats “have increased exponentially” since 9/11, and while I was with the NYPD, we used a surplus tank in several hostage situations. When advanced weapons are available at no cost, any law-enforcement official who doesn’t pursue them is guilty of “malfeasance.”

In my experience as Seattle’s police chief, military gear proved counterproductive, said Norm Stamper in Time.com. In 1999, I sent cops in riot gear to confront and tear-gas anti-globalization protesters, and it was “the worst decision of my 34-year career.” Not only does paramilitary policing alienate citizens and incite more violence, but it also has an insidious psychological effect on the police themselves, who come to feel that “they are in control and that they must maintain that control, at all costs.” Add racial conflict to the mix—only three of Ferguson’s 53 police officers are black, in a mostly black suburb—and the kind of violent unrest we’re seeing today becomes inevitable. Even conservatives were alarmed by what we saw in Ferguson, said Erick Erickson in RedState.com. When local cops operate with the firepower and aggressive mind-set of “paramilitary units,” everyone’s freedom and safety are in jeopardy.

If anything good came out of the awful events in Ferguson, said Benjamin Wallace-Wells in NYMag.com, it’s the widespread recoil against militarized cops. Libertarians and liberals have been sounding the alarm for years, but this week, many conservatives are expressing their revulsion in terms that “sound very similar.” The strutting Robocops of Ferguson look all too much like the jackbooted government thugs that many on the far right have been warning about. In police militarization, we may have finally found “a problem the Left and Right can agree about—and solve.”

http://theweek.com/article/ppArticle/683/27528[/quote]
 
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Kadijah

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The images that startled the nation were of the police: small-town cops clad in gas masks, Kevlar vests, and camouflage, riding mine-resistant armored cars and training their military-grade weapons on the mostly black crowds as if they were “a population to occupy, not citizens to protect.”

:whistling:
 

Dreya

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"Terrorist threats have increased exponentially since 9/11"

Very true - just not from where were told there coming from - but instead from the very people supposably protecting us from them
 

Kadijah

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This is in London yesterday Wednesday, August 27, 2014.

http://destee.com/index.php?threads...from-the-underground.81359/page-5#post-895292

Anti-racism activists are staging a protest outside the US Embassy following the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Missouri.

A number of high profile speakers spoke at the event in Grosvenor Square, including Labour MP Diane Abbott, Marcia Rigg and speakers from Unite Against Racism. Ms Abbott condemned the US police for behaving like an invading army, rather than “servants of the people”.

:news:
 

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