“In other words, the twenty-first-century war on terror has melded thoroughly with the twentieth-century war on drugs, and the result couldn’t be anymore disturbing: police forces that increasingly look and act like occupying armies…”
The direction being achieved by militarizing our cops is to train them to be an occupying force under the control of the Federal government and its minions instead of being
our friendly public servant whose job was once to “serve and protect”.
As most Americans firmly oppose the current morphing of local police from protects and serves and community policing to federally militarized and federally subsidized occupying force.
In the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., an unarmed 18-year-old black man was killed by police in broad daylight.
By now, what’s happening in Ferguson is about so many second-order issues— the militarization of police with systemic racism, and how citizens can redress grievances, among other things—that it’s worth remembering what actually happened…
Last week Ferguson was sending shock waves across America and around the world. Many viewers first tuning into the national news thought they were observing a 3rd world riot that we so often see coming from places like the Middle East, Russia, China or some out of control banana republic. No these pictures were coming from Ferguson Missouri in the heartland of America. We as Americans need to examine the problem of the militarization of our police.
Dr, Edwin Vieira, Jr. writes in his new book that we now have a choice to make – do we want to continue to live in a police state, or do we do something about it.
As Karl Bickel, a senior policy analyst with the Justice Department’s Community Policing Services office, observes, police across America are being trained in a way that emphasizes force and aggression. He notes that recruit training favors a stress-based regimen that’s modeled on military boot camp rather than on the more relaxed academic setting a minority of police departments still employ. The result, he suggests, is young officers who believe policing is about kicking ass rather than working with the community to make neighborhoods safer. Or as comedian Bill Maher reminded officers recently:
“The words on your car, ‘protect and serve,’ refer to us, not you.”