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Stop arming the police like a military
Defense One ^ | 6-24-14 | Dr. Tom Nolan

Posted on 06/27/2014 6:05:36 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat

If there’s anything I know after serving the Boston Police Department for 27 years, it’s this: Good policing is all about trust.

This isn’t a particularly novel insight, but my time as a beat cop hammered it into me time and again. Yet it’s incredible how many police departments across the nation have lost sight of this in their rush to transform into something more akin to a standing army rather than a civilian police force safeguarding a democratic people.

Have no doubt, police in the United States are militarizing, and in many communities, particularly those of color, the message is being received loud and clear: “You are the enemy.” Police officers are increasingly arming themselves with military-grade equipment such as assault rifles, flashbang grenades, and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicles and dressing up in commando gear before using battering rams to burst into the homes of people who have not been charged with a crime. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that the Pentagon has played a huge role in this militarization by transferring its weapons of war to civilian police departments through its so-called 1033 program.

Many communities now look upon police as an occupying army, their streets more reminiscent of Baghdad or Kabul than a city in America. This besieged mentality created by the militarization of police has driven a pernicious wedge into the significant gains made under community- and problem-oriented policing initiatives dating from the late 1980s. The trusting relationships so many police officers painstakingly built within their communities have been eroded by the mindset of the warrior cop.

One of the more alarming trends in the overall militarization of police, which has accelerated since 9/11, is the use of Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, teams for routine police work. According to the ACLU’s new report, “War Comes Home,” the majority of the SWAT raids it examined was to execute search warrants, usually in low-level drug investigations. The ACLU also found that many of the SWAT raids it studied used unjustifiably “violent tactics and equipment,” often in homes where children were known to be present.

The ACLU also found something far more worrisome but unfortunately not surprising. The use of SWAT teams disproportionately impacts people of color, particularly when the teams were deployed to execute a search warrant for a drug investigation. Of the cases the ACLU studied, when SWAT raids affected blacks and Latinos, 68 percent were for drug searches. But when SWAT raids affected whites, only 38 percent were for drug searches, even though whites use drugs at roughly the same rates as blacks and Latinos.

This discriminatory and excessive use of SWAT teams turns the criminal justice system on its head and eviscerates the presumption of innocence, which is the hallmark of American justice. People who have been charged with no crime aren’t only treated like they’re guilty; they’re made to endure a violent intrusion into their home based on the mere suspicion of low-level crimes. To the victims of unnecessary SWAT raids and their communities, the idea that police are there to serve and protect them becomes a bad joke.

This isn’t to say that the use of SWAT teams is never justified. I know better than most. I participated in one of the very first SWAT deployments at the Boston Police Department when a man who shot a police superintendent barricaded himself in an apartment. But this is the precise type of situation that the SWAT program was created for, not breaking down the door of people in the middle of the night with guns drawn in pursuit of drugs.

Militarized policing undermines the very notion of law enforcement in a democratic society. Rather than reassuring us that we are safe and out of harm’s way, it creates a pervasive sense that we are unsafe and in danger, sometimes from the police themselves. It’s not surprising then that the ACLU also discovered that the militarization of domestic law enforcement occurred without any input, direction, or oversight from affected communities and that law enforcement agencies’ records on acquisitions of military weapons, vehicles, and equipment were “virtually nonexistent.”

The situation, however, is far from being beyond hope or possible resolution. Not all police practitioners — including policy makers, administrators, managers, supervisors and line officers — endorse and support the militarization of America’s law enforcement agencies. Progressive police chiefs in Madison, Wisconsin, and Salt Lake City, Utah, for example, have been publicly critical of police militarization practices and initiatives.

If we want to roll back the militarization of our police forces, the ACLU offers many common sense recommendations, but two stand out as critical first steps. The first is that the use of paramilitary tactics should be restricted solely to situations where there is a true and verifiable emergency, such as a hostage or barricade situation. The second would require that police record and report all uses of paramilitary tactics, including a justification for the use of SWAT, as well as all injuries and property damage caused by the use of SWAT teams.

Our streets and communities aren’t warzones, but the creeping militarization of our police forces and the warrior mindset it creates has the feel of a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of our nation’s law enforcement agencies.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial
KEYWORDS: donutwatch
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1 posted on 06/27/2014 6:05:36 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat
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To: null and void; bamahead

Ping for your lists.


2 posted on 06/27/2014 6:06:24 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Be a part of the American freedom migration: freestateproject.org)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Arm the Border Patrol like a military.


3 posted on 06/27/2014 6:07:48 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: MUDDOG

Why? They are not allowed to do anything except baby sit.


4 posted on 06/27/2014 6:09:34 PM PDT by doc1019
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To: MUDDOG
Arm the Border Patrol like a military.

My first thoughts exactly. Para-military tactics are used against US citizens but not ILLEGAL invaders. Hussein Obama should be impeached on that issue alone.

5 posted on 06/27/2014 6:10:23 PM PDT by South40 (Hillary Clinton was a "great secretary of state". - Texas Governor Rick Perry)
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To: doc1019

And declare a free-fire zone along the border. There. Fixed.


6 posted on 06/27/2014 6:11:18 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: South40
Para-military tactics are used against US citizens but not ILLEGAL invaders.

Well said.

7 posted on 06/27/2014 6:12:23 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: RKBA Democrat

When a nation fights a series of long, low-intensity wars, soldiers act like cops, and finally cops act like soldiers.

The part I don’t understand:

Axiomatic to fighting an insurgency is need to cultivate and retain the trust of the populace, so WHY do so many PD’s appear hell-bent on BANISHING trust..?

The idea is that the populace supplies INTEL regarding the enemy.

The fact that cops are so complacent about public trust indicates to me that they have some very reliable ALTERNATE source of intel regarding the communities they police.

I WONDER WHAT THAT SOURCE IS, RIGHT...?


8 posted on 06/27/2014 6:13:12 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: RKBA Democrat

There’s so much free stuff available, counties of well under 100K population have multiple Humvees, MRAPs, helicopters, etc. I told a deputy recently they should keep an eye out for a Stryker and he said that would be a good addition to the fleet.


9 posted on 06/27/2014 6:15:30 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: RKBA Democrat
This article was great except for two phrases:

”Progressive police chiefs in Madison, Wisconsin, and Salt Lake City, Utah, for example…"

"the ACLU offers many common sense recommendations..."

10 posted on 06/27/2014 6:17:24 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: All

What Good Can a Handgun Do Against An Army?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-backroom/2312894/posts


11 posted on 06/27/2014 6:19:06 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Amazing article in this day and age, thanks for posting.

You want to look around the world and see what a country really stands for, and what the word “civilization” really means? You need only look at one thing: the relationship of its police to its people.

That tells you at a glance everything you need to know.

People take cops for granted. But I submit that one of the highest achievements of Western civilization is the modern police force that is specifically and by intent NOT a standing army.

THAT is more precious than gold.


12 posted on 06/27/2014 6:19:55 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker

Police State USA , Life During Wartime

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYn9JF0TSgw


13 posted on 06/27/2014 6:21:29 PM PDT by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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These types of operations are probably attracting individuals hungry for action.


14 posted on 06/27/2014 6:21:48 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: RKBA Democrat
Many communities now look upon police as an occupying army, their streets more reminiscent of Baghdad or Kabul than a city in America.

And what did American's watch for nearly 10 years on the news every night?

US soldiers walking down dusty alleys kicking in doors and raiding homes...Over and over and over for about 10 years....Endless SWAT style raids...A SWAT war...

The entire time it appeared as one big giant police action...Like no war I've ever seen or read about...

15 posted on 06/27/2014 6:24:43 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Hmm, wonder why the FG would want to be encouraging the militarisation of the police? Combined with all the ammo they’re buying, and the Pentagons training actively for putting down nationwide civil disorder, I have wonder it is exactly they are expecting and preparing for?


16 posted on 06/27/2014 6:24:50 PM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: South40

“Paramilitary tactics are used against US citizens but not ILLEGAL invaders.”

Before this, they wouldn’t enforce laws with our native-born ghetto inhabitants either. I can’t take anyone seriously when talking about gun control unless they concede that the cities have to be subjected to search-and-destroy missions along the lines of the war in Vietnam. Disarming the “strategic hamlets” of (generally) law-abiding Americans while letting Charlie roam unmolested makes no sense.


17 posted on 06/27/2014 6:31:27 PM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Premier Ubama doesn’t need any police. Police protect the peasants. The more peasants who die, the better. Ubama needs a civilian army to help the process along.


18 posted on 06/27/2014 6:32:17 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: RKBA Democrat

“It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government.” Thomas Paine.


19 posted on 06/27/2014 6:34:08 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: RKBA Democrat
And knock it OFF with the military funerals for cops, too! This pisses me off BIG TIME but I guess the government needs the cops to feel REALLY important if they are to order them to shoot civilians soon.


20 posted on 06/27/2014 6:35:59 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
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To: RKBA Democrat

The police use the WOD as an excuse for and for funding of their military toys.


21 posted on 06/27/2014 6:39:05 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: RKBA Democrat

I am afraid Obama is ramping up the Cops to be his Civilian Security Force. The Military won’t turn on the citizens but the Cops may. The Sheriffs and Deputies won’t turn either.


22 posted on 06/27/2014 6:40:30 PM PDT by originalbuckeye (Moderation in temper is always a virtue; moderation in principle is always a vice. Paine)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

Excellent point.

I also don’t like the police penchant of referring to citizens as “civilians” —the term would only make sense if the police are the SAME as the military.


23 posted on 06/27/2014 6:40:42 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: Talisker

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/06/26/massachusetts-swat-teams-claim-theyre-private-corporations-immune-from-open-records-laws/


24 posted on 06/27/2014 6:41:02 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: Talisker

“You want to look around the world and see what a country really stands for, and what the word “civilization” really means? You need only look at one thing: the relationship of its police to its people.”

An astute comment. And applied to the US, it means that people by and large don’t want anything to do with them, don’t trust them, and are coming to hate them. Pretty much the same relationship they have with the political class come to think of it.

It’s truly sad. In my lifetime I’ve seen the situation go from one of mutual respect to what it is now.


25 posted on 06/27/2014 6:43:08 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Be a part of the American freedom migration: freestateproject.org)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Reading stuff like this makes me want to “shelter in place”.


26 posted on 06/27/2014 6:45:21 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: RKBA Democrat
But when SWAT raids affected whites, only 38 percent were for drug searches, even though whites use drugs at roughly the same rates as blacks and Latinos.

That is stupid. The cops are not after users, they are after sellers, and blacks and latinos are sellers at a much higher rate than whites.
I agree with the main premise, that the police are getting too militarized, but making the point that there is good reason why blacks and latinos are getting plenty of attention from the cops doing low-level drug investigations.

27 posted on 06/27/2014 6:53:02 PM PDT by expat2
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To: gaijin

A big problem is that police don’t walk a beat anymore, and thereby interact with law-abiding citizens. The only ‘civilians’ they see on the job are criminals and low-lifes, so have a false and ugly view of civilians.


28 posted on 06/27/2014 6:58:02 PM PDT by expat2
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To: MUDDOG
Arm the Border Patrol like a military. And give them the authority to protect our borders...
29 posted on 06/27/2014 7:04:32 PM PDT by GOPJ (Hey IRS - those receipts you wanted? The dog ate 'em. -New Name:"Washington Thinskins" -FR. coloeo)
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To: originalbuckeye

“Iam afraid Obama is ramping up the Cops to be his Civilian Security Force. The Military won’t turn on the citizens but the Cops may. The Sheriffs and Deputies won’t turn either.”

We have history to look at. Look up the Vel d’Hiv incident.


30 posted on 06/27/2014 7:22:31 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Be a part of the American freedom migration: freestateproject.org)
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To: RKBA Democrat
I snitched out the cops to a private golf course this week, and I'm proud of myself.

The course was having a big "guests" tourney, and the cops were staking out the exit highways from the course for DUI. I drove up and tipped them the wink at the reception tent.

Scumbags.

31 posted on 06/27/2014 7:25:29 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: RKBA Democrat
I can't think of any military weapons a civilian police force would need. Some technology now available on the market like night vision glasses? Yea OK. They don't need a 50 caliber except one LOCKED in an armory vault with limited access just as even the NG's require. It should only be accessible for removable by order of sheriff, chief, or their second in command. They don't need APC's Humvees, not even a Duce and Half. They don't need Drones in any capacity. The National Guard needs to be returned more to a civil defense local defense posture assisting in invasions or area disasters.

Our members of the armed forces by design of the forefathers operate under a completely different law than civilian LEO's. The military is under the UCMJ and double jeopardy is allowed reaching into crimes against civilians or civilian jurisdictions. You screw up you will be punished and not just allowed to resign.

Military units operate in squads meaning someone is there to keep it honest. Cops no longer have ride along partners. I think they should return to a two man patrol of senior and junior officers. Senior Officer status should be designated as one having at least a ten year unblemished record as a patrol officer.

The mental profile of some cops is disturbing. Bad cops have always been among us. But up till the last decade or so they did not have weapons more powerful than civilians.

My late F.I.L. years ago was a career LEO serving on the THP, KCSO, and UT Police force in Tennessee. He was one of the worse of the worse. He once ran a county Penal Farm which his actions likely triggered an escape an infamous manhunt in the early 1960's in east Tennessee. He ran the place like it was hell. He ran his home like it was hell. He loved to inflict pain upon others. I can not imagine a sadist like him being given the firepower and Carte Blanche powers to act like Roman soldiers as being allowed today. The Blue Shield of silences kept his abuses from ever being known.

Cops need to go back to traditional rolls on traditional patrols. Go back to being a part of the community rather than detached from it as some sort of overlord.

SWAT Teams? OK fine. No automatic weapons except in a clear hostage situation. No more no knock raids except in a known hostage situation. Arrest should be encouraged to be done by uniformed officer where the subject is in plain sight. SWAT Teams should not be making routine raids. SWAT TEAMs again except in the case of hostage situations should be required to wear their patrol uniform.

I can go to a flea market and find a black tee shirt with AFT, FBI, etc written on it. A patrol uniform stands out and is recognizable to innocents of which cops should be protecting. Last thing. There is no excuse for WRONG HOUSE RAIDS. Do the darn police work. That means stake outs, watching the person you're after, and never, ever doing a raid on the word of some paid informant {AKA Junkie}. Many wrong house raids are cause by very sloppy police work in some cases I see it as criminal.

32 posted on 06/27/2014 7:26:46 PM PDT by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
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To: RKBA Democrat
 photo 10173796_689740014416818_5966907195351114322_n_zps205a1412.jpg

33 posted on 06/27/2014 7:28:11 PM PDT by Dick Bachert (Ignorance is NOT BLISS. It is the ROAD TO SERFDOM! We're on a ROAD TRIP!!)
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To: RKBA Democrat
The trusting relationships so many police officers painstakingly built within their communities have been eroded by the mindset of the warrior cop.

Warriors are not soldiers, someone said...

34 posted on 06/27/2014 7:32:31 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: RKBA Democrat

I was a police supporter, but don’t like them anymore. As far as I’m concerned they just write tickets to law abiding citizens to generate money, and do paperwork. The last ticket I got was for “running a red light”. This was at one of those red/green lights at freeway onramps that meter traffic onto the freeway. It was two lanes and both greens occur at the same time. I paused a moment to the car next to me go first, and was pulled over because the light had cycled back to red when I crossed the all important line.

So, courteous driving cost me $100, and I fought it in court. The a#%hole judge agreed the a#%hole cop was right. I crossed the line 1/4 second to late. Bulls&%t cops.


35 posted on 06/27/2014 7:33:31 PM PDT by stillfree? (Rome is Burning)
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To: cva66snipe

Not likely...

Considering nowadays they open up right in neighborhoods full of kids and innocents, shooting pets to death, which many times are in people’s yards, on their own property. This endangers everyone in the entire neighborhood...

This now occurs at a increasing frightening frequency.


36 posted on 06/27/2014 7:37:05 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: B4Ranch

There are people from Taxachusetts that actually believe that they’re not peasants...


37 posted on 06/27/2014 7:38:13 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: RKBA Democrat

it will continue.

this is all part of state dept’pub 7277, freedom from war. this is phase 2 to phase 3 in progress.


38 posted on 06/27/2014 7:43:59 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: cva66snipe

I agree with essentially all your suggestions. Unfortunately few if any will be implemented. So failing any reasonable chance of improvement, the next best option is to defund the police. Reduce their numbers to an absolute minimum and reduce the potential for bad end results.

I have little need for their “protection.”


39 posted on 06/27/2014 7:49:42 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Be a part of the American freedom migration: freestateproject.org)
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To: stillfree?
So, courteous driving cost me $100, and I fought it in court. The a#%hole judge agreed the a#%hole cop was right. I crossed the line 1/4 second to late. Bulls&%t cops.

I think it costs them 200-300 to repair a traffic sign that gets damaged by an unknown vehicle or person.

I'm just sayin'...

40 posted on 06/27/2014 7:50:11 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: RKBA Democrat

actually, they should stop arming bureaucrats like the military


41 posted on 06/27/2014 7:59:09 PM PDT by 4rcane
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To: cva66snipe

Clarence Raby, eh?


42 posted on 06/27/2014 8:04:37 PM PDT by kiryandil (turning Americans into felons, one obnoxious drunk at a time (Zero Tolerance!!!))
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To: dragnet2
Considering nowadays they open up right in neighborhoods full of kids and innocents, shooting pets to death, which many times are in people’s yards, on their own property. This endangers everyone in the entire neighborhood... This now occurs at a increasing frightening frequency.

And there is no need for it. A smart cop not wanting to be RAMBO and make it to retirement can take a little bit more time and effort and take someone into custody at minimal risk to all including themselves. Waco for example could have been prevented had they simply sent two deputies to town to catch him at the dentist officer in the chair. Innocent Kids would still be alive. The risk back at the compound would have been nil with cult leader not there. It's not about resolving a problem safely it's about power trips.

43 posted on 06/27/2014 8:08:19 PM PDT by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
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To: RKBA Democrat
I have little need for their “protection.”

Where I live any problems being a threat to me would likely be resolved by the time a deputy could get here. They're stretched too thin and they could be 20 minutes out at any time.

44 posted on 06/27/2014 8:11:32 PM PDT by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
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To: RKBA Democrat

I don’t have a problem arming our police like our military as long as civilians can also arm themselves the same way.


45 posted on 06/27/2014 8:15:28 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: kiryandil
Yeap. Raby was a trustee believe it or not & before it all started was serving time on minor charges. FIL was running the penal farm. He's bring prisoners up from the cells and haul off and hit them as hard as he could. He lived there with his daughter. She saw quite a bit of her dads recreation. She also saw one prisioner duch and her dad ram his hand into a concrete wall breaking it LOL.

Raby lived within about a mile of wardens dad and sister. I'm old enough to remember it. He carjacked my school bus driver while he was driving his pick up. He was lucky. Raby didn't kill him but he killed a store owner.

46 posted on 06/27/2014 8:20:15 PM PDT by cva66snipe ((Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?))
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To: kiryandil

the white line on the pavement!


47 posted on 06/27/2014 8:29:30 PM PDT by stillfree? (Rome is Burning)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

Those funeral customs go back to the 19th century when many big city police departments were largely Irish immigrants who brought the traditions with them. Kind of dumb to get pissed off and demand they stop now.


48 posted on 06/27/2014 8:32:25 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Hugin; Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America

Were not in the 19th Century...Gezzz

But back then they didn’t back up traffic into the next city, causing a chain reaction giant traffic jams for 20 miles on freeways and surface streets etc...

I’m not just against LEO’s doing this, I am against “ALL” funeral processions on public roads...Anywhere near one of these large mortuaries it’s a living nightmare for those living anywhere near them as it happens DAILY....

They are a clear hazard and cause unbelievable accidents and major traffic jams....Let them meet at the mortuary...Save everyone a major pain in the azz...


49 posted on 06/27/2014 8:50:23 PM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: originalbuckeye
The Sheriffs and Deputies won’t turn either.

I have no such confidence. They seem just as prone to thuggery as any other leo.

Union uber alles.

50 posted on 06/27/2014 9:32:04 PM PDT by Ken H
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