Skip to comments.Barney Fife Meets Delta Force: Hypermilitarized police departments are more dangerous than...
Posted on 06/28/2014 10:13:01 AM PDT by Perseverando
The Pentagon has donated hundreds of MRAP vehicles to police departments nationwide.
Historians looking back at this period in Americas development will consider it to be profoundly odd that at the exact moment when violent crime hit a 50-year low, the nations police departments began to gear up as if the country were expecting invasion and, on occasion, to behave as if one were underway. The ACLU reported recently that SWAT teams in the United States conduct around 45,000 raids each year, only 7 percent of which have anything whatsoever to do with the hostage situations with which those teams were assembled to contend. Paramilitary operations, the ACLU concluded, are happening in about 124 homes every day or more likely every night and four in five of those are performed in order that authorities might search homes, usually for drugs. Such raids routinely involve armored personnel carriers, military equipment like battering rams, and flashbang grenades.
Were the military being used in such a manner, we would be rightly outraged. Why not here? Certainly this is not a legal matter. The principle of posse comitatus draws a valuable distinction between the national armed forces and parochial law enforcement, and one that all free people should greatly cherish. Still, it seems plain that the potential threat posed by a domestic standing army is not entirely blunted just because its units are controlled locally. To add the prefix para to a problem is not to make it go away, nor do legal distinctions change the nature of power. Over the past two decades, the federal government has happily sent weapons of war to local law enforcement, with nary a squeak from anyone involved with either political party. Are we comfortable with this?
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Can you say “Police State?”
Must be getting used to the police and military working together like in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Why would the St. Cloud police need a vehicle like that on the bottom of that photo? Bizarre.
If they could get the vehicles cheaply and convert them for peaceful and useful purposes, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. As they’re using them, I’ve got a big problem with it.
Remember, citizens can’t complain about police brutality if they’re dead.
We arent going to be able to stop the proliferation of the military weapons to local police forces.
Its important, however, to change those things we can, and in this case one thing to change is our perception of those weapons.
We need to begin thinking of them as resources for our side, resources being maintained and fueled for us to use when they are needed.
If the government is prohibited from using the US Military against us, they will just militarize the police. Same result. Different method.
Well the MRAP’s look scary but in reality if a semi rams one and turns it on its side what then? Its a metal bug in the road. Or if some enterprising miscreant with a .30 cal snipes those two air brake tanks in the rear undercarriage the brakes lock up and its now a bug sitting dead in the road.
I’ll venture a guess that if another unknown miscreant let off a few slap rounds the engine block would be toast and yet another bug in the road filled with para military. They have to come out sometime.
But more to the point this insanity needs to be dealt with at the official levels. The Congress and Courts are going to have to step in or we will see the public at war with the police.
There needs to be a class action lawsuit calling attention that local police departments are now as powerful, if not more so, than the military and they’re breaking the posse comitatus law. The Founding Fathers, I believe, would have made the law more about local police had they known what was coming down the pike.
The equipment in those photos are over-the-top, especially for small towns. They are Big Boy Toys, and once the departments get them they are itching to use them. After all, what’s the point of having toys if you don’t get to play with them?
This was evident in Watertown, Massachusetts after the Boston Marathon attack. A tank rolling down residential streets in the search for a suspect fleeing on foot, in hindsight, was pretty useless. But they got to play with the toys and intimidate their neighbors!
With the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan a lot of MRAPs are becoming available. They are useful is certain situations, like covering open ground under fire, evacuating victims from the same area. That doesn't mean you should roll them out every time you serve a warrant.
The bigger question should be where the money is coming from. The answer is DHS grants. How should that grant money be used? I would say the first priority should be to support common goals that are in need every day. A perfect example of this is radio systems. It is hard to claim that upgrading a radio system will lead to out of control policing. It will lead to better policing and better mutual aid ability between state, local, and federal agencies. In addition an upgraded radio system gets used every day, not once in a blue moon.
Police organizations need to really look at the way they spend money and get the most benefit with their dollars. Less flash bangs and maybe more less lethal weapons. I think SWAT teams are necessary, but they need flexibility in their tactics. No knock warrants need to be the rare exception, and tossing around flashbangs needs to be understood as stupid and unnecessary.
I am concerned because I have seen a lot more flashbang use in car take downs recently. Haven't seen any used for a house entry. I also haven't seen any warrants on dwellings where the target hasn't been spotted recently by the same officers and agents serving the warrant. This problem with hitting the wrong house or hitting the former home has not been an issue in our area, because those things are supposed to be confirmed prior to receiving a warrant.
That baby has certainly learned a lesson about drugs.
The problem with the war on drugs is that it incentivizes the pushing of drugs thus creating a need for money and it diverts the harm to innocent victims like this baby or some little old lady mugged on the street.
This would be a good time to repost the “How to disable an MRAP” thread....
It certainly does. This country learned nothing from Prohibition. Nothing.
My father was a NYPD lieutenant in the 40s, and 50s. He said the militarization of the police forces, which he saw happening after WW2, would create an ‘us against them’ attitude. He always said the best policemen were everyday working class men, like truck drivers.
Rep. Stewart Introduces Bill to De-Militarize Federal Regulatory Agencies
Washington, D.C. Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced the Regulatory Agency De-militarization (RAD) Act, which stems the trend of federal regulatory agencies developing SWAT-like teams.
In recent years, numerous federal regulatory agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Agency and the Department of Education have created their own special law enforcement teams to conduct their own arrests and raids. This is in part a product of the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which gave most Offices of Inspector General arrest and firearm authority.
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