Do Most Americans Agree That Police Militarization Is Over-The-Top?

Does a small Massachusetts police force, in a town of 10,000, need two M16’s (noted by MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki)? Do any small town (or even large city) police departments around the country need grenade launchers? How about tanks? Do most Americans agree that police militarization is over-the-top? Or, as I suspect is the case, are most Americans fine with a continued erosion of civil liberties in the name of public safety?

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Was Civil Unrest In Ferguson Inevitable?

I have one thought on Ferguson, positing that the level of protest, demonstration, and civil unrest is an indictment itself on the officer involved shooting and killing of Michael Brown. After all, do you really think the community would respond the way it has if this was a justified shooting and killing? Of course, remembering that we must not act as judge and jury, as everyone deserves due process.

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The Ferguson Military Hollywood Fantasy

I feel like the police in Ferguson, Missouri have lived in a Hollywood dream, where police and military officials regularly have their weapons trained on anybody, friend or foe, until they can ascertain whether or not it is a friend or foe. See, the problem is that this is entirely a Hollywood fantasy, and it’s part of the reason I say that police officers have a thankless and impossible job. But that is no excuse for pointing weapons at innocent citizens. Maybe someone who has served in the military can correct me, but it’s my understanding that the military are trained not to provoke a situation, and that means not pointing weapons at people who pose no threat. I’ve heard this account of military operations multiple times this week, including on Sunday’s “The Week Tonight with John Oliver” on HBO. Again, maybe someone in the military can correct me if this is wrong, but I’m beginning to think that is irrelevant anyway, because we aren’t talking about a military engagement in the Middle East, we are talking about fucking police officers in the middle of America.

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War On Drugs, The Rise Of Police Militarization

In my many recent blog posts on the police initiated war zone in Ferguson, Missouri, I’ve mentioned the increasing militarization of police forces around the country, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. I have also talked about MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles on multiple occasions. What I did not do in any of these articles was trace back to where this all started. And it should come as no shock that America’s war on drugs plays a crucial role in police department militarization.

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Ferguson, It’s Now Your Turn

The people of Ferguson, Missouri want justice, and the hostility towards law enforcement is understandable given what we know (so far) about the police shooting of Michael Brown. And with the Ferguson and St. Louis County police escalating the situation earlier in the week, using indiscriminate overwhelming force against the community, it’s also understandable that this angst has only grown in the week since the shooting.

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Yes, It Is Legal To Photograph And Record Police Actions

Because the police in Ferguson, Missouri have obstructed the free flow of information, asking and then forcing people to stop recording events, I felt it was necessary to make it clear that photography or videography are not criminal activities. Yeah, that should be obvious, but in 2014 America, unfortunately it is not.

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