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Old 06-09-2014, 01:23 PM
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Default Ongoing militarization of the United States police

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/us...ml?ref=us&_r=1

I'm sure this makes Hitcher happy.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:28 PM
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:47 PM
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An interesting note:

Suppressors (what the article calls "silencers") can change barrel resonance for more accurate support and sniper fire.

If some politicians want to argue that AR variants and other rifles with detachable magazines have no place in civilian settings, such as urban or suburban areas, then police should be prohibited from having them also.

Yet every cruiser in Maryland is equipped with an M-4 and a shotgun.

H&K claims that Baltimore City equips officers with their battle rifle.

Anyone who wishes to disarm civilians must first disarm the police, because when police are run like the military, the people become the enemy.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:22 PM
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Law enforcement agencies are paramilitary organizations, so yes, they will be run in a manner similar to the military. As far as the "militarization" crap goes, when the police start fielding tanks, artillery, and armed attack aircraft, come talk to me.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DSumner View Post
Law enforcement agencies are paramilitary organizations, so yes, they will be run in a manner similar to the military.
That's kinda scary.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DSumner View Post
Law enforcement agencies are paramilitary organizations, so yes, they will be run in a manner similar to the military. As far as the "militarization" crap goes, when the police start fielding tanks, artillery, and armed attack aircraft, come talk to me.
Drones, Tanks, and Grenade Launchers: Coming Soon to a Police Department Near You

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Thus, while recycling unused military equipment might sound thrifty and practical, the ramifications are proving to be far more dangerous and deadly. This is what happens when you have police not only acquiring the gear of American soldiers, but also the mindset of an army occupying hostile territory. In this way, the American citizen is no longer seen as an employer or master to be served by public servants like police officers. With police playing the part of soldiers on the battlefield and the American citizen left to play the part of an enemy combatant, it's a pretty safe bet that this particular exercise in the absurd will not have a happy ending.
This issue concerns me. It especially concerns me from the POV of civil liberties.

It's not that I don't want the police to be well equipped. They should have the tools they need to fight crime and to safeguard their own lives. If someone is going to die in a firefight, it should be a criminal.

When you have a hammer in your hand, everything looks like a nail. When you have a tank, something will need to be shot with it. When you have a drone aircraft, something will need to be tracked. When you have a grenade launcher, something will need to be blown up.

The police should be part of the neighborhood. They represent our collective desire for the rule of law. When they are in combat gear, with heavy equipment, they lose that connection. They become combatants, and the average person is looked at as a potential enemy.

Soldiers make terrible police. That's why we have so many stories like Lt. Lorrance. Why do we think that police will do a better job by becoming soldiers?
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by DSumner View Post
As far as the "militarization" crap goes, when the police start fielding tanks, artillery, and armed attack aircraft, come talk to me.
Just out of curiosity, why do you wrap "militarization" in quotation marks like it's some clever semantic trick? You're not normally one to play word games, DS.

When it's military surplus gear, military tactics, and military weapons, we're not talking about some trick of language anymore. It's a simple fact.

How about a quote from a county sheriff in Indiana?

Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star: "The United States of America has become a war zone. There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."

That quote alone should let the air out of your tires. I think you've read it before, too.

Does driving an armored vehicle designed to survive IEDs count? Or are you going to play games, and split hairs, and say that's technically not a tank? It has a turret, and armor, but wheels instead of tracks and no main gun.

http://www.jconline.com/story/news/2...zeal/10204009/

How about two armored Humvees? No? Still technically not tanks, I guess.

How about military grenade launchers? Salt Lake City Tribune, fact, undeniable.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57...-1033.html.csp

No, no - that's technically an infantry weapon. It's not "artillery."

One would almost suspect - if you weren't such a plain spoken, salt-of-the-earth type guy - that you chose the biggest, heaviest, least mobile pieces of equipment to represent the "military" (ha ha, I can wrap things in quotes, too!) on purpose. Police probably aren't going to get ICBMs and aircraft carriers, either.

Does that mean they can't be "militarized" until then?

If memory serves, DS, you didn't serve on a howitzer crew. You weren't a tank driver. You didn't pilot an F-15.

Does that mean you weren't in the military?

Or is there more to the military than simply the biggest, flashiest, heaviest pieces of steel?
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:52 AM
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Using military tactics and weaponry against the innocent is morally wrong.

Every person arrested is innocent under the the law until proven innocent.

Using military tactics in police situations is morally wrong.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSumner View Post
Law enforcement agencies are paramilitary organizations...
No, they are not. Military units are warriors, not keepers of the peace. It would be inappropriate and unconstitutional to set paramilitary units against the citizens of the US.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:17 AM
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While we're waiting for DSumner to think about that, here's a related story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t...-united-states

Quote:
The American Civil Liberties Union has released the results of its year-long study of police militarization. The study looked at 800 deployments of SWAT teams among 20 local, state and federal police agencies in 2011-2012. Among the notable findings:
  • 62 percent of the SWAT raids surveyed were to conduct searches for drugs.
  • Just under 80 percent were to serve a search warrant, meaning eight in 10 SWAT raids were not initiated to apprehend a school shooter, hostage taker, or escaped felon (the common justification for these tactics), but to investigate someone still only suspected of committing a crime.
  • In fact, just 7 percent of SWAT raids were “for hostage, barricade, or active shooter scenarios.”
  • In at least 36 percent of the SWAT raids studies, no contraband of any kind was found. The report notes that due to incomplete police reports on these raids this figure could be as high as 65 percent.
  • SWAT tactics are disproportionately used on people of color.
  • 65 percent of SWAT deployments resulted in some sort of forced entry into a private home, by way of a battering ram, boot, or some sort of explosive device. In over half those raids, the police failed to find any sort of weapon, the presence of which was cited as the reason for the violent tactics.
  • Ironically (or perhaps not), searches to serve warrants on people suspected of drug crimes were more likely to result in forced entry than raids conducted for other purposes.
  • Though often justified for rare incidents like school shootings or terrorist situations, the armored personnel vehicles police departments are getting from the Pentagon and through grants from the Department of Homeland Security are commonly used on drug raids.
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