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Thread: US Rethinks Giving Excess Military Gear to Police

  1. #1

    Exclamation US Rethinks Giving Excess Military Gear to Police

    A few nights of rioting accomplished what decades of whining and SWLODs failed to do.



    US Rethinks Giving Excess Military Gear to Police

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireS...olice-25006828

    After a decade of sending military equipment to civilian police departments across the country, federal officials are reconsidering the idea in light of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.

    The public has absorbed images of heavily armed police, snipers trained on protesters and tear gas plumes. Against that backdrop, Attorney General Eric Holder said that when police and citizens need to restore calm, "I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message."

    Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said police responses like that in Ferguson have "become the problem instead of the solution." Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said he will introduce legislation to curb the trend of police militarization.

    Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department's surplus equipment is being used as intended.

    One night after the violence that accompanied the presence of military-style equipment in Ferguson, tensions eased when a police captain, unprotected and shaking hands, walked through a crowd in a gesture of reconciliation. The contrast added to the perception that the tanks and tear gas had done more harm than good.

    As the country concludes its longest wartime period, the military has turned over thousands of surplus weapons and armored trucks to local police who often trained alongside the military.


    A report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June said police agencies had become "excessively militarized," with officers using training and equipment designed for the battlefield on city streets. The report found the amount of goods transferred through the military surplus program rose in value from $1 million in 1990 to nearly $450 million in 2013.

    "Every police force of any size in this country has access to those kinds of weapons now," said David Harris, a police expert at the University of Pittsburgh law school. "It makes it more likely to be used (and) is an escalation all by itself."

    In Louisiana, masked police in full body armor carrying AR-15 assault rifles raided a nightclub without a warrant, looking not for terrorists but underage drinkers and fire-code violations. Officers in California train using the same counterinsurgency tactics as those used in Afghanistan.

    "They're not coming in like we're innocent until proven guilty," said Quinn Eaker. SWAT teams last August raided his organic farm and community, the Garden of Eden, in Arlington, Texas. "They're coming in like: 'We're gonna kill you if you move a finger.'"

    Police found no drugs or weapons and filed no charges after their search, which authorities said followed standard procedure.

    In 1990, Congress authorized the Pentagon to give surplus equipment to police to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism. Though violent crime nationwide is at its lowest level in generations and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have largely concluded, the military transfers have increased.

    Police say the equipment, which includes free body armor, night vision goggles and scopes, keeps officers safe and prepares them for the worst case.

    "A lot evolved from the military, no question," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Chief Bill McSweeney, who heads the detective division. "Is it smart for them to use that stuff and perhaps look like soldiers from Iraq going into a place? Is that smart or over the top? I'd say generally that's smart. Now, if you use that every time a guy is writing bad checks, that's getting rather extreme."

    The U.S. has provided 610 mine-resistant armored trucks, known as MRAPs, across the country, nearly all since August 2013, including at least nine in Los Angeles County, according to Michelle McCaskill, a spokeswoman for the Defense Logistics Agency.

    In rural western Maine, the Oxford County Sheriff's Office asked for an MRAP. Cpl. George Cayer wrote in his request that Maine's western foothills face a "previously unimaginable threat from terrorist activities."

    In Orange County, Florida, masked officers in tactical gear helped state inspectors raid barber shops in 2010 to find people cutting hair without a license. Using a mini battering ram and pry bar at times, police arrested dozens of people. Officials said they found illegal items such as drugs and a weapon.

    McSweeney said it's hard to argue that police shouldn't use the best equipment available.

    "It's tempting to say, 'Shouldn't we wear these things? Shouldn't we approach this as if we could get shot?'" he said. "How do you say no to that question?"

    Nick Gragnani, executive director of the St. Louis Area Regional Response System, said such supplies have proved essential in hurricane relief efforts and other disaster responses.

    "The shame of it will be ... if somebody does a brushstroke and takes out all the funding and then we can no longer be prepared for that big incident," he said.

    The LAPD's deputy chief, Michael Downing, who heads the department's counterterrorism and special operations bureau, said officers are dealing with "an adversary who is more sophisticated, more tactically trained."

    Downing emphasized that though police might train with soldiers, they're not warriors with a mission to kill but public servants with no "enemies."

    "In police work there are times we have to become soldiers and control through force and fear," Downing said. "But we have to come back to being a public servant as quick as we can to establish that normality and that ethical stature with communities, because they're the ones who give us the authority to do our police work."
    Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine 1823



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  3. #2
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    If we can't legally buy it, then they shouldn't be given it.

  4. #3
    "In police work there are times we have to become soldiers and control through force and fear,"
    A hostile standing army of occupation.

    Just as we were warned.

  5. #4
    Equipment isn't evil, men are.

    Oust the entire "Just-Us" department!
    Last edited by tod evans; 08-17-2014 at 07:13 PM.

  6. #5
    A BIT F-----G LATE!!!

  7. #6
    When SCOTUS ruled in '06 that the police are not constitutionally bound to 'protect the citizenry', their only function then became to enforce the law. They are nothing but enforcers now. That ruling not only encouraged militarizing them, but also federalizing them. I guess it's not up to each county how the police will be managed anymore if 'con'gress is now getting involved.
    Diversity finds unity in the message of freedom.

    Dilige et quod vis fac. ~ Saint Augustine

    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Above all I think everyone needs to understand that neither the Bundys nor Finicum were militia or had prior military training. They were, first and foremost, Ranchers who had about all the shit they could take.
    Quote Originally Posted by HOLLYWOOD View Post
    If anything, this situation has proved the government is nothing but a dictatorship backed by deadly force... no different than the dictatorships in the banana republics, just more polished and cleverly propagandized.
    "I'll believe in good cops when they start turning bad cops in."

    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    In a free society there will be bigotry, and racism, and sexism and religious disputes and, and, and.......
    I don't want to live in a cookie cutter, federally mandated society.
    Give me messy freedom every time!

  8. #7
    "A lot evolved from the military, no question," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Chief Bill McSweeney, who heads the detective division. "Is it smart for them to use that stuff and perhaps look like soldiers from Iraq going into a place? Is that smart or over the top? I'd say generally that's smart. Now, if you use that every time a guy is writing bad checks, that's getting rather extreme."
    ...
    McSweeney said it's hard to argue that police shouldn't use the best equipment available.

    "It's tempting to say, 'Shouldn't we wear these things? Shouldn't we approach this as if we could get shot?'" he said. "How do you say no to that question?"
    Translation: "Power? I will wield it with extreme prejudice every chance I get."

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  9. #8
    "going into a place" is where the problem is.



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RJB View Post
    A BIT F-----G LATE!!!
    That's what I was thinking, they aren't going to take it back.
    "The Patriarch"

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Deborah K View Post
    When SCOTUS ruled in '06 that the police are not constitutionally bound to 'protect the citizenry', their only function then became to enforce the law. They are nothing but enforcers now. That ruling not only encouraged militarizing them, but also federalizing them. I guess it's not up to each county how the police will be managed anymore if 'con'gress is now getting involved.
    IIRC, SCOTUS has ruled the same way 2 or 3 times before on the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RP Support me on Patreon here Ephesians 6:12

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    That's what I was thinking, they aren't going to take it back.
    I don't cuss very often but there are occasions when it's warranted.

    After a few decade of seeing this happen, I want to grab Boobus by the collar and scream, WTF did you do to my country!?

    But, meh. This is not the first time this happened to a good country. It won't be the last.

  14. #12
    Officers in California train using the same counterinsurgency tactics as those used in Afghanistan.
    I am sure this is going on all over the country not just California. I guess over half the violence is actually started by the police these days. I'm glad for things like the Bundy ranch and these riots happening because it does wake people up.
    Last edited by Working Poor; 08-18-2014 at 05:27 AM.

  15. #13
    The reason my places are armed to the teeth is not because I am worried about the farmer down the road, but uninvited guests.

  16. #14
    The second amendment wasn't intended only for the farmer down the road, unless he is a representative of the government. (but you already knew that)
    "The Patriarch"

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Deborah K View Post
    When SCOTUS ruled in '06 that the police are not constitutionally bound to 'protect the citizenry', their only function then became to enforce the law. They are nothing but enforcers now. That ruling not only encouraged militarizing them, but also federalizing them. I guess it's not up to each county how the police will be managed anymore if 'con'gress is now getting involved.
    That's always been their only duty, from the conception of the State thousands of years ago.

    It's time libertarians start attacking police as tools and defenders of the State, rather than arguing over how these tools are implemented. If you want a dollar, stop asking for 50 cents as your bargaining position.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul
    Perhaps the most important lesson from Obamacare is that while liberty is lost incrementally, it cannot be regained incrementally. The federal leviathan continues its steady growth; sometimes boldly and sometimes quietly. Obamacare is just the latest example, but make no mistake: the statists are winning. So advocates of liberty must reject incremental approaches and fight boldly for bedrock principles.
    The epitome of libertarian populism

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by RJB View Post
    I don't cuss very often but there are occasions when it's warranted.

    After a few decade of seeing this happen, I want to grab Boobus by the collar and scream, WTF did you do to my country!?

    But, meh. This is not the first time this happened to a good country. It won't be the last.
    Boobus is also a victim of the State. Who controls their education? Their very identity? It's not exactly fair to hold Boobus in contempt when they're hooked into the beast from the very moment they're born.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul
    Perhaps the most important lesson from Obamacare is that while liberty is lost incrementally, it cannot be regained incrementally. The federal leviathan continues its steady growth; sometimes boldly and sometimes quietly. Obamacare is just the latest example, but make no mistake: the statists are winning. So advocates of liberty must reject incremental approaches and fight boldly for bedrock principles.
    The epitome of libertarian populism



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RJB View Post
    After a few decade of seeing this happen, I want to grab Boobus by the collar and scream, WTF did you do to my country!?
    Wasn't me. If anything, it was all the people who refused to talk to cops like human beings. You know the type. "I know my rights!" "I want a lawyer!" "No you can't look in the trunk!"

    Jeez, I wonder why cops became so adversarial? Self-fulfilling prophecy
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  21. #18
    Police have always been the enforcement branch of the Government - the Gendarmes of the Exploiters, if you will. Bastiat shone the light on the cockroaches pretty well. This myth of 'Police are there for you, protect and serve, bladdy blah blah' is as much a Grimm Brothers fairy-tale as any other. Time to smash that myth to pieces. They're ruthless thug enforcers - the batons of the politician. Whether it's your local PD acting on behalf of some nitwit county commissioner, or the EPA goons acting on behalf of Harry Reid. $#@!'s the same. NOT YOUR FRIENDS. Treat them as you would any other armed gang or mafia member.
    School of Salamanca - School of Austrian Economics - Liberty, Private Property, Free-Markets, Voluntaryist, Agorist. le monde va de lui même

    "No man hath power over my rights and liberties, and I over no mans [sic]."

    What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.

    www.mises.org
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    An Arrow Against all Tyrants - Richard Overton vis. 1646 (Required reading!)

  22. #19
    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintain an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    Belief, Money, and Violence are the three ways all people are controlled

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Feeding the Abscess View Post
    Boobus is also a victim of the State. Who controls their education? Their very identity? It's not exactly fair to hold Boobus in contempt when they're hooked into the beast from the very moment they're born.
    No, Boobus doesn't get a pass on that, not from me anyway.

    You woke up.

    I woke up.

    Millions of us woke up.

    Yet we came from the same source.

    It is deliberate, Boobus deliberately and with free will, makes a conscious choice to ignore the clear signs before him, and run to the embrace of the state.

  24. #21
    "In police work there are times we have to become soldiers and control through force and fear," Downing said. "But we have to come back to being a public servant as quick as we can to establish that normality and that ethical stature with communities, because they're the ones who give us the authority to do our police work."
    It's just a switch they can turn off and on, trust them to know when to use it.

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jtap View Post
    It's just a switch they can turn off and on, trust them to know when to use it.
    I do, I have see the error of my ways.

    Police officers are our best protection.


  26. #23
    They will only increase the militarization. The lid will eventually blow off the fed pumping Wall Streeters billions each month to keep the bubble from bursting, but we all know that it will bust. Don't we? Asset stripping must be hitting its plateau.

    They are scared $#@!less of what the masses will do when it does and they should be.



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