The militarization of the police in Ferguson


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As wrong as the rioting in Ferguson might be, the militarization of the police there can do no good, and likely will make it worse.

More here: A massive SWAT team demands that peaceful protesters go home.

The second story includes details about the arrest of two reporters for reporting the events.

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4 comments

  • wodun

    The problem isn’t the gear but how it is used. People are using the same type of language that people who want to ban guns use. They focus on how scary they look and how gear could be used for a different purpose, war. They don’t focus on the tactics being used or the threats faced by cops.

    Police have had armored vehicles for a long time. They don’t always need them but sometimes they do. I don’t care what types of guns the cops have. Chances are, citizens have similar weapons.

    There should be some heavily armed cops at these riots but only to respond to a worst case scenario. The rest of the cops should be in standard crowd control gear, armor, shields, clubs, tear gas, ect. The front line cops should absorb abuse just like they did with OWS protesters.

    I don’t understand why the color of the pants worn by cops is an issue. I am more concerned by how they misuse their toys and authority.

  • Edward

    I am wary of reporters who make themselves the object of a report. They may be trying to advance their careers, as Dan Rather successfully did by pretending to be punched by an innocent politician at the 1968 DNC.

  • Edward

    Are we sure that it is not a war zone? Shots have been fired at aircraft, police officers, and at random (we hope). The neighborhood, too, is under attack; many buildings were broken into and looted, and a gas station was torched. One post on Behind The Black showed an armed group defending their shop, and the post talked about a second shop (gun store) likewise defended by an armed shopkeeper. The armed and angry mob has announced that they are against the police.

    All this shows that it is not a safe place, right now, and for the police to arrive in regular uniforms in order to protect the neighborhood and its citizens would suggest that they don’t take the threat to them and to the neighborhood seriously. The real shame is that those who have agitated the citizens into aggressive behavior have done no one (except for their own ambitions) any good. If Michael Brown were trying to take a police officer’s gun, then he is nowhere near as innocent as people are trying to tell us.

    I am unimpressed with the reaction of the townspeople. Not only do they seem to teach their children to react to the police by trying to take their guns, the rest of them react to the police by rioting violently. Riots so violent that shopkeepers feel that they have to arm themselves.

    So with the townspeople attacking the shops and the police, and with everyone being as armed as they can, what do you suppose the appropriate counter-reaction by the police should be?

    It may or may not be a war zone, but it certainly is not a peace zone.

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