“As the widow of a LEO killed in the line of duty, incidents like these riots are the very reason I will always support better equipment and more training forever and ever, Amen. Praying fervently that all officers involved make it safely home to their families after dealing with these fools! And I’m sick of hearing about ‘police militarization’. Many of things said about it sound no different than liberals whining about civilian gun ownership.” – Stephanie Holmes on TTAG Facebook post Missouri. Militarize much?
Home Quote of the Day Quote of the Day: Quit Whining About Police Militarization Edition
Spot on Ms. Holmes!
The police is not the military. No matter how much you may blind yourself to that fact. They have 100% different objectives, training, and logistics. There is no blurry line here. Police, are police, they are designed to police. To uphold the law, to protect and serve. A soldiers mission is to engage the enemies of the United States in open warfare and kill them. When your police officers see themselves as a tool of an instrument of warfare, then you will have warfare. Before the 1990s, full on riots/rebellions were to be handled by the Nation Guard, or militia, because that is a situation that goes beyond the abilities of the police.
@TBOS, I never ONCE said the police is the military. Never.
I’m aware. But you cannot logically argue that the police in the US are not being militarized. Thereby blurring the lines of the police and military. There is a reason why we have police officers to police our society, and not military patrol in our society. They are two different jobs and two different functions for the state to adhere to.
I’m confused here. Our argument for RKBA is it’s not the gun, but the person wielding it. Many here whine to disarm the police. When seconds count, the police are minutes away, but the police should call the National Guard? Seems like another anti-gun statement to me. I personally believe there should be a procedural change to determine the uses of such equipment and in the individual raid cases proper evidence presented to show justification. It wouldn’t hurt if addresses were verified beforehand.
I’m fine with them having potential access to this equipment, theoretically on a temporary court ordered release basis. I’m not fine with them being able to lock down a city, mow down old ladies in a truck, seize lawful weapons, kick people out of their own apartments and property, slam the press against a drink machine, and flash bang a baby in the wrong house, all without any repercussions. Our soldiers can’t do any of this, whats happening to the police is something else entirely.
The police do not have a constitutionally protected right to bear arms – they are a governmental agency, directed by the laws and policies derived from the citizenry. The discussion of how far we allow the police to arm themselves in response to some perceived threat is nothing at all similar to a discussion of the rights of an armed citizenry. It’s more like a discussion of how big should dump trucks be that the city road department buys: it’s a policy question. The question to be answered is: do tooled up police present a bigger danger to the average citizen than a modestly armed force that’s trained in community policing and not so much on military/SWAT tactics. Many believe they do pose such a threat.
The police share the same right to bear arms as we do. As do all civilians, badged or not. The difficulty is in the arms that are borne, and by whom. Battlefield arms do not belong on city streets except in the most extreme circumstances.
I don’t see how police without an MRAP but with poor training, poor leadership, and a local court system that swings far enough left to not only allow but encourage behavior like what you’re talking about, won’t be able to do the exact same thing. Are there bad things happening, and more often? Yes. Do some of these departments let the equipment and cool-guy attitude start to drive their procedures? Yes.
To blame the behavior of one group (police) on the equipment they use, but to say that the behavior of another group (regular non-uniformed everyday people) won’t be affected by the equipment they use is kind of ridiculous. Depending on who you’re talking to, holding an AR will cause you to either become an active shooter, engage in movie style Wild West gunfights at the slightest provocation, or turn into a Nazi. Or… do absolutely nothing different, because it’s a tool.
How many MRAPs were used in stop and frisk?
Defens, you hit the nail on the head.
The police are made up of citizens from the comunity and as such enjoy the same constitutional rights as you and me. My point was simply that the tools are not the problem, we should be looking at scrutinizing how they are used. The use of force by any individual or group should be examined for justification. So as far as “do police need certain equipment?”, I’ll remind you that there are several politicians asking whether we “need” AR15s and magazines that hold more than 7 rounds. I’ll not use emotion to dictate what is needed, only logic to determine whether the use was proper.
Almost all the basic guns used by police and regular citizens are battlefield arms, so the claim that battlefield arms have no place on city streets I do not agree with. The question is more what kinds of battlefield arms.
And police do not have any right to keep and bear arms as police. As ordinary citizens, they have that right while at home and out and about when off-duty, but in terms of what a police department should have, that should be dependent on what is needed.
The police are an instrument of government. The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict government, not citizens. If you permit the government the means, it has been proven to find ways to assert itself over it’s constituency. Think government agencies, carve outs, special permissions not afforded to “civilians”. This is happening now. It’s been happening for decades. This problem is growing.
This is why all police must be demilitarized.
You’re correct in stating that the police are no the military. However; law enforcement evolves and adapts to the current crimes. In the early 1950’s there was no need for Swat teams. However as mass shootings began to pose as a problem to law enforcement, such as the 1966 Austin bell tower incident in which Charles Whitman, a marine who fired uninterruptedly for 96 minutes injuring 32 and killing 16, proved too much for the ill equipped and poorly trained officers. Shortly thereafter, LAPD formed the first Swat team. Most mass shootings are over within 12 to 15 minutes. It is inconceivable to expect the national guard to mobilize and respond that quickly. Another case study we can use is the 1997 North Hollywood Bank robbery in which two suspects covered in body armor, sprayed bullets from fully automatic AK-47’s. At the time, officers only carried sidearms and shotguns. Officers had to go into pawn shops to borrow AR-15’s since their rounds wouldn’t penetrate the armor. After this incident, it became standard for officers to carry AR-15’s. There are numerous incidents leading up to more recent and notable ones such as Aurora Colorado, Sandy Hook and the Boston Bombing which dictate what equipment the police NEED in order to restore safety during and after an event. When we can get our crime problem under control, then one day maybe the police won’t need this equipment but the FBI states there is an average of 20 mass shootings per year with approximately 100 victims each year. To reiterate, law enforcement is reactive. Bad guys use military weapons and tactics, so wouldn’t you want the police to have an equal advantage, especially if it was a mall shooting where your loved ones were out shopping?
Police are worse. Soldiers can’t do 1/4 of the crap they pull. They operate with impunity, they are never held accountable, they are waaaaaay safer, they have better equipment and weapons (HP ammo and billet .308 sniper rifles, wtf) and THEY GET TO GO HOME EVERY DAY. Emphasis theirs. I’m sick of it, they are worse than the teamsters.
@B, careful B, your jealousy is starting to show. But here is a tip: you too can have a billet .308!
Not in some states.
@Jus Bill, well now that is a shame and it’s a problem that voters in those states need to rectify.
At what point does the militarization of police, turn us into a military state?
@Seth Hill, we become a police state when the people fail to stop voting for the out of control POLITICIANS that make a police state an inevitability.
So 13 years ago basically.
@B, you are being generous. I’d put it much further back that 13 years ago.
There’s a difference between using an MRAP and camo-clad SWAT teams to serve a no-knock warrant for unpaid parking tickets and responding to legitimate riot. At least for the first night or two, I’d wager a “militarized” response was the correct and prudent one.
And when the above actually happens we can re-open the debate about this.
How about this: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Shots-Fired-at-Springfield-Va-Home-221693811.html
Guy and girlfriend get into an argument, the girlfriend calls the Police telling them he has guns in the house, the Police come with MRAP in tow, guy “barricades” himself behind a screen door, Police shoot and kill him.
and still nothing
You’re kidding, right? Cops have been running around in army uniforms and isssued body armor for about a decade. Simple google search for pics.
There is ZERO reason for cops to be wearing camo — OF ANY KIND. It goes against everything the police are supposed to be.
You should factor into your wager odds the fact that the protests became more orderly when the police activities were de-escalated.
The woman’s got a point.
If we start labeling any cop with a long gun or extended mag duty pistol as being “militarized”, how long will it be before Capitol Hill applies the term “militarization” to a farmer with a bolt action Ruger?
Remember, the thugs don’t have arms restrictions and do use full auto weapons.
about the same time the politicians start labeling Americans as “extremists” and “domestic terrorists”.
Seems I just read this story earlier.
DHS labeling tea parties and others as extremists and dangerous anti-gov types.
Well, they have already tried once, some years ago, when some Congressman decided we needed to ban “sniper rifles”.
I for one don’t question their occasional need for some heavier equipment, nor do I question the need for SWAT teams. I do question their over-use of these resources. A warrant for a no-knock raid shouldn’t be easy to get, and shouldn’t even be sought without damn good cause. In fact, even if they are serving a warrant on someone they have good cause to believe is extremely dangerous, in most cases they should be able to give some kind of verbal notice and give the suspect the chance to surrender. If our nation’s police forces, both local and federal, acted in a lawful manner, this wouldn’t be an issue.
[Granted, there may be special circumstances, which is why I hesitate to say they should absolutely never break in a door without warning. But I think at minimum they should have to make a very convincing case to a judge, both before and after the event].
No one is saying a cop shouldn’t have a long gun in the trunk. We’re saying they don’t need free MRAPs and don’t need to trot out sniper rifles and assault teams to serve warrants. Or treat the looting of five stores as a reason to impose the equivalent of martial law for days without any authorization to do so.
Full auto? Unless you are referring to the thugs which are the police, who have, pissing on the rights and rule of law in Ferguson, have illegal arrested journalists, teargassed them, shot beanbags at the cameramen…no, full auto is extremely rare in criminal activity.
On one hand, we want a smaller federal govt. but we don’t object to the feds handing over ex military equipment to the local cops which makes them more like the feds that we don’t like…..?
I, for one, want a smaller government and I object to the Feds giving surplus military gear to the local cops.
This is the most ass backwards crap i’ve read all morning. Sorry guys, but the police are way over-militarized. When the main defense of owning firearms is to protect ourselves from a tyranical government, yet we encourage them tooling up in this manner, it’s comical.
Agreed. Showing force like a military occupation to protestors was the wrong move:http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/14/with-highway-patrol-hugs-and-kisses-replace-tear-gas-in-ferguson/
Any force-on-force engagement should have been directed at looters. Of course, there are lazy thinkers and opportunists here who want to conflate the two groups. The problem is that it feeds the kind of jackboot thinking that increases militarization and adversely affects ever citizen-officer interaction.
In other words, that kind of muddled, self-serving thinking will bite them in the ass.
@Scott, well then, I guess us civvies are also “militarized” and need to be stopped.
Total logic fail.
We ‘civvies’ don’t have qualified immunity.
We ‘civvies’ don’t have legal authority to obtain warrants and enter people’s homes…unannounced in some cases.
We ‘civvies’ don’t get to put handcuffs on people for ‘talking back’ while the official document says “Disturbing the Peace” or “Obstruction of Justice” or some such.
As someone who has been in law enforcement and underwent a lot of training about the incredible responsibility police have to not abuse their “powers,” I find your attempt at moral equivalence completely laughable.
The second amendment appears to contradict that. As we are all no doubt aware, it was intended (at least in part) to act as a check against the use of the government’s military against the people. In some cases, the police behave in a military manner against the people. Logic therefore dictates the need for more civilian militarization to counter that.
@danthemann5, on that we agree. I just don’t agree that cops need to be “barneyfifed” to please rioters or other associated mouth breathers.
What we saw at the beginning of the week was a Police Riot right out of the 60s. When the police shoot and gas a camera crew and reporter next to their truck and then attempt to lie about what was caught on tape (i.e., the AJ-US crew), it shows cops that are high on a power trip and the smell of blood.
Will any of them be punished? Naah, not even with a paid vacation. If that was Military or National Guard, there would be Hell to pay – courts martial and jail time.
And when I can waltz into someone’s yard, unannounced, waste their dog, and get a paid vacation as a result, I’ll worry about it.
@Dyspeptic Gunsmith, is that something you do routinely?
Tell you what, let’s go ahead and let the police keep their MRAPs. But then, in true 2A fashion, lets make it easier for us everyday citizens to access TOW missiles, anti armor mines, and AT4’s.
@TBOS, why stop there?
I am truly sorry for your loss. Unfortunately in America cops jobs are supposed to be hard. Thats our system. The rights of a soveriegn people come before the safety of Law Enforcement officers. I respect the work that LEO’s do. I myself served for a time as a Military Policeman. It was the worst duty assignment I had in my enlistment. The higher ups had the worst sense of self righteous contempt for the citizens they served, and the Men and Women under thier care. The hours were long, 14-16 hour work days. No respect from your peers working in different jobs. Bottom line. The cops in Ferguson are utilizing more force than neccessary, better equipment than many active duty deployable Military units, and in numbers that are far higher than normal.
@Joe, “…better equipment than many active duty deployable Military units..” That is more or less a bullshit statement. Many active duty deployable Military units have many different missions, from cooking and serving chow to conducting direct action missions/special missions unit. Apples and oranges. Broadbrush much?
umm those guys are better equipped better than guys that went into iraq in 2003 ive shown the picture to regular and national guard guys and they have even said that those cops have better kit than they have …..
@S.dogood, wow. Quite the measuring stick. What “kit” (how British of you) a soldier wore in 2003 v. what a cop wears in 2014. Drawing that logic out, that 2003 soldier of today has better “kit” (in keeping with the British theme here) that a German soldier of 1943…..does that mean the 2003 soldier is some super Nazi?
I think maybe equipment in 2003 just kind of sucked. I was in Iraq in 2007-2008, and we had somewhat better gear than what you’re seeing in most of these news stories. Certainly better than I was issued when I got out of the Army and got hired as a cop.
@El Mac – seriously? Nazi’s already?
RULE #1: “whoever says ‘Nazi’ or ‘Fascist’ first, loses.” And Godwin’s law is validated again. Still.
@Abunai, thank you for making my point. TTAG is all about Godwin’s Law.
The pictures that I saw here shows what appears to be SWAT team members (militarized police)…. If someone is shooting at cops, you can bet SWAT teams will response.
Rioters can toss any number of items at police. Bricks, rocks, containers filled with toxic liquids…..should cops be dressed in their regular gear to face that? I’d prefer a hard hat and other protective gear.
Unless it is preferable to let looters “vent” their frustration (and renew their stock of electronic gear) at someone else’s expense?
And now everyone is holding hands and singing kumbaya because those meanie military looking COPS are replaced by state cops. Or maybe after 5 days they just got tired of rioting & looting…
Or maybe because the state cops told Andy and Barney to put the Bearcats and camo away and stopped looking like they were the Egyptian Army dealing with the rioters in Cairo.
Standing ovation for Stephanie Holmes, instead of talking about police militarization lets have a talk about accountability and more effectively dealing with bad/negligent cops the same as we would any other murderer/criminal.
Its the same argument we use against Shannon and her ilk there are millions o flaw abiding gun owners in the country so lets not blame everyone for the handful of psychopaths. Likewise, good cops with M4’s are a good thing, bad cops with even just a sharp stick are a bad thing.
@Tex300BLK, AMEN! Thank YOU for posting some logic.
Hear,hear……thumbs way up!
I cant tell if you’re a boot licker or throne sniffer or both.
Stephanie, there are many of us that agree and see the hypocrisy.
Agreed, which is why the public should have the same access to the same hardware..
I hope, one day, that all law enforcement agencies are replaced by flying drones with death rays.
Attention citizen! You are in violation of state penal code x.7.222-012. zzzzzzzzappppp
everybody makes it home safely.
Yes, the Enclave eye-bots are here.
I just want my Pip-Boy and get the Run ‘n Gun perk. I also need to bump up my Luck in my SPECIAL stats.
“The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot. 209 is currently programmed for urban pacification, but that is only the beginning.”
Evidence is clear that SWAT teams along with vehicles and weapons donated to local law enforcement by the U.S. Department of Defense have been used in a variety of small or petty vice and other law infractions. The ever-increasing use of these military vehicles and weapons is not giving some local enforcement agencies quite the publicity they thought. In some cases such as the first days of riotous actions of a few in this situation may have been prudent, though next month probably not.
Do police need the capabilities provided by their “militarized” equipment? Yes. Certain situations demand that level of response. Riots, hostage situations, and heavily armed criminals call for more than a service pistol and a blue cloth uniform. The real issue with “police militarization” is the overuse of those capabilities. I sympathize with the need to keep officers safe in dangerous situations, but too often the police are creating those situations. Is a no-knock raid really necessary to nab the small-time neighborhood pot dealer? Sure, if you knock on his door he may flush the drugs. But if you kick it down, you might start a gunfight. Is busting him for dealing pot really worth somebody’s life? Police need more restraint and more wisdom in how they use their capabilities.
I think most people believe that police should have the equipment they need, but I think most people would like police departments to understand when it is appropriate to field military style assault gear and when it is not appropriate. I just read an article where police put away their military looking assault gear in Missouri, and it had a measurable calming effect on the protesters. From my days in military law enforcement, we were always conscious of when it was appropriate to bring out Kevlar helmets and other assault gear. We knew that the general populous did not want to have the image that they lived in a police state, and if they saw us dressed to kill on a lot of calls…well, it was simply not an option. Generally, there is a concept of escalating force and minimum force. If you respond with military style assault gear instead of standard equipment, that is an escalation of force. You have already indicated to your opponent that you are ready to kill. Not a good thing in police work.
I think the real problem with police militarization is not the gear itself, but the lack of accountability when that gear and those tactics are misused.
I’d be willing to bet that if cops that shoot innocent dogs and or shoot people just because the stand off was going long got convicted of the crime they committed, a lot of anti-militarization talk would subside.
Further, couple that with getting rid of no-knock warrant service, an activity which is blatantly immoral, or again, simply punish those that abuse that, and it would help a lot.
It’s the one set of rules for them, one set of rules for us that has become commonplace that makes people VERY uncomfortable about the gear they are accumulating.
I am hardly a liberal. I am also a retired LEO and in fact, i spent my last couple of years as a cop as the chief of my department.
Of course, that was long ago. That was when the national crime index was over twice as high as it is now and more than twice as many cops were killed on duty every year.
We didn’t have armored vehicles, didn’t have M16/M4 rifles and mostly we we were armed with six shot revolvers and only twelve additional rounds.
Somehow, without all all of the military equipment, we manage to protect and serve and were able to protect society without using the intimidation of over powering force.
I just got in an argument on another forum with some young stud police warrior who was trying to justify his department’s need for belt fed automatic weapons.
Seriously, modern day policing is becoming tyrannical
Yes sir. If anyone’s idea of “proper policing” is a police officer mowing down waves of people in the US city streets with 240B then there’s one place for them. A member of ISIS.
Iraq ISIS or Archer ISIS. I could see this as valid in either case.
Hahahaha! yes it really could be either…
Great response. I for one believe there has been to big of a mental shift in policing in general. It’s sad to say but it is true.
At the national, state, and local level we have moved away from community policing. People are likely to commute pretty big distances to work and police work certainly isn’t the exception. We have also trained officer to be more aggressive than ever.
Boston gave us a glimpse of what the Police could become nationally and how they may react to crime. Is that what we want future Americans to grow up in? I certainly don’t want that for the future.
Your comment about training triggered a memory. Right after 9-11 the NYPD sent their SWAT teams to Israel to learn “crowd control tactics”. The LAPD also sent a group over. Those trips were funded by DHS, who tasked them to train other police across the US in those tactics.
Now we’ve seen what that training produced – a “twice told tale” of naked aggression and intimidation. Ferguson looked like Gaza. Give people military equipment and a military mindset (i.e., “other people’ are enemy, not employers) and they will act like military every chance they get.
You just so happened to ignore the fact that Hamas (the chosen leaders of people of Gaza) has it in their written and published charter the destruction of Israel and its people.
I remember when the NYC police went to Israel. And yet, if you remember the afternoon and evening of the attacks in New York, 100,000s of people calmly walked the streets to get home in a quiet and orderly fashion. There wasn’t mass looting or violence. And if there was ever a day where a person could loot at will and get away with it, that was the day.
doesky2, Hamas has nothing to do with Ferguson and the way the police reacted. The Israeli training has everything to do with Ferguson and the way the police reacted. Understand my point now?
bontai Joe, the police went to Israel after 9-11, since DHS didn’t exist before then and so could not have paid for their trip and training.
“Seriously, modern day policing is becoming tyrannical”
And largely lazy.
It’s easier to tool up and roll over a suspect with an MRAP (hyperbole for colorful effect) than to try to talk him out or actually perform due diligence for corroboration of CI information before running a no-knock.
“Seriously, modern day policing is becoming tyrannical”
Well said, Bud. Over the years in various CJ programs, I worked with numerous experienced officers I think you’d identify with. Most were friends, most were former military, several were combat veterans, and every single one had a clear-eyed understanding of what his job was. These guys were Peace Officers, first and foremost. While they were the bad guys worst enemies, they also saw themselves as protectors of their communities. One thing they understood well was the need to communicate to others just who’s side they were on. Criminologists call this “community policing” and a big part of this is simply Not Setting Yourself Apart.
The other afternoon, I got a big dose of just how much things have changed. I’d stopped at a Shell station on I-35 and was talking to a kid about my car when an almost-unmarked Crown Vic pulled up and parked. The officer who got out was about 30—shaved-head, robo-cop-operator sunglasses, studied, I’m-a-bad-ass expression. Ok . . . As I usually do with cops, I nodded and said hello. Now in Texas and southern US, acknowledging a greeting is absolutely expected. Not acknowledging a greeting is rude in the extreme and essentially says “f**k-you”. It is simply not done. And it is especially not done by people who are on the public payroll. Yet, this is exactly what this young cop did—no change in expression, stared straight ahead, and walked right by us as though we didn’t exist. The message was quite clear. Now, in truth, while this was a trivial social interaction, I think it’s emblematic of the changes going on with America’s police forces. What I encountered was a guy who thought it was important to maintain a marked social distance that his more senior colleagues would never permit. This is not a good thing.
And yet warrants are being served for shell casings in DC, unregistered baby deer in WI, and for marijuana all over the nation. That’s bullshit. If a flashbang goes off in my son’s crib, and burns my son, then someone has just declared war on my home.
As a cop I’m twice as likely to die in a car crash as by the actions of a suspect. There are times when police appropriately use additional protection such as riots, hostage situations, and when responding to an actual shooting.
When the EPA and the IRS have SWAT teams, its clear that taxpayers are on the hook for too many police with too many expensive toys.
Warrants a bit off subject for the starting topic but when a warrant turns from something to be served to something that allows breaking into someone’s home without warning is not what America is supposed to be about. So, we have essentially a government (judicial) authorized unconstitutional break in by a heavily armed government agency (police or otherwise), are we not in trouble as we speak?
I’m sorry folks, but this woman has it all wrong. I’m sorry for her loss, but this police militarization has to stop. This is what real leadership looks like:
Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson took over the situation, told all the officers to ditch the SWAT riot gear, and walked amongst the protestors. Just like magic, riots OVER. What is so hard to understand about the fact that if you posture up for a fight, you are going to get one. We are still animals at our core, and we pick up instantly when another human being gives us the “I’m here to put you in your place, and I will use force to do it” vibes. If police officers stopped acting like an occupying army and treating their fellow humans like bugs that need to be squashed, there would be a lot less animosity towards their profession.
This is still America, and we (or at least some of us) still cherish the right to free speech. Regardless of what specifically sparked the confrontation between the cop and Brown, you have a police officer that chased an unarmed young man, shot him, and when he turned around with his hands up in surrender, the officer simply gunned him down. That’s sounds a lot like state sanctioned murder to me. The problem that people have with police militarization is not with the gear, it’s with the attitude. It’s clear that too many cops believe that they are the masters. People are always going to have a problem with that.
Agree 100%. Part of the problem is that the cops are not getting MRAPs and similar toys ‘just in case,’ but they intend to roll in it as much as possible. Either to to signal their dominance or to execute the most menial of tasks which in no way warrant the use of said military toys. The cops are being trained to see their town as a battlefield and the citizens as enemies. Why else would they need their battlefield toys to use them as much as possible with total impunity?
There was a discussion on the same subject a few posts back. Some folks claim that we, civilians, are being hypocritical of the cops, since we want/use similar gear, which is described as ‘military’ by the anti-gunners. This position fails to take into account the fact that our guns, ammo and other tactical gear is for fun, for training and for self-defense. In other words, it’s good to have it just in case, like a fire extinguisher. Cops, on the other hand, act in almost total impunity (and are encouraged to do so by their handlers). They are being pro-active and have the legal authority over others, which we don’t. They have powers which we don’t, they can take actions (arrest, etc), which we can’t, and they use and abuse these and other powers on a daily basis. Give them more deadly equipment, train them to use it with no limitations, with impunity, and they will. They will also abuse it. They don’t acquire this gear or weapons for the same reasons we do, to be safe just in case something happens. They are told be aggressive. Well, if that’s their training and the equipment, there can only be one result. And that’s tyranny. Whether it’s on a small or large scale, it’s dangerous either way.
I am not a liberal, What I do worry about is the government doing an end run around the constitution and the posse comototus act, by making the police a quizi military and sicking them on us because a majority of the officers will actually follow the constitution and not order their troops on the citizenry of this nation. IMHO 🙂
PLEASE excuse my poor spelling. 🙁
Truly Sorry for your loss. Would BDU, kevlar helmet, suppressed m4, plate armor and an mrap prevented the situation that cost your husband his life? Again sorry for your loss.
The annual report from the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found that deaths in the line of duty generally fell by 8 percent and were the fewest since 1959.
According to the report, 111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide in 2013.
Forty-six officers were killed in traffic related accidents, and 33 were killed by firearms. The number of firearms deaths fell 33 percent in 2013 and was the lowest since 1887.
That works out to 1.56 per 100,000.
Cab driver deaths are 19.7 per 100,000.
I have to admit she has a point. My buddy told me about a Texas state wildlife officer who was showing off his full auto M-16 and I said “What the hell does he need that for?”
As soon as I said it I thought wait, that’s the same BS the liberals say about my AR-10/15s. Makes you go Hmmmmm, doesn’t it?
As an individual citizen, he should have the right to own whatever firearms he wants.
There’s still a difference between that, and being ordered to brandish/use it against the community he “serves and protects”.
I wasn’t clear I suppose. This was a duty weapon.
The government already has those for an organization known as the military. A police officer may privately own whatever they want, but as an officer on duty they are no longer just a normal citizen and now a force of the state. As a force of the state, their perceived mission is not be kitted in full military gear, but police gear, because they are the police and not the military. If the police become inadequate for the situation at hand, it then becomes the job of the National Guard to return the area to order, so the police may police again. A postal worker may be ambushed at any given time, but should postal workers be militarized? No. That is not their function as a member of the states authority.
Yeah Hummm, as in ” why are they preventing the public from owning M16’s?
The difference is that police equipment should be in response to an actual operational need.
If this officer owned that weapon as part of his personal collection, hey great. That’s his right. But as part of his issued equipment, to be carried every day, justification is needed. The crime rate nationally is on a decades-long downward trend. If it were the exact opposite, then maybe this sort of thing would be a reasonable response. If police officers were regularly being ambushed by multiple assailants, then it might be called for.
I have no issues with the police having access to military-style hardware per se. It’s the fact that they don’t have sound tactics on when and where to use it that is the problem. Heavily armed gang robbing a bank – authorized use. Terrorist invasion – authorized use. Breaking up a peaceful protest – not an authorized use. Subduing common criminals (thieves, drug users, serving warrants) – not an authorized use. When you use commonsense, this stuff is pretty cut & dry. When you adopt an us versus them attitude (specifically in regards to community relations), your judgement is open to fair criticism.
Individual rights are not to be parceled out on the basis of a specific individual “need”. For the lefties out there, consider whether you are willing to give the State the prerogative to decide “does she really need an abortion?”. Taxpayer-funded equipment for public servants with specific duties and limitations is surely properly the subject of a “need” analysis.
Love the fact that, as civvies, we can have access to AR & AK.
Facts are that the police will always have, at least, the same. Logical, they may be faced by that type of weaponry…. That’s how arms races escalate…..
The issue is not one of equipment, it is of mentality. I fully recognize that there are situations where an MRAP really is the best tool. The problem is that these tools are being distributed freely to departments where the mentality is not protect and serve but control and dictate. It’s no better than giving a 3-year old fireworks and hoping that they use them properly; eventually they are going to do something stupid.
The equipment is a symbol of police forces that have completely lost touch with the citizens they are supposed to protect. We need to be focusing on punishing the people responsible for abusing this equipment to intimidate and exert power, not worrying about the symbol itself.
EXACTLY. It’s the same idea as “guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” “MRAPS don’t abuse the public trust, cops do.”
+1000. Spot on.
Exactly! that is the point
What a surprise, my comment was deleted. Why is it that this comment’s discussion wasn’t good enough on the previous story and we need to rehash the entire militarization debate AGAIN here with nothing added?
Only if you ignore the fact the Police did exactly what I said they should be doing to break the riot. De-escalate, talk. De-escalate and talk some more. And guess what, the police put away their tacticool toys, actually started talking to the community, and the riots were over almost instantaneously. Military actions against a civilian population only creates more unrest. As it should. If 2A supporters were having a protest and the police started harassing them, you wouldn’t be defending the police. People are just being hypocrites. Were there bad actors that caused most of the violence? Absolutely. There always is. But you go after them. You don’t attack peaceful protesters in the process.
Seems to me that the State patrol had better results at ” policeing” then the Militarized Police did… the proof is in the pudding… Bummer about your Husband, But the old adage applies… Force is met with force.
I’m sick of it being dismissed as “whining” when people voice their political concerns. It’s an empty rhetorical trick.
The problems in Ferguson started because of police militarization and won’t be solved by further militarization.
As a Marine, I am all for training and accountability, and I believe this is the biggest issue for police nowadays.
There is a reason why there is a military and a police force. The distinction of the two seperate entities stems from their two different objectives. The military fights the enemies of the state. The police protect its citizens. If either entity attempts to fulfill both capacities, then ultimately, the citizens become the enemy of the state. This absolutely cannot and should not happen. I’m open to everyone’s thought’s on this.
IMO if you need MRAPs, UAVs, FA weapons and the like to maintain peace and order then you should be calling in the National Guard since that’s what exactly the reason why you have the National Guard.
Turning the police into a pseudo-millitary will only make things worse. “when all you have is a hammer, a real good hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail” paraphrased somewhat from the documentary “Dirty Wars”.
The whole “get them home safe” nonsense police work being behind cab drivers, roofers, fishermen and other of plain ordinary non-militarized professions in terms of danger, there is a working theory with quite a few backers in the field of law enforcement that says police gearing up actually puts them more at risk. A threatening presence begets a threatening reaction. The very act of wearing camo itself being an escalating action inviting a more extreme reaction.
But some cop died so lets all stop thinking and considering and just “look at this dead cop!”
I fished for crab for one season… prolonged, immediate danger hr after hr…No back up, no public support.. no pension, no insurance for my wife and kid… But my choice, so non expected.
Why is it that nobody ever mentions how many jobs are more dangerous than police work (entirely correct, no disagreement from me), and then goes on to say maybe we should do something to make deep sea fishing, logging, and the like, less dangerous? Why is it that we just accept those guys doing jobs that need to be done will be killed at a high rate?
The issue is less about the equipment they need for their protection versus how it is used and deployed.
DOE SWAT Team Raids House. Over A Student Loan.
DoE uses SWAT for defaulted student loan.
SWAT and the gear they use has in the past been for when necessary. Yes, it makes sense in the case of a riot. The problem is that by taking out the heavy gear early, did they simply make things worse? It make sense in a hostage situation or a bomb situation — but over and over we have seen it being abused. Do you need a no-knock raid for a single joint? for a student loan? For parking tickets? To serve divorce papers?
SWAT and proper equipment to do their job are all necessary. What people are saying is that it has gone to far. Both the military style training and the expensive toys and how they are deployed. It does not and I do not support it being taken away but it is way over done.
The same ones screeching about the big wayciss police are the same ones screeching about killing the Bundy supporters.
Clearly these cops haven’t been properly indoctrinated on who they’re supposed to be shooting. Liberal protesters burning and looting are a no no, but open up on the molon labe crowd.
Watching the progs float and sputter over this one is just too funny. The wayciss cops are out of control…but they need the big bad cops to kill all the teabillies when the time comes because god knows they don’t have the balls or shooting skills to pull it off.
If you connected one of them to a current the spinning would give us perpetual energy.
Sounds like more of the “Us vs. Them” mentality that only escalates the situation.
I’m sorry for your loss, but assaulting and/or shooting innocent/unarmed protesters will not bring your husband back and is more likely to cause someone else to loose their husband/wife/mother/father/sister/daughter/etc.
It sounds like Stephanie Holmes would have made a great Nazi in 1930’s Germany.
Lets stop with the whole “Make it home safe” thing shall we.
How about “Sit in my own home without having a SWAT raid over unpaid student loans, suspicion of running a poker game, or a small amount of pot”.
I’ve been a LEO for almost a decade and I stop people when they try to go into uniform worship. Why not hope truck drivers, roofers, and everyone else makes it home safe.
The truth is that with more and more cameras and technology, people will really see what goes on with a lot of police departments and slogans like “make it home safe” will vanish.
How people can spend more than 5 minutes on http://photographyisnotacrime.com/ and not have a paradigm shift is beyond me.
I hope everyone on TTAG makes it home safe 🙂
I don’t mind police having carbines and body armor. Hell, I’m fine with armored cars too.
It’s the ‘this guy might have an ounce of weed, let’s blast his door off the hinges, and shoot his dog in the face, while throwing flashbangs all willy-nilly’ attitude that I have a problem with.
if you read the Federalist Papers, you would read that the intent of the 2A was too keep the public even with the government. So, as long as the police don’t mind a militarized public, what/s the problem?
But lets be honest about the militarization of the police….they have now become the protectors of the government as opposed protecting and serving the public. The militarization allows the Government to bypass posse comitatus.
And now the Reddit /r/guns community has given these tactifools the burn:
Lets take a look at the riot in St. Louis. When the police came out in their kneepads, afghanistan helmets and forest camo (yes forest camo), the aggression between parties escalated. Now we have gun fire, molotovs, tear gas grenades, etc. Police should respect the people whom pay their salaries and pensions. Granted some of the rioters are breaking the law and performing crime which should not be condoned (kind of like dumping tea into the river a long time back). The police should be working on deescalating the situation – not asserting their government approved authority while launching grenades at people from armored vehicles. Cladding themselves in Afghanistan style gear fuels a cycle of threat and fear that escalates both sides.
I agree with Int19h comment:
This earlier post I made pretty much sums up my views:
I have no problem with police having MRAPs.
• I have a problem with police mentality changing from public servants to militants following orders.
• I have a problem with police not knocking on your door, but smashing it in and running inside with barrels pointed in your face.
• I have a problem with police arresting journalists in a McDonalds in Ferguson, MO because they didn’t follow their orders fast enough.
• I have a problem with police ordering said journalists to stop filming and turn off the recorders.
• I have a problem with police ordering said journalists to leave the vicinity (a private establishment) or be arrested.
• I have a problem with police arresting journalists in a McDonalds on the basis of “trespassing” when no complaint whatsoever has been made by the owning establishment.
• I have a problem with police getting mad at 18 year olds that don’t follow their orders and shoot them in the back while they run away (if this is the case).
• I have a problem with police repeatedly shooting 18 year olds who are unarmed, have their hands up, but yet are repeatedly being shot (if this is the case).
• Lastly, I have a problem with police thinking they can order people anywhere to do anything they want, and if they don’t do it, they slap them with one of the following catch-alls: Trespassing, obstruction of justice, failure to follow a lawful order.
But honestly – if the Police need MRAPs, APCs, Tanks, mounted machine guns, etc to combat american citizens, they seriously need to reflect back upon the constitutionality of their actions, and the purposes of the citizens actions and the morality of their actions as police officers combating those citizens.
Those statements are as valid here as when you first made them.
But would police do those sorts of things if they weren’t equipped for storming Fallujah?
How quick would they be to smash in doors without automatic weapons, flash grenades, riot gear, infrared? Would they maybe slow down and ask themselves whether there was a better way to achieve their aims?
The first time I remember being really shocked to see gestapo-like police in America was during the Elian Gonzales debacle. I thought, “Why are goons dressed in riot gear, brandishing submachine guns storming a private citizen’s home to retrieve a five-year old child?” These days, it’s almost commonplace to see those sorts of images.
Let me quote the Feckless One, President Barack Obama, from a speech delivered on July 2nd, 2008 in Boulder, Colorado. in which he promised the creation and establishment of a “Civilian National Security Force.” He further promised it would be “just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the US Military.”
And which administration has tripled the shipment of armored vehicles and machine guns (yes, a full-auto AR is a “machine gun”) to the police since taking office? And which administration has used federal funding to insert DHS “liaison personnel” into many police departments? Hint: It isn’t George Bush.
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and acts like a duck ….
It’s good that someone remembers recent history. Thank you.
Yes, I remember that recent history! The president was calling for a terrifying expansion of civilian volunteer organizations like the Peace Corp!
The “civilian national security force” was a play on words – instead of relying solely on the military to further America’s interests, Obama was saying that we should employ more American soft power and volunteerism as a “force” to do good.
Here’s more of what he said, this time in context. Context is the enemy of propagandists.
We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We need to use technology to connect people to service. We’ll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where American can browse opportunities to volunteer. You’ll be able to search by category, time commitment and skill sets. You’ll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities.
This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up.
The first part of the quote was cut-off for some reason, but here is what Obama said immediately before what I posted above.
We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we’re going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.
We’ve got to have a civilian national security force…
So how does this description of a “Civilian SECURITY Force” fit into your peaceful kumbaya agency context:
“..just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the US Military”?
“Powerful and strong as the military” sure sounds like armaments and use of force to me. But hey, I’m just an old fart veteran who has seen 8 or 9 presidents (including the Feckless One) work very very hard at expanding executive power, and use their executive powers to authorize more and more “civilian” government agencies to arm their “civilian” employees – so I tend to look at Obama’s statements in THAT context.
Safety only goes so far.
There is always a trade off of safety for the police and safety for the people they serve. By militarizing the police, it has actually endangered the lives of those they swore to protect and serve.
Level 4 body armor? Whatever. Semi auto rifles? Sure, as long as it’s stored in the cruiser.
Armored cars, tear gas, riot shields, rubber shotgun slugs? Not ok. Especially rubber bullets. It’s never ok to shoot at someone you don’t intend to kill. They should just use a damn taser if they have to.
I’m noticing something in the press that’s starting to creep in here regarding the equipment. The “Infringement Lobby,” the media, and now some of us are referring to the gear as “military style.” That’s pure baloney!
A Hummer H4 is a “military style” vehicle. A HUMV is a military vehicle. See the difference? What the Ferguson and St. Louis police had was MILITARY equipment, not “military style” equipment. I did not see any AirSoft guns in their hands, but I did see full auto weapons that came right from overseas battle zones. We clear on that? Call it what it is.
I get what you are getting at on that. I think it is all in how you interpret it. In this case, my impression has been that the phrasing is being used in it’s true sense to compare something to another, as opposed to the nonsense used to create a false impression of what a modern sporting rifle is (assualt weapon. machine gun, etc…). It’s really splitting hairs. I think you could argue that it is “similar”, because based on feedback from active military, the police were better equipped than they were. So saying it is what the military uses isn’t completely accurate.
There is a huge difference between civilians complaining about government troops in their cities and towns and civilians complaining about other citizens rights. Police are agents of the state. The state passes so many laws the we all become criminals, then they gear up for war. We are racing toward a police state. I’m all for better equipment and training for civilian police provided the equipment and training are appropriate for the mission of preventing felons from inflicting injury on others. Unfortunately the training is atrocious and the mission has crept. SWAT raids over a few pot plants or neighborhood poker games, flash-bang grenades thrown in baby cribs, targeting homes for SWAT raids because a legal gun owner resides at the residence. The nature of police work is changing. If we don’t tear down the police state now it will ultimately take a revolution.
The merits of any particular position on a given issue aside, I am just sick to death of little special circumstance experts popping up and spouting off with uneaerned authority.
I’m sorry your sibling died in Iraq, or your spouse died in the towers, or your kid died at Sandy Hook, or your Dad died serving a warrant. None of that makes you an expert on foreign policy, counterterrorism, firearms, or police militarization. Your loss confers no special insight upon you any more than it imposes some special obligation on me to agree with your mere opinion.
So all you weeping widows and others, while I am sorry for your loss, can you give the “As a……” irrelevant introduction to your opinion a rest, please? Just state your case, marshalling the evidence, not manipulating emotions. Everyone’s a victim of something. Let’s not descend into dueling grievance groups trying to foist their personal opinions on people by out-pitying each other.
For all the people just loving those copper MRAPs …just remember they are being driven and coordinated by a group of people that were hired under policies that placed a maximum cap on their IQ tests.
Police militarization is a real problem and “whining about it” is a protected right. But jack boot lickers aren’t overly worried about violating civil rights.
Police militarization is a problem. The problem is that conservatives hate government workers, unless they have a gun (police military, etc) then they are in bed with them and think they can’t do any wrong.
Police need to be held to the SAME standards that other civilians are. That will never happen because governments are a monopoly, so the last thing they need are more and more weapons. and devices that help them
1.raid the wrong homes for selling plants.
2. Throw stun grenades into a babies crib.
3. Shoot a little girl on a couch while trying to impress the film crew on Another 48 in Detroit.
4. Arrest people for not consenting to searches or not willing to show ID when not required.
5. Enforce laws like the NY SAFE Act.
There is no reason that every cop can’t wear a camera built in to their badge so everything they do out in public, with public money, is recorded for EVERYONE’S safety and accountability.
“Shoot a little girl on a couch while trying to impress the film crew on Another 48 in Detroit.”
I just googled this. Sweet Jesus. Mistakes happen and accidents happen, but this was neither a mistake nor an accident. Everyone in the breach should have been fired.
Just remember everyone, if we get used to police playing army all of the time, we won’t even notices when the actual army takes over their roll of policing the public.
It is mind boggling that some people here support police militarization or thinking that it doesn’t matter.
Or there will be another army to fight the the army.
The more police militarize, the more people distrust them. There will come a time when nobody trusts cops, government or the mainstream media that finds it necessary to bend over for the government and its shock troops. So in the end, police militarization will work out to be a good thing.
This. Excuses, scaremongering and arrogance need to be replaced with accountability and mutual respect.
Sorry for you loss but Swat teams, no knock warrants, armored vehicles and stop n frisk are like a hammers looking for nails. Remember it’s our job to keep Government under control not the other way around.
Even NPR this afternoon was talking about police militarization. Talked about how soldiers and MPs who served overseas were shocked at the amount of force used here. Said the cops were acting like the regalia they were wearing was going to their heads. Also how it was the arrest of 2 white reporters that started this talk.
Police in the US are NOT at a high risk of being killed or killed with a gun. A macho myth/rationalization.
Have discussion on teaching them how to drive SAFELY and how to stay out of the ROW so they aren’t run down by traffic. Improve their fitness level in order to reduce cardiac “events”. Same 3 issues the Fire Service is working to reduce LOD deaths, will solve REAL problems, and none trample the rights of citizen.
I won’t say stop arguing that the police have undergone undue militarization but I will say I have enough of the BS talk about how out of control the police are. Anybody not alive and cognizant before 1970 has no idea what out of control cop are. Today’s police officers operate under much stricter supervision than they were prior to the series of Supreme Court decisions on a defendant’s rights. I was 18 and at home in Chicago in the summer of 1968 during the Democratic Convention. I was a college student with long hair who occasionally smoked a little weed. I was not part of the demonstrations/riots that surrounded the Convention but I looked like I could be so I was targeted just like they were. The CPD might not have been militarized but they sure were out control and intended on violating my civil rights.
The halcyon days of civilian police imagined by you faux Libertarians and anti-cop types never existed. The application of the Bill of Rights as you see them are a product of the Warren Court and did not become established rights in practice until 50 years ago. Before then the cops could bust your head, search your place without a warrant, hold you incommunicado without access to legal counsel as long as they wanted. They could and did force innocent people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. No police officer, no matter how militarized can act like that today.
What I see here is a virtual mob intent on condemning the arresting officer without a hearing simply because they don’t like the police. Now, as more evidence has come out, we know that Brown was a suspect in a strong armed robbery where he physically attacked the much smaller shopkeeper. Had the shopkeeper popped him on the way out all of you would be cheering but since a cop did it something must be wrong.. The Richard took exception with my comment sarcastic comment about what a Missouri “citizens militia” would have done in a similar situation in 1914 St Louis and claimed I was “defaming” the people of the gun. Well, when it comes to this situation it looks like some POTG are acting true to 1914 form when it comes to their attacks on law enforcement faced with a very difficult situation,
@tdiinva, awesome post!
Agree with some caveats, in the 70’s and 80’s, at least in the region where I grew up, there was always the bad officer or 2 on the local forces. Everyone knew who they were, and dreaded encounters with them for whatever reason. But back then they were the exception, not the rule. Today, this is reversed, where everyone knows the good cop or 2 on the local forces. At the same time, the police forces heavily recruit from returning vets, and while you could argue it is a way of rewarding them for their service, you have to realize the trauma a lot of these verterans have encountered and how it affects their interactions with the public. An unspoken tragedy is the massive suicide rate of veterans that have served overseas, and this should be a concern for all of them, whether now serving as police or not.
I agree the officer should have a hearing and allowed his due process.
One need only go to youtube and type in “police brutality” to get an update on today’s out of control police.
Have a read at this piece provided by Mr. Russ Bixby:
Your assertion that cop attitudes and practices in today’s time is acceptable is your opinion. In my opinion they are not and certainly have room for … improvement. Starting with accountability.
Now they can militarized and out of control violating your civil rights.
I would not be cheering.
I see you are struggling to come to terms with reality. I never said that the police are angels. I said in comparison to the pre-1970 edition they face a lot more restrictions now than back in the day. This may come as a surprise to you but YouTube didn’t exist in 1970 and therefore there is no visual record of the brutality.
The fact remains that the mob mentality shown by many here at TTAG is an embarrassment to the gun owning community. Michael Brown brutalized a much smaller and took something from him. Given that he is criminal caught in the act I have no reason to doubt the police version of events.
I have reason to doubt the ferguson police dept. Those reasons lie within the the link that I sent you.
Whether the Brown shooting was justified has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the police response to the looting and during the following days was appropriate and consistent with the people’s liberties. Two completely different issues.
This is a good point that I knew but had kind of forgotten about. But yeah, especially with black people, the police in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, etc…were extremely oppressive. Before incorporation, the Bill of Rights did not even apply to states and local governments, and before the Miranda SCOTUS case, the police did not have to read you your rights.
Maybe the availability of easily-portable recording devices, especially video cameras, had a lot to do with police cleaning up their acts, much more so than laws.
I have no idea whether the police shooting was justified or not and I am pretty sure I won’t be one of the decision makers when that 9is decided.
But, the response by the police was the exact wrong thing to do. They withheld info which could have calmed things down from the beginning and then they responded as if they were performing a Thunder Run into Baghdad.
I spent half of my adult like as a cop. Cops today have spent their early childhood watching video games and violent movies and they are acting out their fantasies. They are out of control. There are somewhere between 50-80,000 SWAT raids every year in America. They are hitting the wrong houses, shooting people for no reason and decimating the canine population of America. They are injuring innocent people every day. Their are police departments who’s sole income is coming from traffic stops on Interstate highways where they can utilize RICO to seize property and assets.
Cops are now protecting the State. They stopped protecting the citizens when they realized they could and the US Supreme Court verified that they had no duty to protect any citizens for any reason.
It’s great you want to defend the police but do so from a basis in reality, not what you falsely think is the truth
Trying to conflate “whining” about police militarization with lefty whining about gun rights is asinine. Last time I checked I wasn’t relieving public funds for new rifles, armor, and HP ammo to use wtih impunity. The Feds haven’t gifted me any armored vehicles either. And I’m certain if I flash banged (destructive device) my neighbors baby I’d be in a cold cell.
I think she’s right. I fully support that the police should be better trained in all respects, and have better equipment. The distinction that’s not being made here, however, is that “better” does not necessarily mean military surplus BDUs and armored trucks. Different tools for different jobs, you see. There’s a reason that the military is prohibited from operating on domestic soil.
“As the widow of a LEO killed in the line of duty, incidents like these riots are the very reason I will always support better equipment and more training forever and ever,”
Nope. These “riots” are the product of police trained to act like thugs.
When people like this suggest that the police have rights and lives that are more important than mine, I have to ask people like this: what exactly were people like her husband working to protect?
Scratch a faux Libertarian and all you get is a Progressive extremist.
These riots are the fault of the lawless elements of the community. They new that Michael Brown criminal and a gangbanger and the criminal and gangbanger elements went wild because one of their own was shot.
I think the police should have the proper tools to do the job. MRAPs don’t fit the “proper tools” category in 99% of the situations they are used in. Also when we start complaining about police militarization, it is not just the green cammo vests in urban environments and military vehicles. It is the mentality they have. Modern police seem to have an “us verses them” mentality, not a “we are apart of this community and want to make it a better place” mentality.
“As the widow of a LEO killed in the line of duty….
Yes, yes, the old “absolute moral authority” a la Cindy Sheehan.
And no, local police denied MRAP are not the same as civilians denied basic firearms.
This is probably becasue you aren’t living in a depressed neighborhood, when the cops kick in your door and turn your fourteen year old son into a parapaliaic for the rest of his life, only to find out that it was the wrong home. (That would be bad enough but then to laugh about it? That was just sick minded.) Probably becasue you are no a mentally unstable homeless man that is harrassed by the police every day, then shot to death, even though they had plenty of time to deploy non lethal methods in order to subdue him. Probably because you are not the 16 year old girl standing outside the movie theater shot to death by a police officer who mistook her for a car theif. You know how all them hispanic girls look alike, it could happen to anyone. I am sorry that your husband died. But it does not in any way take away the increasingly violent and agressive methods used by the police. It isn’t about them having these bright new toys, but what they are doing with them that is becoming alarming.
Only one question matters. What is the purpose of police? To enforce laws. They are law enforcement officers. With few exceptions, the police are hired by the towns, cities, counties, states and federally. The vast majority of police are answerable to the heads of each of the mentioned locales.
As a term of employment, you agree to the conditions as mandated by your employer. The argument that police have Second Amendment rights while on the job is ludicrous. A department could mandate use of revolver and a specific type of ammo. The department could mandate no firearms at anytime while on duty.
While off duty, you can exercise the 2nd Amendment as permitted by where you live. That statement makes me want to vomit. But, choices.
Outside of enforcing the law, everything else is either a kindness, illegal or “mission creep”.
People choose law enforcement as a career. If the job is too dangerous or does not meet your expectations, you are free to pursue something you deem satisfying. I agree everybody should be able to go home “at night”. However, if you choose this profession, you know the statistics compared to other occupations. Some common non law enforcement jobs have more risk, most do not. You put yourself at risk voluntarily.
Mission creep. Should police quell riots? How about SWATing the following: health inspections, poker games, student loans defaults, liquor licenses, cosmetology licenses, etc.? If it happened to you, would you change your mind?
The police are an instrument of government. The purpose of the Constitution is to restrict government, not citizens. If you permit the government the means, it has been proven to find ways to assert itself over it’s constituency. Think “government agencies”, “carve outs” and special permissions not afforded to “civilians”. This is happening now. It’s been happening for decades. This problem is growing.
This is why all police must be demilitarized.
@Howdy, you almost got it right: “This is why all police must be demilitarized.”
Close, but no seeegar…….no, what needs to happen is PEOPLE/VOTERS need to get a grip on their out of control POLITICIANS. That is what will cause the change you seek. Nothing less.
Comments were TL;DR. However, I’d think that the police should get whatever they can afford if we can too (meaning no restrictions whatsoever). In addition, we vote on the taxes that pay for the police. If they end up affording more than we can, we may have a way of pointing that out. But I’m just dreaming of a perfect world… oh, look, a unicorn…
While I mourn for those officers lost in the line of duty, I have to ask. Why do departments continue to work harder instead of smarter?
The equipment fosters an attitude of full frontal assault when maybe, just maybe. A more strategic approach would be more effective in capturing criminals. It would also have the added benefit of endangering less innocent lives. The MAP should be when ALL else fails, not the go to solution.
Better training, better justice system, less plea bargains, etc… would also be needed. Fewer laws with less loopholes would be another. Community involvement would increase if people did not “fear” Law Enforcement, but they need to be Leaders and begin to build the trust needed for this to happen through walking the walk. Too many do not but are allowed to stay on the force. Undoing all that the best officers accomplish. Just like any organization, there must be accountability beyond the normal. They need to cut the cancer out and be vigilant against any possible new infection.
1 – The police should be allowed to have any type of weapon that citizens also may possess.
2 – The police should not be allowed to have any weapon that citizens cannot possess.*
3 – The police should not be yellow. If police feel they must have armored vehicles to patrol American streets, then those police are in the wrong line of work. If police wait in the parking lot for backup while listening to gunfire inside a school, they are most definitely in the wrong line of work.
4 – The police should be respectful and professional as well as brave. Whenever possible, they also should be friendly.
5 – The police should strive to remain physically fit throughout their careers, regardless of the nature of their assignment.
* without a tax stamp.
At some point (possibly during the “Dirty Harry” years when America had more crime than it does today), public opinion turned against the “liberal” ideas of law enforcement – things like warrants, Miranda warnings, prohibitions against extrajudicial punishment, etc. We started seeing popular movies depict rule-breaking cops as heroes.
That is an extremely dangerous attitude for the public to adopt, and I fear we are seeing the consequences of the so-called “tough on crime” trend that helped demonize the ACLU and anyone else who suggested constitutional rights trump the fight against street crime.
It’s not the militarization of police but the statement that police officers should make home safe every night, that creeps into and destroys what logic remains in my brain. Those words say one thing….my life is more valuable than yours, I get the tools to protect myself, I’m immune from prosecution when mistakenly slaughter a citizen, because I craft the narrative (lie to protect myself). A union protects me while serving myself and protects my pension. I and my comrades armor up not to interact with citizens but to overwhelm them, because I want to go home after I destroy or collect your property.
I’m at a point of not caring nor honoring police, I no longer acknowledge them with a nod, nor have conversation. Deep in my harden heart, in their moment of need, knowing I could help, would step over one bleeding out and continue my day without a second thought. Continue living in your castle, collect your coin, enjoy more liberties than common folk, your on your own.
@mk10108, well, that is something to be proud of.
No….it is SAD.
@mk10108, …and it’s entirely your choice to live like that. SAD.
And SAD that police act the way they do.
IMHO Police would not be acting like thugs or an invading military force if they did not have the Unions.
Without the massive funds accrued by Unions, there would be no political arm-twisting and rogue cops would be dealt with properly – instead of being coddled, lied-for and protected.