Posts Tagged ‘Militarization of the police’

The new normal: NYPD with machine guns

February 18, 2015

Tom Englehardt raises the question: Just when did it become an accepted thing for the New York Police Department to be armed with machine guns?

blog-policetank-500x280The response to this question is a great example of the fallacy of the political moderate.

One extreme position is that the NYPD’s new Special Response Group should bring machine guns to peaceful protests in case they get out of hand.  The other extreme position is that a municipal police department doesn’t need machine guns at all.

The middle position is that police departments need machine guns, but they shouldn’t use them unless it is really, really necessary.   Which means at some point, they will be used.

The use of lethal force by police has become all too routine.  But I recognize that, in a country where the right to carry firearms in public is a constitutional right and where some criminal gangs have military-grade weapons, police need to have guns and need to know how to use them.

But machine guns?  It’s as if somebody is in fear of a revolutionary uprising.

Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop

July 23, 2013

rise_warrior_cop-620x412

Radley Balko has good web log, The Agitator, about the abuse of police power.  Now Balko has written a book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop: the Militarization of America’s Police Forces, which was published his month.  Salon ran some excerpts.  They’re worth reading.

‘Why did you shoot me?  I was reading a book’

‘Oh, God, I thought they were going to shoot me next’

‘There’s always a good time to use a Taser’

The clampdown on Occupy Wall Street

November 16, 2011

The crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City early Tuesday morning appears to be part of a coordinated national crackdown.

If the Department of Homeland Security is involved in coordinating the crackdown, that is disturbing on a number of counts.  It shows that President Obama is on the side of Wall Street, and it shows that an agency purportedly set up to protect the American people from a foreign aggressor is being used against the people instead.

Over the past ten days, more than a dozen cities have moved to evict “Occupy” protesters from city parks and other public spaces.  As was the case in last night’s move in New York City, each of the police actions shares a number of characteristics.  And according to one Justice official, each of those actions was coordinated with help from Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal police agencies.

The official, who spoke on background to me late Monday evening, said that while local police agencies had received tactical and planning advice from national agencies, the ultimate decision on how each jurisdiction handles the Occupy protests ultimately rests with local law enforcement.

According to this official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules.  Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.

via Minneapolis Top News | Examiner.com.

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