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“That vehicle is made for war,” mentioned one commenter at the time. “Do not use my safety to justify that vehicle,” another one wrote. “The Salinas Police Department is just a bunch of cowards that want to use that vehicle as intimidation and to terrorize the citizens of this city.”
is this thread about the militarization of our local and municipal police departments or yet Another angle in which we can inject rabid politicizing and attack Obama?
Kinda all over the map there....
reply to post by Mamatus
Yep. I really hope someone is considering this and keeping an eye on it. I have a gut feeling there is probably a correlation.
ETA: I'm also not saying that former military should never go into law enforcement...just that some pretty major reraining might be a good idea.
reply to post by Skyfloating
You probably already know this, but the standard response to this is that these are military surplus vehicles (and we all know the MIC makes way more than we need) and that the towns get them for almost nothing....just in case. And I have to admit a few of the Hummers came in pretty handy in rescuing stranded motorists during Atlanta's recent snow and ice events.
Cheye Calvo's July 2008 encounter with a Prince George's County, Maryland, SWAT team is now pretty well-known: After intercepting a package of marijuana at a delivery service warehouse, police completed the delivery, in disguise, to the address on the package. That address belonged to Calvo, who also happened to be the mayor of the small Prince George’s town of Berwyn Heights. When Calvo's mother-in-law brought the package in from the porch, the SWAT team pounced, forcing their way into Calvo's home. By the time the raid was over, Calvo and his mother-in-law had been handcuffed for hours, police realized they'd made a mistake, and Calvo's two black Labradors lay dead on the floor from gunshot wounds
Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.
These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.
This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.
I've found myself wondering in quiet moments, if Putin and Obama may be in cahoots with one another.