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Coming Home to Roost: American Militarism, War Culture and Police Brutality

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posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:00 PM
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Image from Cop or Soldier?

For almost a decade now, I have been following stories, both here at ATS and elsewhere, even up close and personal with friends in law enforcement, of police violence and excessive use of force. And it seemed to me that more often than not, law enforcement personnel involved were combat veterans.

And I've often questioned whether federal, state, and local departments consider this in psych profiles when hiring veterans, who on the surface seem well-suited and skilled for law enforcement careers...until you really think about it for a minute.

From limited personal experiences: 1.) they seem not to test or test properly and 2.) even when they do, people are pretty good at anticipating and covering up any issues or maybe even not experiencing them at the time of testing but having issues that could surface during an incident. I don't have real stats but I wish I did. Or that someone did.

Anyway...tonight, after reading about a local incident (flash bang in baby's crib), I started digging around a little more again about this and found this recent and very long but fascinating article that touches on the subject and thought I'd share with ATS.


When all is said and done, and the politicians decide to bring them home, the soldiers who are lucky enough to return in one physical piece are often shattered into bits and fragments of mental and emotional distress. Often times, these soldiers face limited options - one of the most common of which is transitioning to a career in law enforcement.


Full Article

Are combat vets really ideal candidates for law enforcement in a civilian arena?

Are the psychological tests appropriate for vetting this?

Are departments paying attention to the stats? Researching correlations in the upsurge of violence?

Would they even want the public to know if this is the case?

Is there something to this we need to be paying a LOT of attention to? You know I say yes.

Thoughts? Any leads on stats I haven't found?


ETA: This is also an interesting read. It gives some stats and outlines the pros and cons: Back in Blue - The Transition from Urban Combat to Urban Policing




edit on 5/30/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:06 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

If your too smart they refuse to hire you its a wonder they catch any criminals



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: khnum
Bit more to this...


+1 more 
posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:26 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

MOST combat vets don't come back all messed up.

While it is a serious issue and further screening should be conducted of police in ANY CASE, the notion that all combat vets returning and entering the police force itching to hurt someone is ridiculous.

The training police forces receive in the US, their TTPs, and SOPs are the problem. I know more soldiers with tactical patience than I do police. Hell I spent 9 months getting shot at in Afghanistan with a machinegun mounted on my helicopter and never shot at anyone. Not because I wouldn't be justified, but because I would prefer to bypass the location and report up than to shoot up the house the insurgent was in and potentially hurt a family hiding inside.

These are decisions that are made every single day by soldiers in combat. Most of us don't come home all messed up ready to beat civilians, wives, and kids into submission. The type of person who does that kind of crap was like that BEFORE deployment.

Hiring by police departments also follow a totally different set of rules. Can't be too smart. Can't use too much judgement. Must be a paranoid reactionary. That kind of crap will get you killed or a court martial in the military.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

1/8 isn't anything to scoff at.

and that's from 2012. How many vets do you think keep their illness to themselves after coming back?

Sorry, but I believe MOST of who come back from war, who have seen action, have scarred psyches. Otherwise, you'd have to be a psychopath.

~Tenth



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: tothetenthpower

No it isn't. But 1 in 8 isn't MOST.

Most people in the military can do their jobs and be ok.

I've seen some crap out in Afghanistan. Stuff that I think about all the time because I had friends who didn't come back.

But let's not confuse things here. PTSD does not equal violent, snap-ready psycho. Most people have no idea what PTSD actually is. The above is a Hollywood interpretation of the tormented psycho soldier and people think THAT is PTSD. It isn't.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn
I agree and didn't mean to imply that at all. Just as not all vets commit suicide either, far to many do.

However, in many peoples' minds it's a great fit and sometimes that may very well be the case. In others, not so much.

To me, it just appears to be at least the potential that there may be a correlation between the apparent upswing in incidents of excessive force or just plain what the helledness happening and the higher numbers of people who were exposed to combat joining law enforcement. Sure there are other explanations that are possible and maybe even probably. I just hope they're keeping an eye on this and think it's a subject worth discussing.

ETA a Question: Hasn't there been more cross-training recently between the military and civilian law enforcement too? I would say yes from my limited experience, but this may or may not be a trend.
edit on 5/30/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:38 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I can find correlating data sets between any two things and derive conclusions. What people need to understand is that police abuse has been the status quo for a long time. Since the founding of the country, as a matter of fact.

The truth of the matter is that power corrupts. Some people can be responsible with power. But power generally attracts those who DESIRE power. Those people are the most dangerous.

Edit:

And it is these reasons why I distrust and damned near hate cops. I don't respect them, I don't trust them, I don't see them as societal role-models. I see them as an enemy of the people.
edit on pFri, 30 May 2014 19:39:59 -0500201430America/Chicago2014-05-30T19:39:59-05:0031vx5 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:40 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Interesting.

Do you think returning combat vets from WW2, Korea and Vietnam fell into the same ?

Are there any clear "differences" IYO ?



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:41 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity





Hasn't there been more cross-training recently between the military and civilian law enforcement too? I would say yes from my limited experience, but this may or may not be a trend.


Cross training happens all the time. Specially with police tactical units.

I've never worked with police in a training capacity.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:43 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: ~Lucidity

I can find correlating data sets between any two things and derive conclusions. What people need to understand is that police abuse has been the status quo for a long time.

Me either on the data sets, but I'm wondering if anyone is looking/keeping track or would tell us if they found any. And, yes, abuse seems to have been the status quo for a long time, but is it on the upswing now as it "appears" to be and if so then what are the reasons and could militarization be one of them?



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I don't think it is an issue related to a combat role really. Law enforcement and the military both tend to attract certain personality types. And it becomes a bit amplified when you take that personality type out of the military and put them in law enforcement positions. Because they already tend to believe that the populace should be kissing their backside because they signed on to be contract killer.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:49 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: ~Lucidity

Interesting.

Do you think returning combat vets from WW2, Korea and Vietnam fell into the same ?

Are there any clear "differences" IYO ?


Well. I'm not an expert but a searcher, but from what I've seen it's altogether possible that this has been an issue for a while now, maybe even going back further than WW2. PTSD was not as researched in those eras either (we all know each war had other names for it.

As for clear differences (between the wars), maybe so. The urban combat element might be more of a trigger as it is a similar setting. The insurgent/civilian terrorist not in military uniform might be another.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:50 PM
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a reply to: KeliOnyx

Fair point too. Either could be an escalating factor on top of the other.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

Militarization of police is not a symptom, but the disease itself.

Most police officers are NOT combat hardened veterans. Even if they were in military they are most likely support related MOSs that never saw combat, or simply the gate guards at US bases.

The reality is that there are now recording devices everywhere. Everyone can record evidence of police abuse. And it is FINALLY, after so many decades, out in the open for all to see.

People have never been quiet about it. But now people can back it up with cellphone footage.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Oh I agree with you on those facts. I just think we put far too much confidence in our soldiers ability to deal with their psychological problems when they return, considering the amount of help the VA does NOT provide them.

It's no wonder that 50% of the homeless are Vets. It's disgraceful.

But yeah, 15 years of cramming 'security and freedom' down America's throat has resulted in neither.

~Tenth



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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a reply to: KeliOnyx




Law enforcement and the military both tend to attract certain personality types


And what types would those be?




ecause they already tend to believe that the populace should be kissing their backside because they signed on to be contract killer.


Do you even know anyone in the military?

Have I ever asked you to kiss my ass?



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn
Yep. There's one of the other reasons I was alluding to in earlier posts. We see it more now so it might appear to be escalating when for all we know it's going down because we can catch them in action.

Many of the more horrific recent issues seem to be with the no-knock warrants, though, which to me has been described as what a lot of the door-to-door activity in Iraq was like, and these are less likely to be captured.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: tothetenthpower

The VA is a joke. I hope that Obama does what he said he would do in his recent press conference on the matter.

That said there are many resources available. The Army doesn't take the "sweep it under the rug " or "suck it up" attitude anymore. We can't afford to.

Things are getting better. Won't happen over night, but this issue is huge.



posted on May, 30 2014 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I am an advocate of shooting any officer in the face that is involved in a no-knock warrant.

This isn't Fallujah and if they think they can treat Americans like this they are going to be in for some serious surprises as more and more Americans begin to lose patience with the police and their jackboot tactics.




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