Monday, August 26, 2013

According To Cops, America's Neighborhoods Are "Battlefields"

If you have any doubts about how the police forces in this country have been acting more and more like military fighting groups, it's time to put them to rest.

American citizens are now "Enemy Combatants" and our neighborhoods are now "Sectors" to be patrolled with miltary equipment and military tactics.

This country is at war with its self and has been for a long damn time,it is just now that people are finally waking up to the undeniable rise in the rates of SWAT teams being deployed around the United States for formerly routine police duties.

If you still don't believe your lying eyes, go read this article that quotes several police officers from around the country.



SWAT Cop Says American Neighborhoods Are 'Battlefields,' Claims Cops Face Same Dangers As Soldiers In Afghanistan




By Radley Balko Posted: 08/21/2013
One of the central themes of my book is that that too many cops today have been conditioned to see the people they serve not as citizens with rights, but as an enemy. My argument is that this battlefield mindset is the product of a generation of politicians telling police that they're at war with things -- drugs, terrorism, crime, etc. -- and have then equipped them with the uniforms, tactics, weapons, and other accoutrements of war.

Over the last several days, the popular online police magazine PoliceOne site has been rolling out a series of opinion pieces in response to my book. As you might expect, most of them are critical, although a couple have been thoughtful.

One essay by Sgt. Glenn French was particularly disturbing. French serves as commander of a SWAT team in Sterling Heights, Michigan. French doesn't criticize me for arguing that too many police officers have adopted this battlefield mindset. Rather, he embraces the combat mentality, and encourages other cops to do the same. Referring to an article I wrote here at HuffPost, French writes:

“What would it take to dial back such excessive police measures?” the author wrote. “The obvious place to start would be ending the federal grants that encourage police forces to acquire gear that is more appropriate for the battlefield. Beyond that, it is crucial to change the culture of militarization in American law enforcement.”

We trainers have spent the past decade trying to ingrain in our students the concept that the American police officer works a battlefield every day he patrols his sector.

Note the choice of words. Not neighborhood, but "sector." Although I suppose such parsing isn't even necessary when French just comes right out and declares America a battlefield. Note too that French isn't even referring to SWAT teams, here. He's suggesting that all cops be taught to view the streets and neighborhoods they patrol in this way.


My emphasis.

This is going to come to a head someday in the near future, mark my words.

He is right that we already have cities in this country that have neighborhoods that resemble war zones and this constant escalation of force by the police departments is going to be met with an equal force one of these days.
It's just a matter of time.

You can bet your homesick ass the day that happens is the day you see the real military in our streets.





4 comments:

  1. "...too many cops today have been conditioned to see the people they serve not as citizens with rights, but as an enemy."

    Exactly.

    The thought of most cops is, "Prove to me you aren't an asshole, then I won't treat you like an asshole."

    I can play that game too.

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  2. I've seen old style cops being pushed out of the job or into early retirement. They've been replaced by this new breed. It's a huge mistake to treat citizens like enemies. Force does not keep people in line, but respect for civil society. When the contract is broken, there aren't enough cops or military in the world to put it right again.

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  3. The reason most people don't commit crimes is because most people don't *want* to commit crimes, not because of cops. Being treated like a criminal is the easiest way to change that... which, hey, is more money for cops and prisons and all that, right? Win-win! If you're a member of the police-prison industrial complex, anyhow... not for us citizens, who get more crime.

    ReplyDelete
  4. and have then equipped them with the uniforms, tactics, weapons, and other accoutrements of war.

    Everything except the training our military receives. How many unnecessary deaths have we heard about resulting from some SWAT cops itchy finger?

    ReplyDelete

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