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Old July 4, 2013, 10:11 AM   #1
KyJim
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Police becoming a military force? ABA Journal Article

An article in the American Bar Association Journal discusses the militarization of our police, beginning with a discussion of the Third Amendment. It briefly discusses some of the history which concerned the citizenry enough to adopt the 3A. It opines:
Quote:
More important, the often volatile debate between the federalists and the antifederalists shows that the Third Amendment itself represented much more than the sum of its words. The amendment was in some ways a compromise, but it reflects the broader sentiment—shared by both sides—about militarism in a free society. Ultimately, the founders decided that a standing army was a necessary evil, but that the role of soldiers would be only to dispel foreign threats, not to enforce laws against American citizens.
The article states that sentiment quickly evolved somewhat and cites a couple of colonial period examples. However, the basic view about militarism in our society remains the same until the "War on Drugs." It then discusses a couple of examples of over-zealous police tactics such as forced entries at night done with little reason.

This is an article from an influential, mainstream organization. Perhaps its a step toward reigning in of some of the worst abuses such as that discussed in another current thread here. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=528183. While I absolutely believe that the "tactical entry" is sometimes necessary, I also believe it may be used too often in some communities.
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Old July 4, 2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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Good find, Jim.

This article dovetails perfectly with not only the current thread on Henderson and North Las Vegas, but also to several other threads we've had over the past years.

Fact is, it pretty much lays out my thinking on how the plaintiffs in that thread will construe the 3A violation.
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Old July 4, 2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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The fact we're having this discussion is evidence that the state's overreach and abuse of power have reached new peaks.

It's been said many times that the scholarship done years before Heller laid the groundwork for it's success. I hope some legal professors are cranking out the 3A research...
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:06 AM   #4
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If the Boston bombings were any indication, I would say most definitely. Turns out Boston's police force is about as formidable as a small mechanized infantry regiment- seeing those images in TV starkly reminded me of the pursuit in Fahrenheit 451. it was one teenager they were chasing, not the Russians...
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Old July 15, 2013, 08:27 AM   #5
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The one thing a governmental agency (like police) do best is to grow themselves.
Couple that with the fact (yes, fact) many, if not most, people who go into police work do so with the motivation of having power.
Police like gadgets. Any new item of equipment is something they "must" have to allow them to do their work better.
It is hard for those who control the budget to turn down requests for equipment that is claimed will make the public more secure.
This concept is on a run-away roll. We have gone from the friendly beat cop with a .38 spl. revolver and a stick to a fully armored leviathan with machine guns.
Their mission has gone from protecting the people to enhancing their power for purposes of controlling the people. We are now almost living in a bad scenario of a science fiction movie.
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Old July 15, 2013, 08:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
The one thing a governmental agency (like police) do best is to grow themselves.
Couple that with the fact (yes, fact) many, if not most, people who go into police work do so with the motivation of having power.
Police like gadgets. Any new item of equipment is something they "must" have to allow them to do their work better.
It is hard for those who control the budget to turn down requests for equipment that is claimed will make the public more secure.
This concept is on a run-away roll. We have gone from the friendly beat cop with a .38 spl. revolver and a stick to a fully armored leviathan with machine guns.
Their mission has gone from protecting the people to enhancing their power for purposes of controlling the people. We are now almost living in a bad scenario of a science fiction movie.
The only thing you left out is how it is all done under the cloak/guise of public safety, under which rubric essentially anything can be justified and never questioned.
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Old July 15, 2013, 08:34 AM   #7
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Rifleman 1776, can you post some information that proves your theory that cops are cops just to have power. You stated that as fact, twice. Please show me something besides your opinion that says so.

You also assert that we had friendly cops with .38 revolvers and a stick. Know what the stick was for? Clubbing people. Not for being friendly. Now we have pepper spray, tasers, verbal judo, etc. No more big hickory sticks to club people with. But cops are getting worse over time in your opinion? Please explain.

Last edited by Conn. Trooper; July 15, 2013 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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No. Most have retired the wooden baton in favor of the expandable steel Asp baton. More damage and lasts longer too.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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More damage? Try again. Half the size if you are lucky, and half the weight. Nice try though. I've been issued both and there is no comparison.
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Old July 15, 2013, 10:42 AM   #10
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Police force is an industry it growth matches the drug war and the growth in the prison industry. Along with the growth of more laws that create more criminals.

Since 1970, our prison population has risen 700%
One in 99 adults are incarcerated in the prison industry and one in 31 adults are under some form of correctional control, probation, parole,

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Old July 15, 2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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The war on drugs has been fought on American soil against american citizens...

Cops are in this WAR ON DRUGS making them SOLDIERS in the war on Drugs... Shouldn't their be rules of engagement... NO!!! Then there would be admission that a war is waged against the citizens...

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Old July 15, 2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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Years ago - SWAT had an article on the same problem.

Brent is on the money with WoDrugs being disruptive to our civil liberties.
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Old July 15, 2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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As I wrote recently in another thread, one of the main things that's driving the militarization of police and sheriff's departments nationwide is the fact that they get most of the equipment free, courtesy of the federal government. Since the 1990s, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security have been donating surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. The donated equipment includes rifles and handguns, grenade launchers, helicopters, armored personnel carriers -- pretty much anything you might think of, in fact.

Here's an article describing some of the goodies that have gone to local departments in just one state (Georgia).

It stands to reason that once they have the military stuff, their tactics, training, and policies are influenced by what's available.

It's worth asking why the federal government is pushing the militarization of police by providing this equipment. IMO, it's the WoTerror, as well as the WoDrugs... at least indirectly.

And deepcreek is correct that criminalizing Americans has become big business, as well.
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Old July 15, 2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
As I wrote recently in another thread, one of the main things that's driving the militarization of police and sheriff's departments nationwide is the fact that they get most of the equipment free, courtesy of the federal government. Since the 1990s, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security have been donating surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. The donated equipment includes rifles and handguns, grenade launchers, helicopters, armored personnel carriers -- pretty much anything you might think of, in fact.

Here's an article describing some of the goodies that have gone to local departments in just one state (Georgia).

It stands to reason that once they have the military stuff, their tactics, training, and policies are influenced by what's available.

It's worth asking why the federal government is pushing the militarization of police by providing this equipment. IMO, it's the WoTerror, as well as the WoDrugs... at least indirectly.

And deepcreek is correct that criminalizing Americans has become big business, as well.
I've been aware of this for some time now, and find it quite troubling. Nothing comes from Uncle Sugar without strings, and yet there is very little to nothing available which details exactly what the terms of these domestic lend-lease agreements stipulate. What actions are local LEO agencies required to perform in order to receive this equipment, both at the point of transfer and on an ongoing basis? What obligations are imposed?
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Old July 15, 2013, 02:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
The one thing a governmental agency (like police) do best is to grow themselves.
In all fairness, that is not unique to governmental agencies. It's only most immediately and vividly frightening in the case of law enforcement because they're the ones with ninja suits and guns -- in combination with directives from on high (city, county, and state leaders, and city and state laws), and all too often lacking perspective of what the ordinary (non-government-employed) citizens want or need.

Professional organizations accrue power, too. The ABA and its subsets fight tooth and nail to increase complexity of the law even when doing so benefits lawyers at the expensive of others. The AMA, architects, professional engineers, electricians, plumbers, all fight for regulations that will help them. It doesn't stop there. The Louisiana funeral board is still trying to keep a monopoly on sales of caskets.
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...n_favor_o.html

That juxtaposes with non-organized groups, e.g. "techies", who don't have the strong union-like bonds, and who are notoriously ineffective at influencing policy.
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Old July 15, 2013, 06:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Rifleman 1776, can you post some information that proves your theory that cops are cops just to have power. You stated that as fact, twice. Please show me something besides your opinion that says so.

You also assert that we had friendly cops with .38 revolvers and a stick. Know what the stick was for? Clubbing people. Not for being friendly. Now we have pepper spray, tasers, verbal judo, etc. No more big hickory sticks to club people with. But cops are getting worse over time in your opinion? Please explain.
I'll take a stab at this one.

When a society deteriorates "morally" so do all the aspects of that society. Our teachers, politicians, doctors, military, etc... If one fails to see this they are living in denial. However, you cannot isolate just one aspect of that society. This phenomenon occurs across the board.

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
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Old July 15, 2013, 07:55 PM   #17
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I want to emphasize that I wholeheartedly support police officers in general but not every tactic they utilize.

I also think we need to remember why we have the "War on Drugs." Unlawful drug use wreaks havoc in our communities and devastates families. I come from a relatively small state but hundreds of people die every year as a result of overdoses alone (not counting motor vehicle accidents and other deaths attributable to drug use). For example, statewide drug overdose fatalities in Kentucky totaled 979 in 2010.*

I don't know the answer on how to curb drug use and deaths. I do know that giving up is not the answer. I also know that turning our police into paramilitary units is not the answer.


* Terry Bunn, Ph.D. and Svetla Slavova, Ph.D., Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, Drug Overdose Morbidity and Mortality in Kentucky, 2000-2010, p. 34; retrieved from http://odcp.ky.gov.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:06 PM   #18
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KyJim, I agree, I don't have the solution for the drug problem either. I've seen it first hand what drug abuse can do to people. It's not just the people that use the drugs that are affected. The amount of property crime that goes along with drug use is staggering. Shoplifting, burglary and scrap metal/metal theft is through the roof near me. Every one I have caught or run across has been a drug user. Mostly heroin by me. I don't have a solution. Sadly.
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Old July 15, 2013, 09:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
I also think we need to remember why we have the "War on Drugs." Unlawful drug use wreaks havoc in our communities and devastates families. I come from a relatively small state but hundreds of people die every year as a result of overdoses alone (not counting motor vehicle accidents and other deaths attributable to drug use). For example, statewide drug overdose fatalities in Kentucky totaled 979 in 2010.*
If you looked at the numbers for alcohol they would be worse on all counts...

The "war on drugs" certainly has had little impact on drug use anyway either...

Brent
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Old July 16, 2013, 01:26 AM   #20
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I agree the war on drugs has had little impact. It didn't stop my aunt from overdosing alone in a hotel room, my uncle self medicating over the grief of losing his mother and overdosing the night before her funeral, my other uncle from selling oxycontin for years (well, at least until he went to prison years later), or a cousin from supposedly holding up a dunkin donuts and then hiding in his dealer's house strung out leading to a SWAT shooting.

But, back on topic, I think it is a very good point that if we call it a "war on drugs", the officers must be soldiers. Not to mention that they are readily provided "weapons of war".

I don't necessarily have a problem with cops. They're people like you and me. But this is something to keep an eye on, I think.
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Old July 16, 2013, 07:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conn. Trooper
I've seen it first hand what drug abuse can do to people. It's not just the people that use the drugs that are affected. The amount of property crime that goes along with drug use is staggering. Shoplifting, burglary and scrap metal/metal theft is through the roof near me. Every one I have caught or run across has been a drug user. Mostly heroin by me. I don't have a solution. Sadly.
I concur.

Speaking very broadly, virtually all of my libertarian friends see legal controls over drugs and prostitution has a moralistic overreach by meddlesome government.

What relatively affluent people with stable lives and sufficient personal resources usually do not see is the cascade of poor choices made by and presented to people with few resources who permit themselves to be exploited. As you note, those poor choices do not only hurt the user, but can also trap the family and friends who care for the user.

We do not need to be deaf to concerns about civil rights in order to recognize that at a pragmatic level these "social ills" do great harm to people.
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Old July 16, 2013, 08:41 AM   #22
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Tyme, you attributed a quote to me that was made by another poster. Please correct.
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:15 AM   #23
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“The War on Drugs”

If you look past the surface of the “war on drugs” is an excuse to wage war/import arms/train/build armies that our government has used for decades. Our government has used it as a very effective export to create armies in many of our countries of interest.
The drugs then make it to our country and another army is ready to fight the “war” on its own civilians.

Though out the years their has been a good amount of proof that our “drug war” money gets spent on shadow armies that only take control of drug production before it comes into our country. So in many cases we pay for the drugs to flood the country then pay to have the population policed for them.

The “drug war” is massive global army that is a multi-billion dollar industry. And US tax payers pay for the foundation of it.

Legalize drugs and it would fade over night. In Colorado marijuana has been legalized and all of that profit went from illegal growers and Mexican gangs to city and state taxes, legit jobs, advertizing, shops, basically money into the community instead of the violent shadows of crime and illegal activity.

I am not saying drugs are good but it is proven that the drug war has not worked to decrease use, many studies show it has only increased use. It has only turned users to criminals and increased price the price and profit of drugs.
Drugs are bad so is alcohol the difference is people don't need to commit crimes to get alcohol and gangs cannot profit from the sales.
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:48 AM   #24
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Many of the negative consequences of drugs come from the economic turf battles to control illegal traffic as happened in Prohibition.

The rise in gun violence we saw was at the same time as the crack epidemic. It was market control. Arresting the kingpins didn't stop drugs and it led to more gun crime as folks battled to get to the top.

Economic opportunity is the driver. Fix that and you control a large number of drug users. There are no longer gin mills for little kids in the UK as the economic and labor picture changed.
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Old July 16, 2013, 09:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepcreek
Legalize drugs and it would fade over night.
That is not the Dutch experience.

Illicit drug markets do have some interesting economic characteristics, including a demand curve that can rise with increased cost that is generally associated with the effort at prohibition.

We have had legalized alcohol for a very long time, but I still step over some side characters who built their lives around it. That does not mean that prohibiting that well established facet of our culture would be the better policy; we should take from it that simply legalizing a new class of harmful but merely recreational pharmaceuticals will not improve that culture.

As Connecticut trooper suggested, we are not faced with any easy solutions, full legalization included.
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