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Old June 27, 2014, 07:46 AM   #1
johnelmore
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The Militarization of Police...A good thing?

I have seen quite a few things in the last several years which concerned me in regards to the police having military vehicles, military style weaponry, tactics, etc. At first, I had issues with this, but over the last year or so its been very comforting when seeing the many things going on overseas and the possibility that there might be American jihadists coming back here after their stint overseas.

The ACLU has an article on the militarization of the police:

https://www.aclu.org/war-comes-home-...rican-policing

I dont have to read the article to know they are not for it in the least. The ACLU doesnt seem to take kindly to anything involving firearms or the military.

My opinion has always been the police have not had the firearms, equipment or tactics to deal with a substantial threat. In fact, I remember a time when the officers walked around with a single revolver, a stick and not much else. I guess that was enough to deal with a single tough guy, but hardly enough to deal with anything else. Today, they are getting to the level where they could handle a substantial threat and, at least in my mind, its comforting to know its there.

There have been mistakes and accidents with SWAT teams, but with most anything there are always such things. There most certainly should be accountability to all involved for such matters and a system of checks and balances. However, believe me, we need an enhanced police force which can handle substantial threats and if you really knew what was out there you would be comfortable with it like I am.
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Old June 27, 2014, 08:25 AM   #2
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I believe the ACLU has some very valid points, and would urge caution on the rise of militarization of local police in particular. The potential for abuse is significant, as seems to be demonstrated weekly around the country. Yes, most do a great job and follow the rules but many push the boundaries if not blow right through them, and there is significant history to support that.

Look no farther than a "tough sheriff in AZ:" one of his attorneys slipped on one occasion and indicated his abuse of rights / illegal killings cost the average citizen of his very large county "hundreds per taxpayer per year" to cover the valid lawsuits successfully brought against him.
And I work in the business.
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Old June 27, 2014, 08:33 AM   #3
aarondhgraham
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Militarization of the police,,,

Militarization of the police,,,
It's a BAD thing!

In America we are "supposed" to be innocent until proven guilty,,,
The military mindset is the exact opposite.

Everyone is the enemy,,,
Put all participants into submission first thing,,,
Then and only then do you try to figure out what is actually happening.

I'm not worried about the military style weaponry,,,
I'm worried about the military attitude.

It approaches the "Kill them all, let God sort out the sinners." mindset.

I am an American Citizen,,,
Not some enemy insurgent you must subdue to talk to.

Aarond

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Old June 27, 2014, 08:35 AM   #4
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Did you at least hear about the Habersham County sheriff's office blowing-up a baby about a month ago with a flashbang grenade? (the one titled "Unnecessary Tragedy" on the page you linked) I've been following that case as closely as I can just to see if the kid is going to survive. They were part of the same "task force" that killed pastor Jonathan Ayers a few years ago.
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Old June 27, 2014, 10:09 AM   #5
Colt46
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No knock warrants should only be used in the gravest extreme

If there is sufficient evidence that failing to act immediately will result in harm to occupants so said property.
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Old June 27, 2014, 10:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Everyone is the enemy,,,
Put all participants into submission first thing,,,
Then and only then do you try to figure out what is actually happening.

I'm not worried about the military style weaponry,,,
I'm worried about the military attitude.

It approaches the "Kill them all, let God sort out the sinners." mindset.


You would have to explain the whole "genocide commit massive war crimes every day" a little better because I am not really following the argument for the US military very well.





Colt

I think no knock warrants are already pretty restrictive. I think they are only allowed for safety and demonstrable concerns for destruction of evidence. Most drug raids I think it is assumed that people will be in quite a hurry to try to destroy their heroin or whatever before the police can grab it and send them to the pokey for trafficking.

Hmmm... reading through the article now.... seems to have a few errors like the historical why of SWAT being established. Falsehoods do not engender a good argument. I think I will give it a good read before commenting more.
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Old June 27, 2014, 10:32 AM   #7
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IMHO, it's getting very close to having an Army operating within our borders. Something we were warned about.

If someone could convince me a more militarized LE is needed, I would at least ask that many of the restrictions placed on citizens regarding weapons be removed to keep power more balanced between the people and the government.

Last edited by MtnCreek; June 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM. Reason: I kant spel
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Old June 27, 2014, 10:41 AM   #8
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The issue isn’t necessarily “militarization” but lack of proper training, oversight and accountability. The concept of “shock & awe” that authorities sometimes use when executing warrants or responding to other potentially dangerous situations is valid and can actually save lives including those of suspects.

The problem is officers who act on dubious information or judges that rubber stamp warrants without the proper oversight.
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Old June 27, 2014, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
The issue isn’t necessarily “militarization” but lack of proper training, oversight and accountability.
I will agree with that, but add that the "militarization" also means that when you have a lack of proper training, oversight, and accountability, the problem is worse than if you had the same lack in a police force that was not "militarized".

one of the problems we are seeing is the fact that, if you give them the tools, they WILL use them. And they will use them in situations where they are not needed. They will use them in situations where other approaches would likely have yielded better results. ALL problems are not nails, but give them a hammer, and they will use it. Even if they have to pretend the problem is a nail to justify using the hammer.

Black ninja suits, masks and automatic weapons are not the tools of the police. Except today, they are...

Seems a lot of focus is on "looking good" rather than doing good. And justifying things for next year's budget. SWAT teams have been used for things better handled by a single or pair of officers. Sometimes, that doesn't work out well...

Waco? Ruby Ridge? or any of the many other incidents, smaller ones, involving only the death of one or two.. "resistors"? I don't care if they get their paycheck from Federal, state, or local funds, if you gear up like the military, use military tactics, and the mindset, you are not doing police work. it may be needed in some rare situations, but its not police work, it is something else.

What irks me even more, is the seeming lockstep defense when one(or more) of these "warriors" screws up, and injures or kills innocent people. Do they ever get really punished? if so, we don't hear much about it.

Months of "suspension" (paid) and then a transfer to another place/job, sometimes including a promotion? Hardly justice in my book. it HAS happened. Probably will again...

So, no, I don't think the militarization of the police is a good thing. Particularly the way we have misused and overused it, and continue to do so.
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Old June 27, 2014, 11:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnelmore
There have been mistakes and accidents with SWAT teams, but with most anything there are always such things.
It's easy to dismiss SWAT team "mistakes" as just something that always happens, but the results can be serious, and even fatal. Any time the police raid an incorrect address creates the possibility that a completely innocent person can be killed, or at least have their lives severely disrupted. Maybe you are okay with that, but I'm not.

The police should not be a military or paramilitary force. We have an army, and every state has the National Guard. If things get so bad that we face the prospect of gunfights against the cartels in the streets, IMHO that's when we call in the people who are trained to engage in warfare.

The CATO Institute monitors police raids that are "bad." I suggest you look at their web site if you think such abuses are rare. Start here, for example:
http://www.cato.org/events/police-mi...ivil-liberties

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; June 27, 2014 at 11:43 AM.
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Old June 27, 2014, 11:44 AM   #11
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A wise sage noted
Quote:
We have an army, and every state has the National Guard.
Absolutely! The act of terrifying residents at the "sorry wrong address" should be treated no different than a home invasion or act of terrorism, and be prosecuted outside the jurisdiction of occurrence. No one is above the law, especially those who make and enforce them.
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Old June 27, 2014, 12:06 PM   #12
Machineguntony
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In the US, we just assume that LE must be armed. In Britain, for example, the police are not armed, and the streets are not running red with the blood of LE officers.
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Old June 27, 2014, 12:15 PM   #13
dgerwin11
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And then there was the old lady in Atlanta who was killed because she started shooting at an intruder smashing down her door. Only the intruder was a tactical team executing a no knock warrant at the wrong address.
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Old June 27, 2014, 12:43 PM   #14
Grant D
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Sgt. Adam Sowders was part of a team of officers entering a rural residence east of the town of Somerville Texas to serve a warrant, Burleson County Sheriff Dale Stroud said. He was shot as the team entered just before 6 a.m. and later died of his injuries. No other officers were injured.

It was a no knock warrant. No murder charge for homeowner.
They found about four little pot plants in the house, and for that...some little children have no father.

I just think the police are going a little over the top with their combat tactics on the public.
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Old June 27, 2014, 12:58 PM   #15
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I was an Assistant D.A. in a large Texas County for four years, then a defense attorney for almost twenty years. No knock warrants, imo, are a really, really bad idea.

The basis for a no-knock warrant can be as little as the person whose house they're going to enter has a concealed carry permit, or a mention that they own a firearm on a social media page. No propensity for violence is required.

I know if a bunch armed men broke down my door suddenly, I'm not going to automatically assume that they are law enforcement officers, and the minute I hear that door being breached I'm reaching for a firearm.
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Old June 27, 2014, 01:06 PM   #16
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I wonder how many SWAT type raids have gone good. How many law enforcement and suspect’s lives were saved because superior force was used?

While I’m not some blind defender of law enforcement and agree that cases like the child in Habersham County Georgia or Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta are very serious. However, the problem isn’t the tactic, but the misapplication of those tactics. In Georgia Democrat Vincent Fort and Republican Jeff Mullis have been working on legislation to clarify how and when these tactics can be used. The legislation passed the Senate, but stalled in the House last year.

Let’s push for appropriate regulation, oversight and accountability, but allow law enforcement the necessary tools to do their job.
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Old June 27, 2014, 01:38 PM   #17
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Shot behind the wheel

I live in Yakima WA. We had some nut running his car all over town at high speed and the idiots on the police force could not corner him and stop him so they shot him dead in his car. I am seeing to many bafoons with badges that think that they can get away with most anything access to military equipment will just make it worse.
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Old June 27, 2014, 01:46 PM   #18
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I know a man who was taken out of his house at 5am. They did knock, but they had cars all over his grass. Never charged with a crime and was at work that day almost on time. This man would have driven himself downtown if they had called him ON THE PHONE.

We need checks on all power. Our safety is not a good trade for liberty.
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Old June 27, 2014, 02:04 PM   #19
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The police and the stations have being militarised here in the UK for years, I don't see it as a problem.
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Old June 27, 2014, 03:14 PM   #20
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The police and the stations have being militarised here in the UK for years, I don't see it as a problem.
No disrespect intended, but I believe most Yanks point to a related reason 240 years ago as a reason to revolt. He who has the guns, makes the rules, a lesson many European countries have found out the hard way, ala Tyrants vs. unarmed civilians = no bueno.
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Old June 27, 2014, 03:58 PM   #21
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I'm so confused. I agree with the ACLU...

Now I have a headache.
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Old June 27, 2014, 04:20 PM   #22
manta49
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No disrespect intended, but I believe most Yanks point to a related reason 240 years ago as a reason to revolt. He who has the guns, makes the rules, a lesson many European countries have found out the hard way, ala Tyrants vs. unarmed civilians = no bueno.
Possibly but you will find your government makes the rules just like in most European countries. Apart from more relaxed firearms laws in America there is little difference in the reality of every day life.
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Old June 27, 2014, 04:35 PM   #23
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The police are SUPPOSED to be our servants, not the other way around. They no longer provide crime prevention, but attack or cleanup after the fact. They need to be disarmed back to civilian police levels, not ramped up to SEALS levels
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Old June 27, 2014, 04:42 PM   #24
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Possibly but you will find your government makes the rules just like in most European countries. Apart from more relaxed firearms laws in America there is little difference in the reality of every day life.
Topically, I agree, but I expect that most of the politicians in the US realize there is potential political if not personal peril in becoming tyrants, where many in other parts of the world have no fear of the masses. Ultimately as one moniker states in the US, 'First Amendment rights (freedom of assembly and speech) are guaranteed by the Second Amendment (civilian gun ownership).
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Old June 27, 2014, 04:51 PM   #25
manta49
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Quote:
'First Amendment rights (freedom of assembly and speech)
That would come under the
Quote:
European convention on human rights freedom of speech.
And
Quote:
european convention on human rights freedom of assembly
As for the police they have to be armed to meet the threat. Like for example North Hollywood Shootout bank Of America. Most would argue that civilians should be allowed assault rifles etc, and openly carry them in the street can you then go on to say the police should not.

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