Anyone who has been paying attention is aware that we have a growing domestic terrorism problem here in America.
And by domestic terrorism, I mean our militarized police departments.
Here’s how the FBI defines domestic terrorism, from their website:
“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
- Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
- Appear intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
- Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal in August:
“Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier.
“Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.” (source)
Brave New Films has produced a new short film that explores HOW police have become soldiers.
Here are some quick facts the producers compiled:
- Pentagon’s Excess Property Program (1033 Program) has supplied police departments across the country with more than $4.3 billion in gear since 1997. This includes $449 million in 2013.
- St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located, received two military vehicles, a trailer, a generator, 12 5.56-millimeter rifles and six .45 caliber pistols from the Pentagon.
- Military style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.
- In SWAT style raids, people of color are most affected – 37% were Black, 12% Latino, and 19% White. Race was not known for the remainder.
Police militarization grew out of our failed drug war. Does a town of 2,200 need a massive military tank? Why does the police department in Dundee Michigan need a MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle)? They don’t. Military grade gear does not improve the safety and security in small towns. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel must end the flow of military grade gear from the Pentagon to our local communities. It’s time for the militarizing of police to end.
If you’d like to see what kinds of military equipment your local police department has acquired, see Mac Slavo of SHTF Plan’s article Database Shows What Military Equipment Your Local Police Department Has Been Stockpiling.
As if it isn’t bad enough that militarized police forces are becoming common in the US, the epidemic is spreading to our children’s schools.
As reported by Infowars, schools in Texas have acquired military equipment:
Citing the shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook as pretexts for the need to militarize school police, an investigation launched by CBS affiliate KHOU recently found that cops in at least 10 different Texas school districts are seemingly gearing up for war.
“In all, the departments received 64 M16 rifles, 18 M14 rifles, 25 automatic pistols, and magazines capable of holding 4,500 rounds of ammunition as well armored plating, tactical vests, and 15 surplus military vehicles,” reports KHOU.
Unfortunately, Texas isn’t the only state that has decided to arm some of their school police officers to the hilt – schools in Kansas, California, Florida, and Utah have as well.
This is cause for concern, as Earl Ofari Hutchinson so passionately expressed in his article Now It’s the School Police That Are Becoming Militarized:
School officials insist that their officers will be well-trained in the use of their military-style weapons. But this misses the point. Military-style weapons are designed for combat, and they are designed to spray a field of battle wreaking mass carnage against the ranks of enemy soldiers.
Opening up on a mythical shooter in a grade school could cause the same mass carnage. The difference is the victims would not be enemy soldiers on a battleground, but 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders. School officials haven’t said how they would avoid that carnage. In ordering his review of the military weapons programs, Obama said “there is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement and we don’t want to blur those lines.” School officials that have armed their police with assault-style weapons have done more than blur that line. They have sent the horrific message that weapons of mass destruction have a place at their schools.
Colleges are no exception – the Pentagon’s 1033 program has reached them as well, reports Vice.com:
According to documents obtained by the website Muckrock, more than 100 campus police forces have received military materials from the Pentagon. Schools that participate in the program range from liberal arts to community colleges to the entire University of Texas system. Emory, Rice, Purdue, and the University of California, Berkeley, are all on the list.
In 2012, UC Berkeley tried to use the program to purchase an eight-ton armored truck. After a backlash, university officials ultimately decided the truck was “not the best choice for a university setting.” The following year, Ohio State University acquired a mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle. So far, it has yet to be targeted.
How ironic that the American populace is being terrorized by those who were supposed to protect us from terrorism.
You can sign a petition to end arming police with war weapons here: stoppolicemilitary.orgFacebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.