16 August 2014

"Oh, the Things We Choose Not to See"

By Claire Wolfe, August 16th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

A week ago, most likely you'd never heard of Ferguson, Missouri. Now, you're probably sick of hearing about the aftermath of policeman Darren Wilson's killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown -- events that made Ferguson the center of the media world.

You may believe that Brown was an innocent, unarmed kid headed for college or that he was the formidably vicious strong-arm robber shown in surveillance videos. You may believe Brown was on his knees, arms raised in surrender and supplication when Wilson executed him. You may believe that Wilson fired in self defense as Brown lunged for the officer's gun. You may believe the shooting was an act of fatal racism or the justified elimination of a garden-variety criminal whose race was irrelevant.

Only one thing is certain and now obvious to nearly everybody now: Policing in the U.S. has gone completely wrong.

Small-town occupying armies

Ferguson and St. Louis County police teamed up to turn a tense aftermath into a disaster. They tear-gassed and shot rubber bullets at non-violent protestors. They arrested reporters for the non-crime of taking video. 

They strong-armed innocent people more thuggishly than the robber of that Ferguson convenience store ever did. 

They acted in ways George Orwell warned about, informing protestors that "Your right to assembly is not being denied" -- even as they denied it

But the far bigger (and related) problem was the one nearly everybody else in the media finally noticed after two decades of trying to ignore it: the extreme militarization of even small-town police departments and the attitude that the general public is the enemy.

Small Missouri police forces -- who reportedly "couldn't afford" cameras on their uniforms and couldn't get around to installing dashcams on their patrol cars so we could see what actually happened on that fatal Saturday night -- confronted peaceful protestors from atop military vehicles, outfitted in gear familiar from Iraq and Afghanistan.

They threatened harmless people with the type of weapons that would give Dianne Feinstein knots in her knickers if you or I owned them. They acted not like officers trying to protect and serve their community, but like an occupying army facing its enemy.

Read the rest here.


PioneerPreppy said...

As one who has spent the last week watching live feed after live feed of the action those looters and rioters were anything but harmless. I know this is someone else's article and not your opinion RP so I am speaking in generalities here not at you personally.

The cops are over the top with the militarization but from what I have been seeing I am now beginning to think it is a direct response to our country becoming a thirdworld country more than them wanting to dominate us.

I think I should do a post about that tomorrow for Sunday reading.

JMD said...

As bad as this seems there was a case in Oregon a few years back where a young man drove reckless and finally was forced to stop. He emerged naked and was shot dead. It was ruled justifiable by the system even though he had no weapon. "His crime, threatened to kill the police" remember, naked and unarmed. PS He was white. No Sharpton, No Jackson, No big media stories, nothing, it is beyond an overreach.

Anonymous said...

This is all an outgrowth of political correctness - the unwillingness to enforce laws against unruly Black youth, as well as unruly cops. Both for fear of retaliation.
As with so many other circumstances, I suspect it'll get worse before it gets better!

Regardless, we MUST demilitarize the police!


Rev. Paul said...

I concur, Guffaw. It's my understanding that this began during the Carter administration, as gear from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam was distributed to local PDs. All part of the "reduction in force", ya know.

Rev. Paul said...

Preppy, I respectfully disagree on the beginning point (see my response to gfa, above). Either way, however, it needs to be halted post-haste.

JMD, I can only agree. The us-vs.-them mentality is aided & abetted by the Federal give-away.

PioneerPreppy said...

I suppose you're right RP. I was beginning to think those looters posed a threat but after last night am pretty convinced they don't.

Old NFO said...

Interesting to note that 'most' if not all of the hardware is from St. Louis County... Along with the tactical folks. And a lot of the hell raisers and looters are from out of town, looking at stirring the pot, stealing what they can and hauling ass...

Rev. Paul said...

I noticed the County cops there too, and noted how the situation got much worse while they were on scene - and got better when they left.

Imagine that.