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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Serve And Protect Is Now “Search And Destroy”


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.

Indeed, uniformed thugs police officers kill more Americans every year than terrorists do. In fact, we are eight times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a "terrorist."

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.


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