[Rushtalk] All About Control..........
John A. Quayle
blueoval57 at verizon.net
Mon Aug 18 14:19:22 MDT 2014
The Problem With the Ferguson Police
Published Mon, Aug 18,
Eutaw, Managing Editor
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Police Are Being Allowed Too Much Authority
As I write this article, Bloomberg Businessweek
is reporting that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
will relieve all St. Louis County law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri.
Representative William Lacy Clay said, The
governor just called me, and hes on his way to
St. Louis to announce hes taking away the St.
Louis County Police out of the situation.
Given the events of the past five days
especially the dubious circumstances surrounding
Michael Browns death and the polices actions on
the night of August 13 relieving law enforcement was a foregone conclusion.
But the governors actions merely address the symptoms, not the disease itself.
Indeed, they do nothing to assuage the fears
raised by the events in Ferguson, Missouri
of a militant police state that protects its own
at all costs, covers up potential crimes, and
suppresses Constitutional rights with outsized force.
As our own Floyd Brown put it, America is a
police state, and the police are a class above us all.
A Universal Outcry
The public reaction to the events in Ferguson has
been swift and decisive. Veterans, in particular,
have been outspoken critics of the way police
have handled the mostly peaceful protests.
For example, Phillip Carter tweeted, FWIW, I led
foot patrols in downtown Baquba, #Iraq in 2005-06
w/ less firepower than #Ferguson PD.
Jason Fritz tweeted, As someone who studies
policing in conflict, whats going on in Ferguson
isnt just immoral and probably unconstitutional, its ineffective.
And Dan Bramos tweeted, I dont know how it was
in IRQ and AFG, but in Bosnia, we had less
firepower while on patrol than the cops in #Ferguson.
Cops have brazenly pointed guns at citizens and
reporters alike, fired rubber bullets, and shot
tear gas canisters into crowds, and even arrested
reporters who were simply trying to cover the events on the ground.
Wesley Lowery, of The Washington Post, and Ryan
J. Reilly, of The Huffington Post, were arrested
along with local elected official Antonio
French on August 13 for doing nothing more than reporting.
For those of you not counting at home, that means
Ferguson has been witness to potentially criminal
police action (that was covered up for a week by
the police department), violent dispersal of
peaceful protests, and the suppression of First
Amendment rights in the form of arrested journalists.
To me, that sounds more like Nazi Germany than the United States.
Its a disturbing comparison. We like to think
that we live in a free country where most police
officers abide by their duty to serve and protect
and where our constitutional rights are truly upheld.
But the reality is that the Pentagon has been
arming local police forces to the tune of half a
billion dollars per year, according to The
and as we saw in Ferguson, these
local battalions arent afraid to flex their newfound muscle.
Specifically, the Defense Departments excess
property program permits the Secretary of
Defense to transfer, without charge, excess U.S.
Department of Defense (DoD) personal property
(supplies and equipment) to state and local law enforcement agencies.
In total, the program has transferred $4.3
billion in equipment since its inception.
Its disturbing that this arms transfer has gone
(relatively) unnoticed until the Ferguson police
decided to roll out like a full-blown infantry
unit. But now that the nation sees what our
friendly neighborhood police force really looks
like, we need to ask ourselves: Whats the purpose?
Theres no reason for local law enforcement to
have the same kind of firepower as the U.S. Army or Marines.
In the end, this trend wont save lives or keep
the peace. On the contrary, itll ensure that the
police are capable of suppressing our most
important rights, particularly in moments when we
need them to protect and serve the most.
In Pursuit of the Truth,
Christopher Eutaw's love of all things politics
paired with his passion and burning desire to
uncover the truth make him the perfect fit to
run Wall Street Dailys politics division. His
unmatched drive and political expertise ensures
that all content on the website is honest,
insightful and provocative.
<http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/author/christopher-eutaw/>Learn More >>
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