The Police State Has Arrived in Boston
By Willy Scanlon
Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units, with more recently the mad hunt for the Boston Bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Massachusetts. We all watched in horror as paramilitary police unit’s forced people from their homes at gunpoint and without any warrants, thus shredding the Constitution beyond recognition with the backing of the government from the U.S. Attorney Office to State and local leaders. The terms of their oath “to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States” was totally ignored. It was a situation where the police were completely out of control under the disguise of protecting the public.
What is clear — and disquieting — is that the lines that have traditionally separated the military mission from the police mission are getting badly blurred. Over the last several years Congress, especially after the events of 9/11 has encouraged the U.S. military to supply intelligence, equipment, and training to civilian police. That encouragement has spawned a culture of paramilitarism in American police departments. By virtue of their training and specialized armament, state and local police officers are adopting the tactics and mindset of their military mentors. The problem is that the actions and values of the police officer are distinctly different from those of the warrior. The job of a police officer is to keep the peace, but not by just any means. Police officers are expected to apprehend suspected law breakers while adhering to constitutional procedures. They are expected to use minimum force and to deliver suspects to a court of law. The soldier, on the other hand, is an instrument of war. In boot camp, recruits are trained to inflict maximum damage on enemy personnel. Confusing the police function with the military function can have dangerous consequences. As Albuquerque police Chief Jerry Glavin has noted, “If cops have a mindset that the goal is to take out a citizen, it will happen”. The manhunt events of the Boston Bombings of April 15 th are a perfect example of that mindset. The most dramatic event was the police swat units firing upon a unarmed suspect hiding in a boat in Watertown, Massachusetts. The excuse reported via the live news was;” We are being fired on”; yet no weapon after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev capture was recovered according to Commissioner Ed Davis of the Boston Police Department. . Besides the suspect was hiding underneath a shrink wrapped covered boat which cannot be logistically fired from. Another example of an overzealous police operating outside the confines of the Constitution. During the entire 24hours manhunt the news media was kept at bay so shootouts were not videoed. Even police video cameras were turned off.