The Militarized U.S. Police, by the Numbers (w/Infographic)
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Many of us know retired police officers who remember a world where it was considered a failure to draw a weapon unless under direct attack. Even if such an action was required, the result was nightmare inducing. Today’s police seem to have lost such empathy. As a consequence, police are rarely a welcome sight these days; they are being equipped and trained as if they are an occupying force (even in small towns), replete with body armor, tactical gear, and vehicles coming straight from the US military at bargain prices.
Local police are being also being issued directives encouraging them to see members of their communities as potential domestic terrorists. The threat assessment language being used is the exact spur needed to create a feeling of impending attack and erase the lines between domestic peacekeeping and theater of war operations. Police, military, and the American people are being desensitized to this absolute perversion of American values and laws.
The U.S Congress has been instrumental in allowing this change of mindset to happen. They have long allowed the Drug War to be the excuse for minimal oversight of the actions of SWAT and the DEA, permitting daily paramilitary-style assault raids that terrorize citizens. Even standard calls soliciting help from police prompt a guns-drawn response where family and pets are routinely threatened and assaulted. Some of those stories are linked below.
The concepts of military service and public police service are worlds apart, for good reason. Today in America, we are witnessing the culmination of a decades-long trend that has introduced the language, weapons, and tactics of the overseas battlefield onto the streets of America. The Infographic below chronicles the slow but steady slide into a U.S. Police State that is now full throttle and a greater threat to U.S. citizens than the terrorists we supposedly need protection from.