Are We Living In a Police State?

police-share-1

Based on the criteria listed by Sibel Edmonds here, we definitely are. Even folks at the “Top Criminal Justice Degrees” website (Your Online Guide to the Best Criminal Justice Degrees) seem to think so.

The Militarization of the Police
Image source: www.topcriminaljusticedegrees.org

The Militarization of the Police

Are we living in a police state?

– There has been a 4000% increase in “no knock,” militarily-armed swat team raids over the past thirty years.
– Mid 80’s: 2,000-3,000 raids per year[1]
– Present day: 80,000 raid estimate[1]
– ——————
– Pros:
– –Element of Surprise
– –Suspect can’t destroy evidence
– Cons:
– –Invasion of privacy
– –Seconds for suspect to decide if these or cops or break in.
– –Faulty intelligence

– ————
Case Study

– Basics:[4]
– Ogden, Utah. 1/4/12 8:40 pm.
– Local swat team battered down Matthew David Stewart’s door with no warning. Thinking his home was being invaded, Stewart readied his pistol.
– Stewart: 31 rounds fired
– Swat: 250 rounds fired
– Tip: Stewart’s girlfriend saying he might be growing weed.
– Previous record: Clean, veteran.
– Result: 6 wounded swat. 1 killed. Stewart shot twice.
– Findings: 16 small pot plants. No intent to sell.
– Outcome: Upon losing hearing about search warrent legality. Stewart hangs himself in jail cell.

– ————-

And that’s just one of potentially hundreds of similar tragedies.

– Spotlight: NY
– 1994: 1,447 swat style drug raids
– 2002: 5,117
– “I have my own army in the NYPD–the seventh largest army in the world.” Michael Bloomberg

– ————
– Swat Armament:[3]
– Submachine Guns
– Automatic Weapons
– Breaching Shotguns
– Sniper Rifles
– Stun Grenades
– Heavy Body Armor
– Motion Detectors
– Advanced Night Vision Wear
– Armored Personal Carriers
– “From the Gulf war to the drug war–Battle proven” Heckler and Koch’s slogan for the M5[6]

– ————-

These “criminals” are heavily armed too, right?

– WRONG:
– [Weapon used in violent crime: %]
– Gun: 12.7%
– Knife: 10.1%
– Other: 12.1%
– Unknown weapon: 1.8%
– None: 55.8%
– Don’t Know: 5.8%

– —-
– So how can we allow this? The fact is, we don’t.
– 1970: The “no-knock” law is passed with the beginning of the war on drugs.
– 1974: The law was repealed.
– Today: “No knock” happens ALL THE TIME.
– ——
– Leading to more and more unecessary, intrusive, illegal, and deadly SWAT raids.
– Raids leading to civilian injuries, death, or intrusion of the privacy of innocents.
– While injuries from “no knock” raids have been around since the inception of the swat team. Paramilitary like brutality has become a feature of the increasing armed SWAT of the last 10 years.

– Using the military in civic life is like using a hammer when you need a butter knife. There’s bound to be collateral damage. It could happen to you, your neighbors, your friends, or your family. Speak out against the militarization of the police.
Citations- http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-14-noknock14_ST_N.htm
https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform-free-speech-technology-and-liberty/too-many-cops-are-told-theyre-soldiers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWAT
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578608040780519904.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories
http://www.cato.org/raidmap

 

Update 10/25:

Lee Camp recently posted his thoughts on the topic of police militarization:

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This entry was posted in Activism, consciousness, culture, History, police state, Social Control, society, wasted taxpayer dollars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Are We Living In a Police State?

  1. Jeff Nguyen says:

    Perhaps, the worst thing is even though the Homeland security and surveillance apparatus is in place, they don’t even need to use it. Except for Occupy there has been no real protest on a mass scale that has threatened the ruling class here. In other countries, citizens are on the streets against austerity. Here, not with a bang but a whimper. It may change if they continue to go after Social Security and Medicare, the other twin towers they want to bring down.

    • Good points. I’m sure they keep an eye on protest movements and in some cases actively keep such movements disempowered (ie. Cointelpro-style agent provocateurs). With increasing austerity they’ll be prepared for not just protests but riots and general social unrest as well.

  2. It’s not a question of: it could happen to you, your neighbors, your friends, or your family, it’s a question of when. Already we’re marked.

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