Monday, May 18, 2015

Administration Announces Plans to Restrict Police Forces’ Access to Military Equipment...

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I don't know about anybody else but I am adamantly and unequivocally opposed to militarization of our community police forces. PERIOD! The federal government has ben providing police forces with military hardware and paraphernalia since the 1990's. President Obama is scaling back the program as the White House announced Monday "... that bayonets, weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers will no longer be available to local police and that other equipment such as riot gear and other types of armored vehicles would be subject to a more onerous approval process."

Militarization of local police forces is purely and simply a very very bad idea. Unless you don't mind the possibility of you or your children actually living in a right wing police state someday.

POLITICO - CAMDEN, N.J. - The nation’s largest police union is fighting back against a White House plan to restrict local police forces’ ability to acquire military-style gear, accusing President Barack Obama’s task force of politicizing officers’ safety.

The White House on Monday announced that bayonets, weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers will no longer be available to local police and that other equipment such as riot gear and other types of armored vehicles would be subject to a more onerous approval process.

The move came alongside the release of broader recommendations for “21st-Century Policing” and is part of the Obama administration’s response to a series of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police that has provoked a national debate about the relationship between police forces and the communities they serve.

James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, told POLITICO on Monday that he hopes to have a White House meeting as soon as Tuesday to discuss his concerns about how the plans could put cops at risk.

“The FOP is the most aggressive law enforcement advocacy group in Washington, and we will be at our most aggressive in asserting the need for officer safety and officer rights in any police changes that are to be effected,” Pasco said.

He said in particular he objects to a measure that would require police departments to get permission from city governments to acquire certain equipment, including riot batons, helmets and shields, through federal programs.

“We need to only look back to Baltimore to see what happens when officers are sent out ill-equipped in a disturbance situation,” he said. “Because you don’t like the optics, you can’t send police officers out to be hurt or killed.”

Not really surprising we are hearing this. First police protection and next we'll see the fear card being played. Public safety and security. Works every time.

Yet Obama, announcing the policy in Camden, N.J., said the policies are the result of input from law enforcement.

“We’re doing these things because we’re listening to what law enforcement is telling us,” Obama said.

“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like it’s an occupying force as opposed to a force that’s part of the community that’s protecting them and serving them,” he said. “So we’re going to prohibit equipment made for the battlefield that is not appropriate for local police departments,” he said, while for other items, the administration would ensure officers have appropriate training.

But the sharp response from the police union illustrates the challenge before Obama — cracking down on controversial police activities while not alienating the law enforcement community

In recent days, Obama and his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, have taken care to honor fallen officers, while also being responsive to communities still simmering over a series of incidents of police brutality, including in Baltimore last month when 25-year-old Freddie Gray died after suffering severe injuries while in police custody.

Obama on Monday said the reform effort is everyone’s responsibility.

“We cannot ask the police to contain and control problems that the rest of us are unwilling to face,” Obama said while in Camden, which has a police force that is considered a role model of improved relations. He also said, “The overwhelming majority of police officers are good and honest and fair. They care deeply about their communities.”

Obama’s allies on Monday rallied around the administration’s reform plan.

There certainly are things communities, states. and the federal government can do. Increasing the militarization of police forces should not be among the options.



Continue reading BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

22 comments:

  1. Commander William Adama (fictional character): "There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely dmarks! Or as some would say,
    Egg-ZACK-Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The militarization of the police has significantly accelerated under Obama:

      http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3566478

      I hope this recent news indicates a real about-face by the President. and, if so, Congress joins behind him.

      Better late than never, but regardless I enthusiastically applaud this announcement.

      Delete
  3. Since the streets have become combat zones don't you believe the police deserve to be protected.
    Maybe if respect for law enforcement was back in vogue the police wouldn't need the kind of protection the military needs. The press and their made up don't shoot and the ridiculous notion that the police believe black lives don't matter redefines the duties of the police from serve and protect to prepare for battle.

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    Replies
    1. The post states what this site believes skudrunner, did you not understand?

      We understand you have no problem with the broader issue which is militarization of municipal police. It comes as no surprise as most folks on the outer banks of the right have no issue with creeping fascism.

      Your argument, such as it is amounts to rightwing boilerplate.

      Delete
    2. BTW skudrunner, your comments will not be posted when you use incorrect or incorrectly spelled names.

      That's the deal skudrunner, take it or leave.

      Delete
  4. Violent crime has been steadily going down since 1992 or so, Skud.

    I.e. from objective data, the streets are becoming less of a "combat zone" not more. Why act as it is were the opposite?

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  5. Your blog, your rules, I have no problem with that
    Please let some know that it is skudrunner not skuds.
    dmarks, on an individual or normal street violence basis you are correct but the spontaneous riots to acquire a new TV have increased. I have seen few beat or patrol cops wear combat gear in their daily patrols but that is not what it is meant for.

    As with most things with the government they throw away money because they can. Buy a Humvee for a police force in a small town seems a little over the top, and that does happened.

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  6. My goodness, RN. You are sounding more and more like a liberal every day

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    1. In my view Jerry this really isn'r a left or right issue as both left and right have had their police states (totalitarian), I see it as more of a common sense issue. Unrestricted state or police power always seems to not end well for the people they have control over.

      But yes, I agree that at this point in time I am more worried about the right in the USA.

      Delete
  7. Or like a libertarian, jerry. they've always been ahead of the curve on this.

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    Replies
    1. Libertarians have been ahead of the curve on several issues including drugs and prostitution.

      Delete
    2. Two other 'wars against' that have failed to acheive the objective.

      Government cannot legislate morality; all it can do is pass laws that punish those who do not share it's version of morality.

      Delete
    3. The wealthy could find a way to profit if drugs and prostitution were legalized. Perhaps that is why Libertarians support doing so? Not that I don't think Democrats and Libertarians should form alliances to stop Republicans legislating their morality. They should. I am with you 100 percent re police militarization, BTW.

      Delete
    4. If the wealthy could profit from drugs and prostitution ( assuming that they are not already [big assumption]), republicans would be in support of it.

      Delete
    5. As for the wealthy, concern about them has nothing to do with libertarian ideology in general. And absolutely nothing to do, of course, with libertarian reasons to oppose drug laws and prostitution laws.

      Jerry, maybe a good point, but "socon" tendencies get in the way of pure profit motives.

      Delete
    6. Concern for the wealthy is the number ONE concern of (non duped) Libertarians.

      The difference between Libertarians and Conservatives is that Libertarians believe government should get out of the way and allow the plutocrats to rule, while Conservatives believe governmental politicos should help the plutocrats (while enriching themselves, of course).

      Both ideologies call for the further enriching of the already wealthy by screwing workers. Both here and in other countries. They hope to achieve this goal by pitting groups of workers against each other. Minorities against low wage workers (by eliminating the minimum wage) and American workers against low wage workers in 3rd world countries (by eliminating tariffs). Their hope is that groups of workers will fight each other for who will work for the least amount of money.

      Delete
    7. I will allow your extraordinarily biased and therefore not completely accurate view of libertarians. As is usually the case your over zealousness for support of your own rather extreme ideological preferences has made any reasonable discussion damn near impossible.

      So, as I have absolutely zero desire to get into a never ending argument or discussion I shall simply say I disagree in part and leave the rest for others. Now, I'm going to go for cocktails and dinner,

      Delete
  8. RN, you will be even more correct with that view if the conservatives/Republicans in Congress end up blocking Obama's attempt to demilitarized the police.

    if this is what Obama really ends up doing, and I hope he does.

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  9. Skud, on the issue of trust, do the police have any responsibility for the lack of trust in some neighborhoods, often going back decades?

    I'm not saying it's right, but cops are targeted because of a perception of past injustice.

    And yet, if a cop is in a gun fight like we saw in Hollywood, Ca a while back, I want them to have sufficient weaponry.

    But, and here's the big but, recently the local PD came to my neighbors house to serve an arrest warrant. It was nothing like Law & Order.

    They literally closed the street, had a tank, snipers arrayed at the house and about 30 officers.

    Using grenades and a swat team, they breached the front door, yet there was never any resistance. What they brought to the table was totally over the top.

    Andy Taylor, where have you gone?

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  10. No question there are some bad apples in the barrel just like everything else.
    Andy Taylor went the way of Mayberry.

    The issue in you neighborhood has more than one side to that story maybe an increased threat associated with that warrant..

    ReplyDelete

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