Friday, November 22, 2013
Since 9/11, and the subsequent militarization of the police by the Department of Homeland Security, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by US police officers. The civilian death rate is nearly equal to the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq.
Many people have noticed that several of the local police officers, particularly the younger ones are more gruff, rude and even abusive as compared to the past. Many veteran officers attribute the shift towards DHS’ training of local police which focuses on teaching the police that the public is their enemy as opposed to the traditional view that teaches that the local population and the police are partners in keeping the community safe.
Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood cop who walked a beat, was well-known and respected by the local residents and was seen as the protector of the neighborhood? Far too often, that cop has been replaced by thugs wearing camouflage, bank robber type black ski masks who are armed with automatic weapons and sometimes even break down the doors of people who are innocent.
Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to stand his ground in defending his property from dangerous interlopers.
Unfortunately, the right to defend one’s own home may be disappearing. America has become SWAT team happy. America has seen a disturbing trend towards militarization of its local civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and very disturbing rise in the use of paramilitary police units being used for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home. However, anyone can be SWAT-teamed, even those who default on their student loans have been SWAT-teamed.
P.S. Since my last public protest for which I was on the verge of being tazered... but for the appearance of a good cop --one who didn't see the public as the enemy-- I will never protest alone, without witnesses or a video camera.