Even the ACLU is Concerned

ZigZagZeke

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Across the country, heavily armed Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams are forcing their way into people’s homes in the middle of the night, often deploying explosive devices such as flashbang grenades to temporarily blind and deafen residents, simply to serve a search warrant on the suspicion that someone may be in possession ofa small amount of drugs. Neighborhoods are not war zones, and our police officers should not be treating uslike wartime enemies. However, the ACLU encountered this type of story over and over when studying the militarization of state and local law enforcement agencies.

https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/jus14-warcomeshome-report-web-rel1.pdf
 
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I have mixed feelings about this. I see how the police are becoming "over militarized" and it is concerning.

The report (by the ACLU) mentioned PD's receiving MRAP's. I don't really have a problem with that. Both wars have more or less ended and to the DoD, where the PD's got them for next to nothing, they are surplus.

Further, it is by far and away much, much safer for all concerned (the cops, bystanders and even the bad guys) for the police to show an overwhelming force when serving an arrest of search warrant. The problem comes when they over step that. And that is hard to define. It's kinda like trying to define porn. You really can't, but you know it when you see it.
 
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This is part of a culture that has developed over the years. It goes much deeper than just MRAPS and other military hardware. Think about it. I'm not paranoid, just a realist. (Or, trying to define socialism. You can't, but you know it when you see it.)
 
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"Further, it is by far and away much, much safer for all concerned (the cops, bystanders and even the bad guys) for the police to show an overwhelming force when serving an arrest of search warrant"

what a load of crap. Next you will be saying it is okey to have weapons drawn and amid for traffic stops.
 
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"Further, it is by far and away much, much safer for all concerned (the cops, bystanders and even the bad guys) for the police to show an overwhelming force when serving an arrest of search warrant"

what a load of crap. Next you will be saying it is okey to have weapons drawn and amid for traffic stops.
Ahhh! I guess I should have spelled it out, or put it on context for those with little or no imagination. I'll guess I'll take the hit for that. I should have been more clear and write for the lowest common denominator. Sorry.

Serving a search warrant on say someone who is suspected of pirating TV signals, in other words stealing HBO? No. It can and probably should be handled "quietly" without much drama.

Serving a search and/or arrest warrant on say a known violent offender? Then yes, overwhelming "shock and awe" will keep everyone (including the suspect) relatively safe. Or perhaps the police should call and make an appointment with the suspect? Maybe ask him/her to pretty please come to the police station with his contraband so the evidence can be collected and he can be arrested? Is that what the police should do Mark?

Traffic stops? Wow Mark, that's probably the most ill-informed comment I've seen on this forum in a very long time. Again, I guess I have to spell it out, so here goes.

Drawing down during a traffic stop on a couple of old people in day light within a city? Of course not. That would be stupid.

Now what about a traffic stop on a vehicle that the LEO can't clearly see into in the middle of nowhere? It probably would be stupid not to at least have the gun at the ready. Don't you think Mark? (Hint: If done correctly, that is once the LEO determines there are no threat(s), s/he can holster the gun without the occupants even knowing it was out.)

The point I was trying to make was yes, I agree the police have become militarized, but to draw a line as far as how militarized they should be is difficult if not impossible. As I alluded to earlier we (as a society) can't define it, but sure know it when we see it.

One place they could improve on is the daily wear of LEO's on what appear to be on routine patrol. I'm seeing more of them in fatigues, that are in all respects military except they are one color, usually black and complete with bloused boots. What is the need for fatigues? I know what they wear has to look professional, and be functional, but military fatigues? Come on! There is no doubt they give a military mentality to those who wear them.
 
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I recall some of the first "armored assault vehicles" obtained by police departments were in Los Angeles, maybe thirty years ago, to deal with the black and Hispanic gangs and the associated violence there. Many folks across the country sat back and said "Man, I'm glad I don't live in LA!". Now we are seeing more and more of this military hardware showing up in places like Billings, Montana, Cheyenne, Wyoming and other towns that we think are just sleepy little waysides.

Several months ago I had a discussion with a Clark County Deputy about an issue I was having with a fellow citizen, a man of low moral character (am I being judgmental here?). The deputy remarked that the way society is going, it's becoming more likely that the good guys will at some point rub up against some sleazebag, no matter how much you try to avoid it, and end up with some issue. The point here is that we are seeing an uptick in how many citizens are applying for and getting concealed carry permits. Is it just so we can show we can? Is it the cool, faddish thing to do? Are we really the hot ticket when we pack heat? Or are we genuinely concerned about our safety? Maybe, just maybe, we are reacting the way the various law enforcement agencies are reacting. Sure, there are those that believe owning and carrying firearms is a defense against government tyranny, a valid belief. Having studied history, I subscribe to that one. I also see a disturbing trend of violence here in the USA, and I can see why LE agencies are gearing up. What disturbs me about that is the leeway the courts are granting in the use of force. Throw in a bad cop or two, a Chief of Police or Sheriff that decides he can cowboy up and do as he damn well pleases, well, that is a recipe for disaster. Behavior like that can also be used against political foes by a party in power. When we see that happening, it's time to stop it before it becomes a part of our culture.
 

RicInOR

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Last edited:
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"Ahhh! I guess I should have spelled it out, or put it on context for those with little or no imagination. I'll guess I'll take the hit for that. I should have been more clear and write for the lowest common denominator. Sorry."


Yeah everyone cares more about what you have to say when you call them
"the lowest common denominator"
Police need to do more surveillance and make sure they are at least on the right block before entering a house for a "SUSPECTED" criminal
Remember that word please,"suspected" as we are all supposed to have our day in court
 

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