Thursday, 14 August 2014

The policeman said "It's like a war zone"

Iraq? Afghanistan?
No, this is a policeman in Ferguson, MO.
I say again  - this is a policeman in Ferguson, MO
Is this the new norm?  Is this O.K.?   Is this something we should accept as being acceptable in a constitutional democracy?
It was maybe some twenty years ago that, late in the afternoon, I returned to my office at St. Stephen's Parish on Allen Street in  Pittsfield, MA and saw the policemen.
They stood on the roof of the Pittsfield Police Station, (also on Allen St) just across the road from St. Stephen's. They were heavily armed. They were dressed in black. I was highly disturbed.
It turned out that this semi-militarized Police presence was in place to provide "security" after  drug raids in Pittsfield's "West End".
I thought back then that the semi militarized Police presence was a matter of over-kill. 
I also thought  that this armed Police presence posed a danger to the children who were in and out of St. Stephen's that afternoon,  My reasoning was this: "if there is clear and present danger on Allen Street, why did the police fail to alert us about  it ?"'
I registered my concerns/complaints with the Pittsfield Police Dept. the next day. My words were received with a polite response.
So let it be,  until we understand that the increased and increasing militarization of local police authorities has led them away from their highest ideals,  (viz: "to protect and serve"), and towards the emergence of local police as agents of governmental repression.
See for example these pics of the Ferguson, MO Police  as they responded to the protests after their unlawful killing of Michael  Brown.
Are they Police personnel  seeking to "protect and serve"?, or do we see militarized cops? I think the latter! 
Here is what one of the cops said:
"It's like a war zone".

He, of course, saw a war zone because the police are being trained to become America's domestic security army.

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