Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/15/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Despite drop in crime, police getting heavier equipment.

After a night of peaceful protests in Ferguson, MO, police have released the name of the officer who they say shot an unarmed teenage robbery suspect. The recent clashes between the public and police have highlighted aggressive police tactics and militarization which has developed after years of decline in violent crime.

Mount machine guns on it, but paint 'rescue' on the side, to fool thewm.

Mount machine guns on it, but paint 'rescue' on the side, to fool thewm.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/15/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: police, crime, heavy, equipment, miitary, suprlus, Ferguson


ST. LOUIS, MO (Catholic Online) - The militarization of American police forces has came to public attention following protests over the shooting and killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenage robbery suspect. Some Americans have developed a perception that police are trigger-happy and over-armed.

The police officer has been identified as Darren Wilson, an officer with an unblemished record according to local authorities. Initially police refused to release his name because of concerns for the safety of the officer and his family.

Pray for peace in our world!

On the streets of Ferguson, the ease with which tear gas and rubber bullets were fired into crowds by heavily armored police, deployed from armored personnel carriers, has only reinforced American concern that our police are becoming paramilitary organizations in their own right.

Police say they need the heavy equipment to protect them from heavily-armed gangsters and drug cartel footmen who are themselves often heavily armed. The threat of terrorism also plays a role. A major surplus of military equipment following wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have fed into the problem.

However, it is worth pondering that police feel they need the equipment because while the U.S. government is facilitating the arming of police with machine guns and other heavy equipment, it is also allegedly permitting a substantial quantity of illegal narcotics to be shipped into the country along with hundreds, if not thousands of potentially violent criminals along hardly-kept border with Mexico.

In other words, the U.S. government is both creating an artificial problem and selling a placebo cure.

It makes sense. There's a lot of political traction to be gained from tough-on-crime policies which can include shoot-first tactics. However, those tactics backfire against local police forces when it is found the victim is an unarmed person, even a child, who could have been taken into custody without incident.

Statistics gathered by the Department of Justice reveal that violent crime in the U.S. is down by at least 50 percent from 1990, yet in the same timeframe, police scaled up their heavy firepower.

Part of that scaling comes from a law passed by Congress in 1990 which permits the Department of Defense to give surplus military equipment, including armored vehicles, to police forces. A department only has to fill out a single-page form, according to CNN, to obtain surplus hardware from the Pentagon, which can include heavy machineguns and armored cars that function as virtual tanks.

Last year, the Pentagon says it distributed about $450,000,000 worth of hardware.

Of course, the problem is not that police have this equipment for the one occasion they may need to use it; the problem is that they use it quickly and often, many times against peaceful protesters. In Ferguson, peaceful protestors reported being gassed and shot with rubber bullets despite the fact they posed no threat to officers.

Experts say the equipment has an effect on the officers, creating an artificial sense that the public is the enemy. Police use strong-arm tactics, even to serve search warrants and to perform other routine duties. To have something in your hand or to move suddenly, even reflexively, can result in a beating, a shooting, or an extended period of detention.

In a viral video recorded last year, a young man was able to record his detention at a DUI checkpoint where officers bullied him and had a drug-sniffing dog scratch his car because he challenged the constitutionality of their decision to stop and search him and his vehicle without probable cause. The young man was later released as soon as police realized they were being recorded.

The American people are not supposed to be policed by a paramilitary organization. Police officers are supposed to be members of the community, fellow citizens, not a class apart. However, with each layer of armor they wear, they police become just that and it's unsurprising they act accordingly.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

Battle Lines for Religious Liberty and Same Sex 'Marriage' Set

Image of Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council.

By Ken Blackwell

This is Ground Zero for the war on religious liberty. The political left-including gay-marriage activists-are saying that your First Amendment rights concerning same sex 'marriage' are limited to what you say in church or in your private home. You can't live it ... continue reading


Two Differing Catholic Priestly Views on the SCOTUS Gay 'Marriage' Ruling Watch

Image of

By Matt C. Abbott

There have been numerous statements and articles written about the very disappointing (but not surprising) gay "marriage" ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most notable was the excellent statement issued by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, ... continue reading


Heat brews as New Black Panther Party affiliate and KKK affliate plan protests on same day in South Carolina's capital Watch

Image of The New Black Panther Party plans to protest in South Carolina about one month after the Charleston Church shooting.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New Black Panther Party affiliate group is planning to stir up a rally in the state of capitol of South Carolina on July 18. On that same day, a protest is also planned by a KKK white power group. Heat is brewing as a possible face-off is developing in Columbia, SC. ... continue reading


Statue of Blessed Father Junipero Serra safe - for now at U.S. capitol Watch

Image of State legislatures have the authority to decide which two statues will represent their state at the U.S. Capitol.

By CNA/EWTN News

An effort to remove the statue of Bl. Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol has been set aside for the time being. Los Angeles (CNA/EWTN News) - A statue of Franciscan missionary and saint-to-be Father Junipero Serra has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1931. However, a ... continue reading


On this Fourth of July, We Need a Declaration of Dependence Watch

Image of The real promise of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence now cries out for those who believe in its promise to stand up for its true meaning and work to restore the unique experiment in ordered liberty which it offers for future generations.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate of the United States of America, a Nation often called the American Experiment because of the very fact that it was founded upon principles. The words are still memorized by schoolchildren and can bring a ... continue reading


Learning from the Wonderful Witness of 'Doubting' Thomas Watch

Image of Thomas the doubter became the Thomas the model believer, an example for each one of us. He is a great beacon of light for all of us as we cry out with him, MY LORD AND MY GOD!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading


Catholic Church in U.S. has weathered adversity before - and will emerge triumphant, historian says Watch

Image of As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading


After same-sex unions legalized, polygamous Montana trio demands same Watch

Image of The 46-year-old Nathan Collier owns a refrigeration business in Billings. He married 40-year-old Victoria in 2000. His second wife, Christine, was wed in a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 without a marriage license in order to avoid bigamy charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... continue reading


350-pound dolphin accidentally lands on cruise ship severely injuring woman Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To kick off the summer break and celebrate Father's day, a family went aboard a cruise that ended with a traumatizing accident. As the cruise started to sail back to the harbor, a group of dolphins started to swim alongside the boat. However, as the passengers started ... continue reading


Episcopalians overwhelmingly vote to let same-sex weddings in churches Watch

Image of Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly this week to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples. The Episcopal Church has long been on the forefront of equal rights for homosexuals, ever since electing it first openly gay bishop 10 years ago.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 28:10-22
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:18-26
18 While he was speaking to them, suddenly one of the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 6th, 2015 Image

St. Maria Goretti
July 6: Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter