Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/15/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More U.S.

Homeless man blessed by complete stranger one cold winter night - sound familiar? Watch

Image of Joey Resto gave a homeless man the shirt off his back - and a beanie to boot (Lazaro El Feo)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Everyone sees the homeless and poor holding signs. Some divert their eyes while others offer food or money. For 23-year-old Joey Resto, turning away wasn't an option and money wasn't enough. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After work, Resto took the downtown "A" ... continue reading


Demented 'House of Horrors' serial baby killer blames the Church for his incarceration and believes he will be freed Watch

Image of Kermit Gosnell was responsible for thousands of murders (Gabriel Moreno/Philidelphia Magazine).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Kermit Gosnell is serving a life sentence for killing several babies but, believing he'll be freed soon, he has been training from prison for a triathlon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gosnell was convicted of several counts of murder in 2013. He was caught ... continue reading


Deacon Keith Fournier: I Will Join Fr Frank Pavone at the National Memorial for the Preborn. Please Come! Watch

Image of Clergy in prayer at a National Memorial Service for the Preborn and their mothers and fathers

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I will join Fr. Frank Pavone on Friday, January 27, 2017 for the 23d annual National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and fathers in Washington, D.C. at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St., NW (18th and D St), Washington, DC, from 8:30-10:30 am. The ... continue reading


St Francis De Sales Calls Ordinary People to Extraordinary Holiness Watch

Image of St Francis De Sales

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Francis De Sales called all men and women to pursue holiness in accordance with their state in life and vocation. He understood that holiness can look different, depending upon state in life and vocation. However, all holy people all look like Jesus, because ... continue reading


Oldest living WWII veteran SHOCKED at AMAZING gifts from fellow countrymen Watch

Image of Richard Overton, America's oldest living WWII veteran may lose the home he built himself (GoFundMe).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Richard Overton is believed to be the oldest living World War II veteran in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Overton has outlived most of his friends and his closest relatives. He currently resides in the same home he built himself in Austin, TX ... continue reading


Secret Service eyes Madonna after star threatens to blow up White House during Women's March on Washington Watch

Image of Madonna admits before a crowd of thousands that she has considered

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pop star Madonna was one of several celebrities attending the Women's March on Washington Saturday, January 21, just one day after Donald Trump was sworn into the Presidency. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Like many celebrities, Madonna spoke candidly without fear ... continue reading


Beheading videos and the ISIS flag - Masked man intimidates Trump supporters in Washington Watch

Image of Masked man revealed an ISIS flag and beheading video on his phone (InfoWars).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A group of President Donald Trump supporters were enjoying themselves in a sports bar in northwest Washington when a masked man approached the large glass window. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Outside the Proper 21 sports bar, the masked protester pulled a phone ... continue reading


'I could have been arrested...' - Nebraska law forcing nuns to remove habits in schools sparks controversy Watch

Image of Nuns are not allowed to wear habits in Nebraska schools.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Sister Madeleine Miller's efforts to substitute teach in a Nebraska public school ran afoul of a century-old law that left her bewildered - and prompted the state legislature to take another look at the law's dark past. Lincoln, NE (CNA/EWTN News) - "I was just ... continue reading


Meth cook and devil worshiper attacks mother then leaves her for dead with demon king's name written on her chest Watch

Image of Chase Wall attacked his mother and left her for dead with a demon king's name scrawled across her chest.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Chase Wall, a 33-year-old occult-obsessed meth addict, was arrested after beating his mother, stealing her car and leaving her for dead with a demon's name inscribed on her bloody chest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Wall's 66-year-old mother was discovered in a ... continue reading


Amazing discovery in Canada reveals one man's controversial claim was TRUE Watch

Image of Evidence of stone tools used on a horse's jaw means humans arrived in North America thousands of years earlier than previously believed.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Researchers at the Université of Montréal (UdeM) in Canada made an important discovery this year, changing a key element of North American history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - New research suggests humans first traveled to North America 24,000 ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:1-10
1 So, since the Law contains no more than a reflection of the good things ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the mud of the mire. He ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:31-35
31 Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 24th, 2017 Image

St. Francis de Sales
January 24: St. Francis de Sales was born to a noble family ... Read More