Tag Archives: militarization of police

Washington State deputy says military tanks to be used against Constitutionalists

Spokane County Sheriff deputy
The United States is devolving into a police state where civilian federal agencies (including the Dept. of Education !) have shotguns, high-powered battle rifles, AR-15 assault weaponssubmachine guns, and millions of rounds of ammunition, and the Pentagon is arming local police departments with military-grade weapons.
See:

In his 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop, journalist Radley Balko warns: “Law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.
See:

More worrisome still is the fact that the Obama administration repeatedly identifies non-criminal peaceful American citizens as “extremists” and potential “terrorists” — members of the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party movement; the militia (whose existence is sanctioned by nothing less than the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution); conservatives; Christians; veterans; pro-lifers; those who love liberty; nationalists; pro-2nd Amendment; and Constitutionalists.
The dictionary defines “constitutionalist” as “an adherent or advocate of constitutionalism (the principles of constitutional government) or of an existing constitution.”
What can possibly be wrong, much less criminal, with being a Constitutionalist?
And yet we have video footage of a deputy in the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office of Washington state blithely informing an inquiring citizen that the intended targets of the police’s military-grade hardware, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) tanks, are those nasty, extremist, super-dangerous Constitutionalists.
The video below begins with the voice of a man off camera (the unnamed Spokane County Sheriff deputy) going over all the “nice” features of the MRAP tank.
Beg. at the 0:27 mark, a female citizen asks: “So I’m thinking that it’s totally appropriate in Iraq, but where, what kind of a situation in the U.S. would you see that happening?”
Deputy: “Well, we’ve got lots of Constitutionalists, a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition.”
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvDzuE2DZH8]
According to The Free Thought Project, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has responded on Facebook by falsely claiming that the video is out of “context,” but you can see and hear for yourself that the deputy clearly identified “constitutionalists” as reason for the police needing armored military vehicles.
InfoWars observes that what the deputy said isn’t surprising “given reports that Spokane County sheriffs have received training from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that ludicrously compares mainline conservative Americans to racist hate groups.”
Spokane Valley Republican Representative Matthew Shea is appalled when presented with the video footage. He said, “Will law abiding citizens who love the Constitution and Rule of Law be hunted down with MRAPs? Constitutionalism is fundamental to being an American. To hate the Constitution and those who support it means you are a traitor to this country. This is spitting in the face of all those heroes that fought, bled, and died so we might live free. The question should be, why aren’t you a Constitutionalist? Why don’t you believe in the rule of law? Why don’t you believe that the Constitution means what it says?”
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is not the first to cite patriotic Americans as reasoning for military hardware:

  • A police sergeant in Morgan County, Indiana admitted just last May that his department had obtained an armored vehicle in part because of returning military veterans, deemed domestic terror threats by Homeland Security in 2009.
  • In August of 2013, Concord, New Hampshire Police Chief John Duval secretly contacted Homeland Security and demanded an armored vehicle due to the alleged “threat” posed by peaceful libertarians.
  • A New York State Counter Terrorism Bulletin leaked to Infowars by concerned police that same year attempted to label anyone concerned with government gun confiscation as “far right” conspiracy theorists, even as admitted gun confiscation programs are used against law abiding citizens in states such as California.
  • The MIAC Report, a federal training document famously presented to Missouri police in 2009, went as far as falsely tying supporters of former Presidential Candidate Ron Paul and the Constitution to “extremist groups” as well.

InfoWars concludes that “Despite a massive drop in police officer deaths, gun homicide and violent crime in the last 2o years, government agencies across the board continue to adopt military tactics in order to fight anything that represents traditional America. Luckily for Americans, peace officers who still respect their oath continue to serve throughout the United States.”
H/t FOTM’s maziel
~Eowyn

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Pentagon pressed to change program arming police with military gear

In the six years of Obama’s presidency, America has become increasingly militarized — not our troops abroad, but right here at home — and transforming before our eyes into a police state. (See “Police State U.S.A.”)
40 civilian agencies of the federal government now have armed divisions. Those of us who are not low-information voters are familiar with the alarming purchases of guns, rifles, and lethal hollow-point bullets by the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, including the Department of Education!
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Increasingly, however, police across America are violating the 4th Amendment by storming into homes, armed to the teeth in military gear, under the pretext of apprehending some suspected criminal. (See “Obama regime supplies military-grade arms to police”)
The most egregious example took place on April 19, 2013.
During a manhunt in the Boston suburb of Watertown, MA, for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, heavily-armed SWAT police and federal agents spent the day storming people’s homes and performing illegal searches, ripping people from their homes at gunpoint, marching the residents out with their hands raised above their heads in submission, and then storming into their homes to perform warrantless searches. (See “Boston Bombing: Getting the sheeple used to the police state”)
Watertown2Watertown1
Charles Hoskinson reports for the Washington Examiner that last Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, reacting to images of heavily armed police amid the Ferguson racial protests, a House Armed Services subcommittee looked into the issue of the militarization of police.
“In light of these and other disturbing events around the country, it is incumbent on us to review this Department of Defense program,” said Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), referring to Ferguson.
But Pentagon officials and representatives of national law enforcement groups told the committee that although the Defense Department is overhauling the program that gives surplus military equipment to local police departments, there is good reason to keep it going.
Alan Estevez (principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, logistics and technology) and Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek (director of the Defense Logistics Agency) said that 96% of the equipment transferred under the program is non-lethal items such as commercial vehicles, office furniture and supplies, generators, tents, tarps, tool kits, first-aid kits, blankets, safety glasses and hand tools — not the small arms and armored vehicles such as the MRAPs used by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

___________

Translated, that means at least 4% of the equipment “transferred” to local police are LETHAL (see below). Don’t you feel better now? /sarc

police state
Harnitchek said that the program does not include items that have only offensive military value, such as belt-fed machine guns. “None of those are authorized for transfer.” He said Pentagon officials have removed some items that were previously provided after determining they were not appropriate for police use, such as military helmets, body armor and camouflage uniforms currently used by U.S. troops.
I don’t like seeing any of the police agencies in my state in military-style uniforms. I think that’s un-American,” responded Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga).
But the program remains controversial, and lawmakers have been putting pressure on the Pentagon for further changes and stricter accountability of how the equipment is used. Some want the program eliminated outright, a proposal that drew pushback from representatives of national police groups.
1. Mark Lomax, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, said, “The 1033 program has provided the necessary equipment to protect our brave officers and provide security and effective response to our communities.”
2. Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation and the retired chief of the Redlands, Calif., police department, said, “Completely eliminating it could have substantial impact on public safety and local budgets.” Bueermann proposed a number of reforms that would make the program more accountable to local communities, including:

  • Public input and approval of a local governing body before police receive any surplus military equipment.
  • Public disclosure of how and how often the equipment is to be used.
  • Requiring police officers be trained on the proper use of the equipment.

Though the Pentagon requires police departments to demonstrate eligibility for transfers and to maintain control of inventory, the program as it is today does not include local oversight, and the Defense Department does not dictate the ways in which they are used by local police.
~Eowyn

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Dangerous trend of increasing militarization of U.S. police

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Increasingly, however, police across America are violating the 4th Amendment by storming into homes, armed to the teeth in military gear, under the pretext of apprehending some suspected criminal.
Sometimes, the police raids are not just mistaken but end in tragedy. That’s what happened recently in Brooklyn, NY, to Haitian immigrant and father of 8, 42-year-old Carlos Alcis.

Alcis apartmentPolice stormed into the Alcis family’s basement apartment in Brooklyn.

On August 15, 2013, at 5:30 a.m., a young woman was punched in the face at Kings Highway and Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn and robbed of her iPhone. A witness followed the robber to a two-story brick building where the Alcis family lives in a basement apartment and called the cops.
So cops stormed the Alcis apartment, which led to Carlos collapsing in a heart attack. It took the ambulance 30 minutes to arrive although the apartment was only blocks away from Brookdale University Hospital. By the time the ambulance arrived, however, Carlos had died.
All this over a stolen iPhone.
It turns out the robber suspect was not a member of Alcis family and was not in their apartment. (Source: NY Daily News)
Here’s WildBillForAmerica on the militarization of police:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0_tr1LgJxE]
H/t Patriot Action Network
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~Eowyn

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