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When local police use the "big hammer" too often

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    The first sentence in the article:

    "Americas police have become too militarized."

    And to that I would add:

    Americas criminals have become too militarized.

    The cops are just meeting the evolving threat, that's all. They always have and always will.

    They can make 100 successful drug raids and we won't hear a thing about them. Or 1000 successful drug raids. Or 10,000. But let them make a mistake one time and that's the one that will get all the attention.

    It's not news unless it's bad news.

    Schmidt says ..."Follow the money"... and that is exactly right. MONEY runs EVERYTHING!
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    Jamesn --

    You and I will just have to disagree. I suggest you read the entire Business Insider article. The concluding paragraph states:

    "No one wants to eliminate SWAT teams. Imminent threats to human life require a swift, forceful response. That, say critics, is what SWAT teams should be used for: not for serving warrants on people suspected of nonviolent crimes, breaking up poker games or seeing that the Pumpkin Festival doesn't get out of hand."

    After wars are finished, the military contractors start running out of buyers. So they use their lobbyists to get the federal government to keep buying their toys and then distribute the money to local communities to pay for it. Fear is the selling point. Every community has to be heavily armed and ready...in case the commies attack or whatever. And once you have that stuff you have to use it or it gets old. So they use their SWAT team and military toys to break up underage drinking parties and such in these rural communities that think the commies are coming...or is it al Qaeda? And these teenagers drinking? Wow we need SWAT team for those as well in case a teenager has a gun...better safe than sorry.

    And that 92 year old women was a threat to society...bam bam bam bam bam...five potent assault rifle bullets into her torso. Oooops...just call her collateral damage. But better safe than sorry. She had a gun...never can tell about these people nowadays. Shoot first and ask questions later. She might even have been a secret commie. Who knows?

    "Federal cash--first to wage war on drugs, then on terror--has paid for much of the heavy weaponry used by SWAT teams. Between 2002 and 2011 the Department of Homeland Security disbursed $35 billion in grants to state and local police. Also, the Pentagon offers surplus military kit to police departments."

    In the meantime, with the gun manufacturers selling fear and guns to the populace, the police need all the military fire power to counter that firepower. Oh and those heavily armored assault vehicles with gun turrets will insure that the 92 year old women cannot shoot anyone. Or anyone that gets out of hand at a Pumpkin Patch Festival...or a barber shop.

    I've made my point and will leave it at that. You must feel real safe knowing that your SWAT team is protecting you. Let's just hope they don't get the wrong address and hit your house at 3:00 am.
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    Schmidt ..."You and I will just have to disagree"...

    We have disagreed before and we may well disagree again in the future, and that's OK.

    What would this DemocraticHub be like if everyone agreed all the time? Pretty boring, would be my guess.

    Yes, you have made your point, and you have helped make my point, too.

    I say that the USA is safer with SWAT teams than it would be without them. Maybe you think otherwise, and if so, that's your opinion. Mistakes will be made by SWAT teams just like mistakes are made by people in every other profession.

    It would be great if there were no need for SWAT teams. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were no drug dealers and criminals in our society?

    That would not be reality, it would be fantasy.

    I try to live in the real world.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Schmidt Wrote: Jamesn --

    You and I will just have to disagree. I suggest you read the entire Business Insider article. The concluding paragraph states:

    "No one wants to eliminate SWAT teams. Imminent threats to human life require a swift, forceful response. That, say critics, is what SWAT teams should be used for: not for serving warrants on people suspected of nonviolent crimes, breaking up poker games or seeing that the Pumpkin Festival doesn't get out of hand."

    After wars are finished, the military contractors start running out of buyers. So they use their lobbyists to get the federal government to keep buying their toys and then distribute the money to local communities to pay for it. Fear is the selling point. Every community has to be heavily armed and ready...in case the commies attack or whatever. And once you have that stuff you have to use it or it gets old. So they use their SWAT team and military toys to break up underage drinking parties and such in these rural communities that think the commies are coming...or is it al Qaeda? And these teenagers drinking? Wow we need SWAT team for those as well in case a teenager has a gun...better safe than sorry.

    And that 92 year old women was a threat to society...bam bam bam bam bam...five potent assault rifle bullets into her torso. Oooops...just call her collateral damage. But better safe than sorry. She had a gun...never can tell about these people nowadays. Shoot first and ask questions later. She might even have been a secret commie. Who knows?

    "Federal cash--first to wage war on drugs, then on terror--has paid for much of the heavy weaponry used by SWAT teams. Between 2002 and 2011 the Department of Homeland Security disbursed $35 billion in grants to state and local police. Also, the Pentagon offers surplus military kit to police departments."

    In the meantime, with the gun manufacturers selling fear and guns to the populace, the police need all the military fire power to counter that firepower. Oh and those heavily armored assault vehicles with gun turrets will insure that the 92 year old women cannot shoot anyone. Or anyone that gets out of hand at a Pumpkin Patch Festival...or a barber shop.

    I've made my point and will leave it at that. You must feel real safe knowing that your SWAT team is protecting you. Let's just hope they don't get the wrong address and hit your house at 3:00 am.
    Again "schmidt" I fully agree with you; what Jamesn said (which he does not admit) that things have come to this situation because we like to sell and buy guns and drugs; the more and the bigger the better. Also all our wars bring more of these toys into circulation etc. And you can make a lot of money if you can evade the cops.
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    Dutch you are mostly right, and I will admit it, because it's true:

    We like to ..."sell and buy guns and drugs; the more and the bigger the better"... how could any reasonable person could deny it? Guns and drugs, both legal and illegal, are very big money makers in this country.

    No one could argue otherwise.

    Hell yes, avoid the cops and either, or both of those industries will make you tons of money, until you get caught, and nearly all of them get caught...thanks many times to our SWAT teams.

    The problem is that those who buy and sell guns and drugs illegally are a major reason why we have to have SWAT teams.

    And as much as some people seem to disapprove of our SWAT teams, they aren't going anywhere, in fact, they are a growth industry.
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    jamesn Wrote: Dutch you are mostly right, and I will admit it, because it's true:

    We like to ..."sell and buy guns and drugs; the more and the bigger the better"... how could any reasonable person could deny it? Guns and drugs, both legal and illegal, are very big money makers in this country.

    No one could argue otherwise.

    Hell yes, avoid the cops and either, or both of those industries will make you tons of money, until you get caught, and nearly all of them get caught...thanks many times to our SWAT teams.

    The problem is that those who buy and sell guns and drugs illegally are a major reason why we have to have SWAT teams.

    And as much as some people seem to disapprove of our SWAT teams, they aren't going anywhere, in fact, they are a growth industry.
    Yes you said it right; the thing is as always any action always creates a reaction; bigger guns, than even bigger guns on the other side etc etc.
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    Y'all are missing the point of Swat teams needing to use flash bangs on rowdy toddlers in playpens: this happened in Georgia...the state that recently passed laws that make it legal to carry loaded guns everywhere...stores, churches, bars. How were those officiers to know that toddler didn't have an AK-47 under a teddy bear...after all, someone had just bought drugs at that address the day before. How could anyone expect the police to observe the house and make sure the drug dealer was still there? They had to polish their super-Swat toys and don't have time to confirm targets. We can sleep soundly tonight because one more drug dealing, gun toting toddler is off the streets...nighty-nite
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    I hate to keep beating on this topic, but I just had to share this article, at least with Dutch:

    RT, June 9, 2014: 'It's a warzone in the US': Indiana sheriff explains why he deployed heavy armor in his county

    "From the streets of Fallujah to Franklin, Indiana, heavily armored military vehicles have been rolled out for one and the same reason: many police officers in the US believe there’s a war going on.

    "Franklin, Indiana is by all accounts the idyllic Midwestern American town. Eponymously named after one of the founding fathers and “the first American,” Franklin’s small town bona fides provided Life Magazine with a Norman Rockwell-esque scene for a bit of village life utopia in the heart of the Great Depression.

    "But if you were to talk to local law enforcement, a battle is raging in the streets of Mayberry."


    Sheriff Cox of Franklin County, Indiana, population 139,000 is proud of his latest peace keeping toy, a "MRAP" – a 55,000 pound, six-wheeled Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored-fighting vehicle with the word “SHERIFF" emblazoned on its flank.

    “We don't have a lot of mines in Johnson County," confessed Sheriff Doug Cox, who acquired the vehicle. "My job is to make sure my employees go home safe."

    Franklin is not alone. Eight Indiana law enforcement agencies have acquired MRAPs from military surplus since 2010 and the trend across the country is similar. Military surplus and $35 billion in grants from the Department of Homeland Security have ensured that police forces across America have acquired the most advanced weapons. According to Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer, a proud owner of a MRAP, the effects are not only tactical, but psychological:

    "The United States of America has become a war zone," he said. "There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."

    You can read more about the militarization of America's police forces at the RT website link above.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Schmidt Wrote: I hate to keep beating on this topic, but I just had to share this article, at least with Dutch:

    RT, June 9, 2014: 'It's a warzone in the US': Indiana sheriff explains why he deployed heavy armor in his county

    "From the streets of Fallujah to Franklin, Indiana, heavily armored military vehicles have been rolled out for one and the same reason: many police officers in the US believe there’s a war going on.

    "Franklin, Indiana is by all accounts the idyllic Midwestern American town. Eponymously named after one of the founding fathers and “the first American,” Franklin’s small town bona fides provided Life Magazine with a Norman Rockwell-esque scene for a bit of village life utopia in the heart of the Great Depression.

    "But if you were to talk to local law enforcement, a battle is raging in the streets of Mayberry."


    Sheriff Cox of Franklin County, Indiana, population 139,000 is proud of his latest peace keeping toy, a "MRAP" – a 55,000 pound, six-wheeled Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored-fighting vehicle with the word “SHERIFF" emblazoned on its flank.

    “We don't have a lot of mines in Johnson County," confessed Sheriff Doug Cox, who acquired the vehicle. "My job is to make sure my employees go home safe."

    Franklin is not alone. Eight Indiana law enforcement agencies have acquired MRAPs from military surplus since 2010 and the trend across the country is similar. Military surplus and $35 billion in grants from the Department of Homeland Security have ensured that police forces across America have acquired the most advanced weapons. According to Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer, a proud owner of a MRAP, the effects are not only tactical, but psychological:

    "The United States of America has become a war zone," he said. "There's violence in the workplace, there's violence in schools and there's violence in the streets. You are seeing police departments going to a semi-military format because of the threats we have to counteract. If driving a military vehicle is going to protect officers, then that's what I'm going to do."

    You can read more about the militarization of America's police forces at the RT website link above.
    The same happened in Fl; they got also one of those vehicles; why not park those in front of the classroom? Anyway,in which direction is this country moving? I like the "English Bobby's" without guns versus us; "bigger is always better" attitude. I guess the "dumb" factor plays a role; only deal with the end result, but refuse to look at the "cause" the same way we fight terrorists as well. ( Thinking "z" all the time; instead of starting at "a")
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    Thought I would throw a personal experience out for thought. Last year, I was moving from NC to FLA and had a small rental truck. Crossing into Florida, one is required to stop for inspection at Florida's Ag station. Imagine my surprise,when I'm "greeted" by what looks like a SWAT officer...complete with web holster,bloused boots and what we used to call jungle fatigues.M-16 in the office.

    Keep in mind,these are BUG cops! They chase fruit flies and the like. Now,no joke,that is a serious problem for a state which makes a large part of it's income off citrus.But what,I ask you, did this wanna-be Rambo expect? That the fruit flies are gonna get together and come out of the trees strapped,ready for mortal combat??

    Now don't get me wrong...there are a lot of police departments around this poor country that need everything they can get their hands on. NYC,LA,Houston,Chicago,etc. Heck, those departments probably could use full Bradleys, complete with the chain gun.But, and here is the problem. A small,emphase small,town in rural Georgia does NOT need these. They have no need for flashbangs,automatic weapons,and the like. The big cities(Atlanta,Macon,Savannah and Athens) are close enough to provide support if( not when,if) they find themselves in a shootout with the Taliban.Or other type crazies.

    And this is the problem. No government org. of any type has ever shown the ability(common sense?) to refrain from using ANYTHING they have at their disposal, just to "see if it works" Or, "this stuff sure is fun." Maybe that is a bit harsh...but these stories keep rolling around. Where thoughtful cops are pushed to the side in favor of the "lets go in like gang busters...even if no gang exists."

    One more thing. A serious drug dealer does NOT live in a trailer in rural Georgia. They live in really big,well defended homes...surrounded by security. What these national heros had...was some idiot dealing nickle and dime bags to support his own habit. That aint no drug kingpin. Sorry.

    I'm NOT saying they shouldn't have gone after him. But, he was in no danger whatsoever of fleeing the country in his private jet, never to be seen again. Why not just stake out the neighborhood,pull him over when he comes out to re-up...bust him then. Answer:that approach is nowhere near as sexy.

    Just sayin
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    gymrat22 Wrote: Thought I would throw a personal experience out for thought. Last year, I was moving from NC to FLA and had a small rental truck. Crossing into Florida, one is required to stop for inspection at Florida's Ag station. Imagine my surprise,when I'm "greeted" by what looks like a SWAT officer...complete with web holster,bloused boots and what we used to call jungle fatigues.M-16 in the office.

    Keep in mind,these are BUG cops! They chase fruit flies and the like. Now,no joke,that is a serious problem for a state which makes a large part of it's income off citrus.But what,I ask you, did this wanna-be Rambo expect? That the fruit flies are gonna get together and come out of the trees strapped,ready for mortal combat??

    Now don't get me wrong...there are a lot of police departments around this poor country that need everything they can get their hands on. NYC,LA,Houston,Chicago,etc. Heck, those departments probably could use full Bradleys, complete with the chain gun.But, and here is the problem. A small,emphase small,town in rural Georgia does NOT need these. They have no need for flashbangs,automatic weapons,and the like. The big cities(Atlanta,Macon,Savannah and Athens) are close enough to provide support if( not when,if) they find themselves in a shootout with the Taliban.Or other type crazies.

    And this is the problem. No government org. of any type has ever shown the ability(common sense?) to refrain from using ANYTHING they have at their disposal, just to "see if it works" Or, "this stuff sure is fun." Maybe that is a bit harsh...but these stories keep rolling around. Where thoughtful cops are pushed to the side in favor of the "lets go in like gang busters...even if no gang exists."

    One more thing. A serious drug dealer does NOT live in a trailer in rural Georgia. They live in really big,well defended homes...surrounded by security. What these national heros had...was some idiot dealing nickle and dime bags to support his own habit. That aint no drug kingpin. Sorry.

    I'm NOT saying they shouldn't have gone after him. But, he was in no danger whatsoever of fleeing the country in his private jet, never to be seen again. Why not just stake out the neighborhood,pull him over when he comes out to re-up...bust him then. Answer:that approach is nowhere near as sexy.

    Just sayin
    I live on FL; yes you gor it right; It is a circus out here ( and then we tell the world onhow they should live and run their country) I love the circus but not arrogant hypocrites who think they are "god".
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    Dutch Wrote:
    gymrat22 Wrote: Thought I would throw a personal experience out for thought. Last year, I was moving from NC to FLA and had a small rental truck. Crossing into Florida, one is required to stop for inspection at Florida's Ag station. Imagine my surprise,when I'm "greeted" by what looks like a SWAT officer...complete with web holster,bloused boots and what we used to call jungle fatigues.M-16 in the office.

    Keep in mind,these are BUG cops! They chase fruit flies and the like. Now,no joke,that is a serious problem for a state which makes a large part of it's income off citrus.But what,I ask you, did this wanna-be Rambo expect? That the fruit flies are gonna get together and come out of the trees strapped,ready for mortal combat??

    Now don't get me wrong...there are a lot of police departments around this poor country that need everything they can get their hands on. NYC,LA,Houston,Chicago,etc. Heck, those departments probably could use full Bradleys, complete with the chain gun.But, and here is the problem. A small,emphase small,town in rural Georgia does NOT need these. They have no need for flashbangs,automatic weapons,and the like. The big cities(Atlanta,Macon,Savannah and Athens) are close enough to provide support if( not when,if) they find themselves in a shootout with the Taliban.Or other type crazies.

    And this is the problem. No government org. of any type has ever shown the ability(common sense?) to refrain from using ANYTHING they have at their disposal, just to "see if it works" Or, "this stuff sure is fun." Maybe that is a bit harsh...but these stories keep rolling around. Where thoughtful cops are pushed to the side in favor of the "lets go in like gang busters...even if no gang exists."

    One more thing. A serious drug dealer does NOT live in a trailer in rural Georgia. They live in really big,well defended homes...surrounded by security. What these national heros had...was some idiot dealing nickle and dime bags to support his own habit. That aint no drug kingpin. Sorry.

    I'm NOT saying they shouldn't have gone after him. But, he was in no danger whatsoever of fleeing the country in his private jet, never to be seen again. Why not just stake out the neighborhood,pull him over when he comes out to re-up...bust him then. Answer:that approach is nowhere near as sexy.

    Just sayin
    I live on FL; yes you got it right; It is a circus out here ( and then we tell the world on how they should live and run their country) I love the circus but not arrogant hypocrites who think they are "god".
    Sometimes Dutch and I disagree. And that is totally cool. But here,he and I see eye to eye. Florida has a problem with it's myriad and assorted "government control agencies"

    This incident happened about 6 months after my encounter with Rambo at the state line.

    I'm over by Lee, in the N. part of the state, coming back from a nursery where I had gotten a great deal on some Japanese Maple trees(beautiful little trees),and of course,here is another Ag inspection station.I pull up, and tell the "officer" that I have on some Japanese Maples,complete with certificate from a nursery about 5 miles from this place. His response? "Oh,you got them from Japan?" I can resist anything but temptation. "No" I replied,"Japanese Maples are no more from Japan,than Red Delicious apples are from the big rock candy mountain".

    What point am I trying to make here? Just this: when we have armed(by the state) people among us...is it asking too much to have them properly trained??? And, I don't know.SUPERVISED???

    You can't make stuff like this up.
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    Yeah...you can't make up some of this stuff. The ignorance is astounding. And yes, give a police department an armored vehicle and they will find a way to use it...even if it's to bust up an underage teen drinking party. We have lost all touch with reality. They watch too many Rambo type movies.
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    Hello guys: this thread is better than the Comedy Club. I can hardly believe this stuff really happens, but then --- you just gotta love law enforcement. Remarkably, I knew a couple of Federal Marshalls who had a great sense of humor. --- Police come in all sizes & personalities.

    A few years ago, I did not like carrying my gun just to go get an ice cream cone down the street, but after dark, walking by a couple of bars, it felt kinda dangerous late at night, when walking alone. So I went out to my friendly gun store & bought a "stun gun". It is light-weight, easy to use, & usually effective. (so they say). (NOTE: the "stun gun" is not the same as a Tazer). Well, then to determine its effectiveness, I asked a few macho guys standing around in there to allow me to "test" my purchase, on them, just to see how it worked.

    I saw a strange reaction -- grown macho gun-toting men suddenly cowered in the corner, saying "Oh no, not ME" in a trembling voice. I thought they were just kidding around, so again I repeated, "Will anybody volunteer to test this"? Pretty soon, I began to realize that they were actually afraid of this tiny little gadget. (Good thing to know, girls).

    A couple of weeks later, I took my new "toy" over to Mom's house to show them what a neat little protection device I had bought. I got it out of my purse, held it up in the air, & all hell broke loose. My sister & mother screamed (I was at least 10 feet away from any of them) & my brother in law, who had been in Viet Nam, backed off in fear, & somebody rushed me, to forcibly take it out of my hand. All I had done is lift my stun gun up in my hand & pressed the little button, which made a very small blue electric arc (or ray) go buzzing across the nodes. (A ray of blue light only 2 inches long).

    I tried to tell them that it could not possibly hurt them UNLESS they got touched by it, but they were scared just being in the same room with it. So it usually went with me everywhere at night, when walking alone in the dark, since that little blue light could scare dogs off a meat truck. And it also made a heckuva cool night light, too.