Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Militarization of US Police

How the War on Terror Militarized the Police 

By Arthur Rizer and Joseph Hartman, The Atlantic

09 November 11

[Excerpted] "The most serious consequence of the rapid militarization of American police forces, however, is the subtle evolution in the mentality of the "men in blue" from "peace officer" to soldier. This development is absolutely critical and represents a fundamental change in the nature of law enforcement. 

The primary mission of a police officer traditionally has been to "keep the peace." Those whom an officer suspects to have committed a crime are treated as just that - suspects. Police officers are expected, under the rule of law, to protect the civil liberties of all citizens, even the "bad guys." For domestic law enforcement, a suspect in custody remains innocent until proven guilty....the deployment of lethal violence is an absolute last resort.

Soldiers, by contrast, are trained to identify people they encounter as belonging to one of two groups - the enemy and the non-enemy - and they often reach this decision while surrounded by a population that considers the soldier an occupying force. Once this identification is made, a soldier's mission is stark and simple: kill the enemy, "try" not to kill the non-enemy. Indeed, the Soldier's Creed declares, "I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat." This is a far cry from the peace officer's creed that expects its adherents "to protect and serve."...

Majia Here: We are seeing the result of the militarization of US police in their violence against peaceful OWS protestors

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