Monday, October 06, 2014

Small-town America rebels against 'police state' arsenal ~ By Leo Hohmann

Thousands of MRAP military vehicles like this one have been
distributed to police departments throughout the U.S. in recent years.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have quietly returned more than 6,000 unwanted or unusable items to the Pentagon in the last 10 years, according to a report by Mother Jones.

And the trend seems to be gaining steam since the August unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. That’s when many Americans got their first glimpse of camouflage-clad cops roving the streets in tanks and armored vehicles, blurring the lines between police and soldiers.

Recently, in response to a local outcry over aggressive policing tactics, San Jose, California’s police department announced plans to return its MRAP, and the Los Angeles school system police department has agreed to return its three grenade launchers. (Emphasis my own)

Whitehead said military recycling programs carry hidden costs and result in heightened risk for the community by transforming local police into extensions of the military.
Apparently, citizens are becoming uncomfortably aroused by the sight of military equipment and militarized police forces moving through their streets. Residents of Nampa, Idaho, a city with a population of 97,000, is one example, where citizens were disquieted enough to ask the city to return the military equipment.

"SWAT raids, which numbered about 3,000 a year in the early 1980s, now occur over 80,000 times per year across America," Leo Hohmann wrote in this article. Originally meant to help fight the drug war against well armed criminals, or help in active-shooter events, SWAT teams "are rolled out for the most routine police procedures such as serving warrants."

As noted here previously, even Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO) was shocked that military equipment was being used by the Ferguson, MO. police department to quell unrest.   The question now could be if militarized police forces will be needed to handle the unrest should there be a full blown Ebola outbreak somewhere in America?

Five years ago, Massachusetts was considering this proposal: "Pandemic bill allows health authorities to enter homes, detain without warrant." (I was unable to determine if that bill was ultimately signed into law.)  But it adds a whole new dimension in to the argument about how militarized various state and federal agencies have become.  Remember the Bureau of Land Management raid on the Bundy Ranch last April?  Just sayin'...

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Small-town America rebels against 'police state' arsenal
Citizens urge return of armored vehicles to Pentagon
By Leo Hohmann

Published: Sunday, October 5th, 2014


Residents of an Idaho town are asking their city council to return an armored vehicle to the federal government and just say no to militarization.

John Whitehead
John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said he was contacted by a group of residents from Nampa, Idaho, and asked to urge their elected leaders to send the town’s military-grade equipment back where it belongs — to the Pentagon. Of particular concern is a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP, acquired with grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The discussion of whether local police need machine guns, night-vision scopes or an armored vehicle needs to engage the entire community, and should not be unilaterally decided by the federal government, the military, or law enforcement, Whitehead said.

Whenever this kind of armament is brought into a community, it should only be done with the knowledge and consent of the citizenry,” Whitehead, a constitutional attorney based in Charlottesville, Virginia, said in a statement released to WND.

~~~ READ MORE on ~~~

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