The Banality of American State Terror, Part Nine: Documents Reveal the Fearmongering Local Cops Use to Score Military Gear From the Pentagon

SLTPD tank

I’m changing the title of my series because I think it represents a more inclusive and accurate representation of the problem.  In that, it’s a policy of all our government, from federal on down to the local level, to bureaucratize an authoritarianism in which the end result is the elimination and murder of American citizens who happen to have the temerity to question their authority. When i say murdered, I don’t think that’s hyperbole, when the fact is, over 1,000 people have been killed by police within the past year.  

In the first post in the series I touched on the militarization of local police agencies, and mentioned the MRAP tank that my local police has obtained through a DoD program. The above image is the tank, and down below is the request by the local police chief for the tank 

Documents Reveal the Fearmongering Local Cops Use to Score Military Gear From the Pentagon

Mother Jones has obtained documents which reveal the fear-mongering local police agencies use to obtain military vehicles to use against their own citizens. Many talking heads on the news shows argued that their use would be for hostage situations and rescue missions or terrorism, but the actual data says differently. From the article …

Mother Jones obtained more than 450 local requests, filed over two years, for what may be the most iconic piece of equipment in the debate over militarizing local police: the mine resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP.* And an analysis of these documents reveals that in justifying their requests, very few sheriffs and police chiefs cite active shooters, hostage situations, or terrorism, as police advocates do in public.

Instead, the single most common reason agencies requested a mine-resistant vehicle was to combat drugs. Fully a quarter of the 465 requests projected using the vehicles for drug enforcement. Almost half of all departments indicated that they sit within a region designated by the federal government as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (Nationwide, only 17 percent of counties are HIDTAs.) One out of six departments were prepared to use the vehicles to serve search or arrest warrants on individuals who had yet to be convicted of a crime. And more than half of the departments indicated they were willing to deploy armored vehicles in a broad range of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) raids.

By contrast, out of the total 465 requests, only 8 percent mention the possibility of a barricaded gunman. For hostage situations, the number is 7 percent, for active shooters, 6 percent. Only a handful mentioned downed officers or the possibility of terrorism.

“Drugs.” Seriously, I’ve seen what drugs can do to people, and especially families, But, if you’re trying to curb drug use, doing more of the same thing — punishment, isn’t going to cure the underlying causes of addiction. And, if you’re talking about selling, or distribution, you’re not going to eliminate that with these tactics either, because now you’re talking economics — on a micro level, lack of livable wages or i.e. jobs — and at a macro level the manufacturers feel impervious, whether they’re domestic, or foreign because of being able to buy off officials.

More from the article

A 2014 NPR analysis [6] found that the Pentagon has also doled out 80,000 assault rifles, 200 grenade launchers, and 12,000 bayonets.

Grenade launchers and bayonets

And

And the Ohio State University Police Department asked for an armored vehicle to assist with “football missions.” [13] (The Pentagon gave Ohio State an MRAP [14] in September 2013, and school police deployed it to football games, the department told a student newspaper, so as to have a “presence.”)

Don’t want to paste too much, but read this

In a 2014 report[20] examining 800 raids, the American Civil Liberties Union found that SWAT teams replaced regular uniformed police officers in executing search warrants, mostly on private homes, in 80 percent of cases. The raids disproportionately targeted minority residences, and evidence that the raid would be dangerous for the officers was often scarce. Sixty percent of the raids involved a drug search—meaning the subject of the search warrant had not yet been convicted of a crime—and 36 percent of the raids turned up no contraband at all. Raids for minor drugs charges, the report continued, have frequently resulted in officers killing and maiming unsuspecting residents and even children—including a 19-month-old boy who was injured when an officer chucked a flash-bang grenade into his crib

Here’s the article, in the print version

http://www.motherjones.com/print/281581

And here’s the request by the local PD

ca-south-lake-tahoe-pd-p1-normal

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