Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Photo of the Day


Ferguson Police 08-13-14

Josh Marshall:

We can only infer so much from photographs. There’s clearly been looting and an element of crowd violence in Ferguson, Missouri. But there are quite a few photos and videos of heavily armed and armored police facing clearly unarmed civilians who often have their hands in the air to show they are not armed.

I don’t know which agency’s police are depicted in the photo embedded above. I know that there was at least a brief deployment of State Police and the much larger St Louis Police Department is nearby. But even from the images that are clearly of the Ferguson Police, a fairly small suburban police department, the amount of body armor and quasi-military equipment is quite striking.

We take it as a given that most police departments will have a SWAT team, a relatively small group and amount of armament for an active shooter or hostage situation. But the Ferguson PD seems tricked out with a number of armored vehicles and quasi-military type gear. The militarization of local police forces is a story probably most of us are familiar with at some level. There’s also been a lot of counter-terror pork distributed to local police departments around the country, either buying bizarre arsenals to face terrorists they’ll almost certainly never encounter or surplus military supplies being cast off by US deployments abroad. But with all that, WTF?

And yet when the right-wing wackos like the all-white Minutemen or Cliven Bundy and his band of “sovereign citizens” gather with guns, ammo, flack jackets, and enough artillery to prove their tiny manhoods, the law enforcement hang back like frightened deer, afraid to “provoke an incident.”  Tell me that has nothing to do with race.

3 barks and woofs on “Photo of the Day

  1. This brings to my mind what I just read: the ISIS was formed in direct response to the Maliki Shiite(sp)administration’s criminalizing any and all Sunni Iraqis. Sunnis were pushed out of all positions in the army and police by Petraeus and the Americans sent in to take over the country. The government we installed and supported were and continue to be, brutal in the treatment of Sunnis. Now Iraq is reaping the whirlwind.

    Sound familiar to our police’s approach to our “Other”, people of color or the poor?

  2. Why that black kid was shot is still to be determined. But why does the black community have to riot and loot and burn buildings? Those store owners had nothing to do with what happened to that young man.

    All police departments across the US is receiving used military gear. Perhaps it’s because of some people like Ted Nugent, state militia, who has been mentioned as being close to a horrible terrorist groups. I can see why the police don’t want to be out gunned, so to speak.

    No matter what profession you maybe in, there is always a few bad apples everywhere. Law enforcement is no different. But let’s face it, law enforcement is what stands between the law abiding citizens and the ones who never abide by the law.

    • Well, it isn’t “the black community” that is rioting and looting. In your own words, there are always a few bad apples. But to go in with APC’s and camouflage suits? Camouflage from what? And in this case I seriously doubt that Ted Nugent and the militia groups are on the side of the black community. Just a hunch.

      Overreacting to overreaction is not a strategy, and responding like they’re going after the Taliban is not only bad strategy, it reaffirms to a lot of people that there’s more than just being overly cautious that is coloring their judgment.

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