War Zone America

Ferguson notes

“You guys are in the middle of a war zone.” – Cop to three reporters in Ferguson

Washington Post reporter describes his arrest and mistreatment by Ferguson cops. . . “6 hours ago Ryan Reilly introduced himself to me in a McDonalds. Then we ended up in jail. Wonder what he’s got planned for our second date.”

Police fired tear gas into the backyard of a home where several people held their “hands up” in what’s become a symbol of protest over the shooting of Michael Brown.

Paul Szoldra, Business Insider – While serving as a U.S. Marine on patrol in Afghanistan, we wore desert camouflage to blend in with our surroundings, carried rifles to shoot back when under enemy attack, and drove around in armored vehicles to ward off roadside bombs. We looked intimidating, but all of our vehicles and equipment had a clear purpose for combat against enemy forces. So why is this same gear being used on our city streets?

….Their uniform would be mistaken for a soldier’s if it weren’t for their “Police” patches. They wear green tops, and pants fashioned after the U.S. Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. And they stand in front of a massive uparmored truck called a Bearcat, similar in look to a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or as the troops who rode in them call it, the MRAP.

…. “Why do these cops need MARPAT camo pants again,” I asked on Twitter this morning. One of the most interesting responses came from a follower who says he served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division: “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone.”

…. “Bring it. You fucking animals, bring it,” one police officer was caught on video telling protesters. In Ferguson and beyond, it seems that some police officers have shed the blue uniform and have put on the uniform and gear of the military, bringing the attitude along with it.

… In Afghanistan, we patrolled in big, armored trucks. We wore uniforms that conveyed the message, “We are a military force, and we are in control right now.” Many Afghans saw us as occupiers.

….If there’s one thing I learned in Afghanistan, it’s this: You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at his or her chest.

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