Sunday, September 21, 2014

Demilitarize the Police

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

If the streets of Small Town America or the streets of Big City America need to be under marshal law, then the federal government should step in with the military – the well trained, real military.  What American towns and cities do not need is the dangerous presence of uniformed former high school bullies, armed with assault rifles, tasers, and the latest in military-style hardware “keeping the peace.”

People are dying.  Hell, kids are dying!  And they are dying at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect. 

According to an article in USA Today, FBI reports show that local police in the United States are killing over four hundred people each year.   Not all of the victims are guilty of, or even suspected of, major crimes – some are instances of cops just getting angry and exercising their wrath with superior armaments. 

Missouri has had a couple of recent noteworthy incidents of out-of-control police wreaking vengeance of teens who were guilty of nothing – or nothing more than being ordinary teenagers.  In one instance a young man died, and in the other the kid appears to have suffered permanent brain damage.   That may not seem too important to the average Joe or Mavis – that is until it's their child or grandchild lying in the morgue after being shot or beaten to death by an angry policeman who was not psychologically equipped to handle his duties.

An article in an issue of The Economist reported that police in Great Britain fired their guns a total of three times in 2013.  Three times in an entire year - in an entire nation!  That’s only half as many shots as Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Missouri Police Department pumped into unarmed teenager Michael Brown .

If police departments have the money to waste on tasers, automatic weapons, and armored vehicles – they need to consider other priorities for that cash.    How about using it to fund initial and annual psychological screenings to weed out individuals who are unfit to serve?  Or pump that money into salaries to hopefully increase the caliber of individuals who seek entry into the force. 

If local and state entities won’t move aggressively to demilitarize their police agencies, then Congress needs to act.  This is America, and Americans should be able to go about their daily lives without having to worry about being attacked by deranged people in police uniforms who are armed to the teeth with military gear. 

We deserve better.

1 comment:

Don said...

Well said, Rock
They can start by forbidding the Army to get rid of its surplus weapons on the police departments of America.