Comment of the Day: On the militarization of the police

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Danny Wicentowski for the Riverfront Times
Snipers monitor the crowd during a protest in Ferguson last week.
Our post about last week's tense Michael Brown vigil in north Minneapolis got longtime reader swmnguy thinking about police militarization.

It's an issue that's relevant locally, but has become a national topic of conversation following Missouri law enforcement's arguably over-the-top response to unrest in Ferguson following the officer-involved shooting of Brown.

Here's what swmnguy said:

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Speaking of out of control situations, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has indeed called in the National Guard to deal with the ongoing unrest in Ferguson following another evening of clashes between law enforcement and protesters last night.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.






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18 comments
Keyser Soze
Keyser Soze

The police need to have this equipment to match the firepower of the bad guys. 2-28-1997 two individuals walked into a North Hollywood bank and robbed it. They then engaged our "civilian police" with fully auto weapons. Officers, who only had their handguns, could not stop the threat by engaging the suspects who were shooting at everyone. Officers had to go to a gun store and essentially buy weapons capable of stopping the two.

Andrew Hine
Andrew Hine

During natural disasters, it used to be "Where is the National Guard?! Oh, that's right - the Middle East..." Now they've brought their new gear home to scare the shit out of us. Hopefully they saved some backhoes and bulldozers for the next tornado.

Lex Lambent
Lex Lambent

i know that's the way it works...my question was WHY

Beth Learn
Beth Learn

Because that's the way it works. Any state governor can call in the Guard at their discretion, during times of emergency. The President has nothing to do with it.

Andy Schuler
Andy Schuler

Remember when the Republicrats came to MN for their little convention thingy in '08 and the city was like something out of a dystopian novel about futuristic society? That's basically a glimpse of every day life if we don't close the wealth gap and start restoring natural habitats, which I don't see us doing anytime soon. Imagine your the government and you have all the reports and statistics about peak oil, arable land, clean water, exponential population. You're entire economic model is based on unrealistic, unsustainable growth. You'd be militarizing your police too. We need major reforms in the way we measure economic strength such as replacing GDP with GPI, or other full cost measurements. This is bigger than just police oppressing protestors, this shit is escalating because of our obsolete political and economic systems. It's time for a resource or ecology-based economy (and replace the two-party system with proportional representation while we're at it. Oh, also the metric system, using imperial units as a standard is frigging embarrassing.) Schuler out. Peace.

Lex Lambent
Lex Lambent

why does a STATE governor have the authority to call in the NATIONAL guard??? where does the prez stand on all this???....crickets

Daniel Kormick
Daniel Kormick

The military catagorizes assault weapons as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges" I guess I should have said "assault weapons" to keep the Syntax police happy

Ruben Blackwell
Ruben Blackwell

Do you know there is nothing different between an AR and a hunting rifle?

swmnguy
swmnguy

Do you know that Velcro is the same thing as hook-and-loop fastener?  That's equally relevant to this conversation.

Monica Bertrand
Monica Bertrand

This comment of the day is right on. Good highlight, City Pages.

Sheldon Casper
Sheldon Casper

I would have attended a vigil for the victim Officer Darren Wilson

Daniel Kormick
Daniel Kormick

Everyone wants badass guns cops need to be prepared to face them. It's one of the prices we pay for our right to own Kevlar and AR's. What I don't like is the reasons they want them for. They are supposed to be for serving and protect ing and not for scaring the shit out of peaceful protestors

Sco Kel
Sco Kel

Military equipment or not. It doesn't matter if they're going to stand around and watch businesses get looted.

Randy Bell
Randy Bell

If they have the equipment eventually they'll use it...just sayin

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

The sad thing is swmnguy was shot 47 times for this comment.  The Minneapolis police said it was an accident.   His wallet looked like a gun.  Also, the Minneapolis Police expressed regret for running over him with a tank but they thought it would "look cool."

swmnguy
swmnguy

@MicheleBachmann  Funny thing; my wallet does look exactly like a gun.  It's one of those novelty gun-wallets.  A barrel of laughs at the airport, let me tell you.

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