Comment of the Day: Why militarized police are no laughing matter

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Photo by Danny Wicentowski for the St. Louis Riverfront Times
A scene from Ferguson, Missouri on Monday night.
Today, we give out our first joint Comment of the Day award to two commenters who had worthwhile things to say in response to our post on the joint military-law enforcement drills that surprised and scared people Monday night.

Our first winner gets recognized because he succinctly and persuasively refuted someone who thinks military choppers flying over the Twin Cities is no big deal. And our second gets the nod for providing some comic relief.

Here's the first comment, which was written by blainegarrett:

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And here's the second, from misterrosewater:

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To answer rosewater's question -- yes, in fact, we have, and some would argue we've seen it too up close and personally, especially those who were startled to see military choppers flying above the Twin Cities without any warning on what seemed to be a peaceful summer night.

Still, beats playing for keeps like they're doing down in the St. Louis area. There, the militarization of the police is nothing to laugh about at all.

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





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44 comments
Pamela Chavez Birch
Pamela Chavez Birch

Move on to some other topic already. This one has been posted too many times. We have already gotten the message that too many citizens are paranoid and mistrusting of folks who will be putting their life on the line for them. What a thankless job our military and law enforcement personnel must endure and all this does is reinforce it for them.

Jeff Tabery
Jeff Tabery

Loser story and a bunch of nuts with nothing better to do than piss and moan and cry about the military.

Jeff Tabery
Jeff Tabery

Loser story and a bunch of nuts with nothing better to do than piss and moan and cry about the military.

Jeff Tabery
Jeff Tabery

Loser story and a bunch of nuts with nothing better to do than piss and moan and cry about the military.

Jeff Tabery
Jeff Tabery

You better get down to the airport then and put a stop to all those training missions the Air Guard conducts. Maybe you and others like you can start handing out permission slips for them to conduct their training flights....

John Bunch
John Bunch

So can the Marines now land at Lake Calhoun as a "training exercise"? How about a Navy SEAL house-to-house training exercise on Nicollet Mall? The same logic of "realistic training" could be used. I have lived in various cities around the world and never seen the military train directly in a big city. And no, I don't hate our military, so you gun-ho types can stop typing.

Justin Ford
Justin Ford

I bet this was for the federal reserve. They're supposed to have surprise helicopter drills like this.

Bridget Oaks Al-Qublan
Bridget Oaks Al-Qublan

Making a big deal out of nothing. They are not shooting at people so get over it. .....overreacting....

Josh Matthews
Josh Matthews

Let's put people at risk for training.. Smart.

John Wolfsberger
John Wolfsberger

EXCEPT, This is not the "militarization of police." This is the military conducting training in an urban setting. Would you rather spend the money to build a full-scale metro area downtown complete with skyscrapers and streets, etc... just for training purposes? I, for one, think we spend too much on the military.

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

TO ALL OF YOU SUBURBANITES, WHO COME TO MINNEAPOLIS FOR YOUR JOBS DURING THE DAY, USE THE CITY AS A JOHN WOULD A PROSTITUTE, AND THEN JUMP ON YOUR BUSES TO MAKE A CLEAN AND FAST GETAWAY AFTER YOU "GET YOUR ROCKS."

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

WITHOUT THE POLICE, ALL YOU YUPPIE FOODIES COULDN'T VENTURE FROM YOUR NICE SUBURBAN DREAM WORLDS TO THE CESSPOOL THAT IS DWNTWN MINNEAPOLIS, INFESTED WITH THE VERMIN THAT ARE THE OUTCASTS OF YOUR FAILED CAPITALIST SOCIETY.

Jerm Wobbe
Jerm Wobbe

Without a heavily armed and equipped police force, the thugs, gangs and punks FROM CHICAGO WOULD BE TERRORIZING THE ALREADY TOO "DARK" STREETS OF MINNEAPOLIS.

Phylon Pugh
Phylon Pugh

Why unannounced though? That's my question... To scare the crap out of people? You want to run an exercise, how about you ask the people who pay you?!

David Elliott
David Elliott

I think its to get us accustomed and acclimated to them being there. The norm of thingsto come...

Keyser Söze
Keyser Söze

Now maybe if there were some Juggalos in them.....

Shawn Spence
Shawn Spence

I hope they're highly trained because they're flying like feet from buildings.

Eric Suchon
Eric Suchon

Military helicopters =/ Police militarization. But that's cool - keep spouting the fearmongering City Pages. Whatever gets your page count up!

Derrick Mc
Derrick Mc

When I was a kid in the early 80's, formatipns of 3 AC130 planes would fly directly over my house at maybe 500 feet up once a month.. was that also a part of the militarization of the police, or just National Guard dudes on monthly training missions?

Dave Salmonson
Dave Salmonson

When do I get my pay for being part of a military action that is still ongoing and putting me in potential danger? Do you think all the vets with PTSD know that this is going on now? Because they did not tell them before they started.

Paul Karlson
Paul Karlson

Yup, We've known about the Military Industrial Complex, and now we have a costly "Security" Industrial Complex. Overseas, we see perpetual war of US imperialism creating a backlash of fresh terrorists. Now at home we see the post-911 fear industry turned on us: NSA treating taxpayers as enemies to be surveilled, and military-geared police killing civilians. It's "a cage in search of a bird." Who profits and who pays? As a taxpayer, I'm weary of the self-perpetuating fear industry and I'm tired of paying its mafia-style "protection" racket. Seems now "war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength," and an attack chopper outside your window is homeland security. Short clip from 1984: http://movieclips.com/4Lqj-1984-movie-caught-in-the-bedroom/

Mitch Gerads
Mitch Gerads

It IS the military. The 160th SOAR. The most highly trained elite helicopter pilots in the world.

Mark Bendickson
Mark Bendickson

The 160th does this half a dozen times a year, and did it in the Twin Cities 2 summers ago. It has nothing to do with militarizing the police, but that is 'trending' so kudos to Aaron 'I get paid by the click' Rupar for not making that distinction.

Andy Kavanagh
Andy Kavanagh

Yes! They're slowly indoctrinating us to accepting a militarized police force.

Dirk Dodge
Dirk Dodge

Big things are coming! Stay tuned! \U0001f608

Joe Diaz
Joe Diaz

It's our big brother scared straight program.

Cock_Tails
Cock_Tails

Who cares - people didn't cry when the ATF busted in on some Waco nut.... Listen, there is no excuse for violence, people should be entitled to protest peacefully, but when gang banging thugs go looting, what do you expect.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Yeah, we heard you the first time. 

Seed
Seed

@Cock_Tails No one is complaining about the police attempting to stop the looting but they are not the only ones there. Were the reporters being arrested participating in looting? The 10-year-old boy? Because if they were not the targets but still getting hit with tear gas, that shows it is not the proper method. The right to peaceful protest needs to be protected. People want to see effective policing of their communities. What we are seeing in Ferguson is not effective if all people are being treated the same because of a few looters. This why people are concerned about the increasing militarization of the police force, because sometimes when people are given a hammer everything starts to look like nails.

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