Public Comment

New: Militarization of Law Enforcement

Tejinder Uberoi
Friday August 15, 2014 - 04:10:00 PM

Mercifully, the mood in Ferguson has changed drastically over the past 24 hours. On Wednesday night, the city resembled a war zone as police fired tear gas, stun grenades and smoke bombs. Common sense prevailed, as the newly appointed African-American Highway Patrol captain, Ron Johnson, was put in charge of security and ordered the ‘big gun’ military weapons to be put away. Johnson helped to defuse the tense situation by mingling with the crowd. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed concern regarding the deployment of military equipment and vehicles to quell a relatively minor domestic incident. What Holder forgot to mention was the federal government’s role in supplying local police forces with military-grade equipment – all paid with federal dollars from grant money generously doled out by the Department of Homeland Security. 

Radley Balko, author of the book, "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces” commented, "when we take domestic police officers and train them like soldiers and give them military gear and dress them up like soldiers and tell them they’re fighting a war — a war on crime or a war on terror — it is going to alter their mindset where they’re going to start to see themselves as soldiers”. It is time put a halt to the militarization of law enforcement, heighten racial sensitivity and aggressively recruit more minorities.