I have commented for years about the apparent militarization of America. I first noticed it in Los Angeles. It was the summer of 2000, and the LAPD was preparing for the Democratic National Convention. At the time, I worked only blocks away from the City Hall Annex building. It was then and there that police practiced repelling down ropes from proverbial black helicopters, and I stood, open mouthed, thinking that this did not bode well for the future of America.
A few years ago, a flurry of articles hit the San Jose Mercury News about someone who “popped off” at work. Photographs in the paper were of military-clad police searching for the “suspect.”
During the “Occupy” summer of 2011, LAPD pulled out all the stops and rolled quasi military convoys through the lower financial district of Los Angeles, as if you need steel-reinforced armored vehicles to shoo away a bunch of kids who’ve been screwed over by their parents who happily offshored American manufacturing to the Third World, nullifying the value of the American worker, but I digress!
Now, in response to another summer of riots, this time in Saint Louis, MO, we once again see the use of hardcore military hardware against a civilian population, in AMERICA. WTF? When are people going to finally say enough is enough? This is not appropriate use of military gear in the Third World, and it’s not appropriate, here, either!
Having watched the video recording of Eric Garner’s last moments alive on this Earth, it seems clear to me that he was a gentle person who deserved better than what he got. The best that we can do, now, is to see that justice is properly meted out to the man’s killers.
In the past, the public could deny, deny, deny abuse by those whose professional mission is serving and protecting. My father and I have an ongoing, lifelong disagreement about just what went down at Kent State (1970) and also at the 1968 Chicago Police Riot. He and I will probably never agree about what happened during either of those incidents. Because the events in Chicago and at Kent State were not recorded, a degree of uncertainty exists, and it is upon gap-filled uncertainty that people favoring the people with power can rely when developing their defensive absolutist arguments, but absolutes based on doubt are fallacies. If you haven’t guessed my position, then let me tell it to you. Though not absolutely certain, I am very confident that the men with guns and complementary “nonlethal” weapons were the real problem in both of those incidents about which my father and I will probably never agree.
However, thanks to super-cheap video recording technology, built into phones that a vast majority of people carry, it is harder for Law Pirates to pull off the sort of bullshit that leads to civilian injuries and deaths. Also, recording police interactions with the public provides evidence of the innocense of those who might otherwise be convicted of various forms of obstruction based on the words of police lies.
It certainly is curious that Law Pirates don’t like being recorded while they’re doing their business, as many videos show. Why might that be? Perhaps, Law Pirates might get videonabbed while they’re choking someone to death, or while they’re beating the snot out of someone whose sneeze they choose to interpret as an act of resisting arrest worthy of a violent response!