Monday, October 29, 2012

All Hail the Police State, part 10

One of the problems with the militarization of the police is it changes how they respond to calls.  As police departments are issued military hardware, they look for ways to use it.  The military hardware was first distributed under the guise of the war on drugs, now to supposedly combat terrorism.  What ends up happening is we put people who are very good at being cops in a new role, one they aren't as comfortable with.  Uniforms matter, and changing from a Police uniform to a SWAT or Soldier uniform changes the mentality of the wearer.

Here is a tragic story where the parents are discussing how calling the police ended up with their son dead.  Teenagers attempting or committing suicide is a common occurrence, it's been a common theme in popular literature for centuries.  There are many ways to deal with it

Only this time we have a kid who got a bad grade, started drinking and told his mom he was going to kill himself.  She calls 911 and the local police department rolls out a SWAT team, complete with riot shields, an armored personnel carrier and a sniper.  The situation ended with the kid breaking a window and the sniper shooting him dead.  I can't imagine how that is anyone's best case scenario.

When your only tool is a SWAT team, every call starts looking like a raid....

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