Saturday, March 13, 2010

Study: Law officers home from war ‘quicker to use force’

This is a prime example of why we had Posse Comitatus in this country, and this is an example of how a police state ran and end-round around it: militarized law enforcement. Not only is the Federal government training police in military tactics and supplying them with military surplus hardware - assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, etc - but they are putting an impetus on hiring combat veterans (see here, here, here, and here).

Soldiers have a completely different mentality than officers of the peace. Your local policeman is there, theoretically, to protect and serve you. But now that our police forces are increasingly being usurped by the Defense Department, our police are becoming soldiers of occupation who treat the citizenry like an armed insurgency.

    Raw Story -

    Many law enforcement officers called up to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are finding it difficult to readjust to their jobs once home, bringing back heightened survival instincts that may make them quicker to use force and showing less patience toward the people they serve.

    In interviews with The Associated Press and in dozens of anecdotes compiled in a survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, officers described feeling compelled to use tactics they employed in war zones after they returned to work in the U.S.

    One officer said he felt compelled to fire his gun in the air to disperse an unruly crowd in California. Others said they felt wary about being flanked when working crowd control. And others said after seeing the hardships ordinary Afghans and Iraqis lived with, it's hard to care about complaints over pet droppings.

    The report, which was issued late last year, warns that the blurring of the line between combat and confrontations with criminal suspects at home may result in "inappropriate decisions and actions — particularly in the use of ... force. This similarity ... could result in injury or death to an innocent civilian."

Read all of it.