A Marine Corp colonel spoke out at a Aug. 12, 2013 Concord, New Hampshire, council meeting after the Concord Police Department requested armored vehicles. This video needs to be shared far and wide. The militarization of our local police departments is something we should all be concerned with:
(EDIT: Updated with better version of the video, thanks to freekeene.com. Original video below the fold)
Based on this speech, the city of Concord has postponed the vote on armored vehicles until Sept. 9, 2013 at 6 PM. Vote will take place at 41 Green Street, Concord, New Hampshire.
More from the Huffington Post on the militarization of police:
Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year -- a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today's deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. But the use of SWAT tactics to enforce regulatory law also appears to be rising. This month, for example, a SWAT team raided the Garden of Eden, a sustainable growth farm in Arlington, Texas, supposedly to look for marijuana. The police found no pot, however, and the real intent of the raid appears to have been for code enforcement, as the officers came armed with an inspection notice for nuisance abatement.Drawing Down: How to Roll Back Police Militarization in America is worth a read. Thanks to lyvwyr101 for the link to the article.
Where these teams were once used only in emergency situations, they're used today mostly as an investigative tool against people merely suspected of crimes. In many police agencies, paramilitary tactics have become the first option, where they once were the last.
“It’s really about a lack of imagination and a lack of creativity,” says Norm Stamper, a retired cop who served as police chief of Seattle from 1994 to 2000. “When your answer to every problem is more force, it shows that you haven’t been taught and trained to consider other options."