Tuesday, September 9, 2014

All We Need Is Our Bare Hands

Taking away our tanks won't change our attitude.
In the wake of Ferguson, NBC News reported, Obama Orders Review of Police Use of Military Equipment:
President Barack Obama has ordered a review of federal programs and funding that allow state and local law enforcement to acquire military equipment — a concern following the use of such gear during the recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama has directed that the review consider whether dissemination of the military guns and armor to local law enforcement agencies is appropriate, according to a senior White House official. The review will also analyze whether local officials are properly trained to use the weapons and whether the federal government properly audits the use of the supplies, the official said.
Who should decide what constitutes appropriate policing in our democracy?  Obviously, the police themselves. Practically speaking, it's a decision for various organizations under the umbrella of Fear Department:
The review will be led by White House staff and relevant U.S. agencies — including the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury — and will be carried out in coordination with Congress, the official said.
If you thought this review panel might have us concerned, you would be mistaken.  A CNN story about a protest march in New York that coincided with the President's announcement of the review commission shows why we are not worried.

Eric Garner was accused of selling illegal cigarettes. He had just broken up a fight when we killed him.  According to the CNN report ("Police chokehold Death Sparks New York Protest March"):
During his fatal police encounter, Garner raised both hands in the air and told the officers not to touch him. Seconds later, a video shows an officer behind him grab him in a chokehold and pull him to the sidewalk, rolling him onto his stomach.

"I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Garner said repeatedly, his cries muffled into the pavement.

An asthmatic and father of six, Garner was later declared dead at a nearby hospital.
 Review of police use of military equipment?  Bring it on! All we need is our bare hands.

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Dr. Rebecca Wolf
Undersecretary for Community and New Media
United States Department of Fear