The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments  

Do you remember the ‘Posse Comitatus Act’ in 1878. “The purpose of the act… (was) to limit the powers of the Federal government in using its military personnel to enforce the state laws“

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law enacted by Rutherford B Hayes in which the purpose of the act is to limit the powers of the federal government is using its military personnel to enforce state laws. They set as a priority legislation to prohibit any future President or Congress from directing, by military order or federal legislation, the imposition of federal troops in any U.S. state.

Since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, therefore, the U.S. government has been constrained overall in the use of military force domestically in any of the U.S. states.

This constraint, though, has never been the case in U.S. international policies and, therefore, the U.S. has engaged in militarizing the domestic arenas of other countries that fall under U.S. areas of interest (such as the Philippines, South American countries, the Middle East, etc.).

Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) is a “Policing/Militarization of the U.S. Empire”

What is “Low-Intensity Conflict”? There are seemingly many definitions of the term. Regarding the impact of the U.S., however, I refer to it as “low-intensity” only for the U.S. military. In other words, the U.S. military does not get its hands dirty nor is it violently impacted but instead trains others for this insidious work. This is in contrast to those who are the recipients of it.

“Low Intensity Conflict” is simultaneously “high intensity” for those outside the U.S. who are victims of these U.S. international LIC policies. These victims are often under intimidating surveillance, sometimes suffer or are killed by summary execution, torture, displacement etc. by military or police in their own country who are trained philosophically and militarily by the U.S. In other words, it is a method employed to “police/militarize” the U.S. political and economic interests. This could also be referred to as war capitalism.

When militarizing the domestic arena of its areas of influence in the world, it pays no attention to its own domestic laws that do not easily allow for this militarization in its own domestic sphere.

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So instead of the United States military goes into about 70 countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Columbia, Argentina, etc. to train troops from these countries which is to serve the interests of the United States and the friendly elite of these countries. Again, it is a “policing” or “militarization” of countries in what the United States considers its empire of interests. The reality is, these countries are not friendly nor allies of the U.S. Once trained and given military grade weapons, they are later used against our own troops.

As with the international structural adjustment policies that are now being implemented in the United States, as mentioned above, I have always assumed that the U.S. would also want to implement the LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) strategies or increased domestic militarization in the U.S. as well. The Posse-Comitatus Act has invariably prevented this from happening to any significant degree. One way around this, as in by not being able to send in the federal troops to cities and states, is to militarize the local police forces and this is happening to a significant degree in the United States.

As the ACLU has reported:

All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.

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Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.

cop-soldiersThe “war on terror” has come home–and it’s wreaking havoc on innocent American lives. The culprit is the militarization of the police….

A recent New York Times article by Matt Apuzzo reported that in the Obama era, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”  The result is that police agencies around the nation possess military-grade equipment, turning officers who are supposed to fight crime and protect communities into what look like invading forces from an army. And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.

According to Alex Kane’s “11 shocking facts about the militarization of the U.S. police” are:

  1. It harms, and sometimes kills, innocent people.
  2. Children are impacted.
  3. The use of SWAT teams is unnecessary.
  4. The “war on terror” is fueling militarization.
  5. It’s a boom to contractor profits.
  6. Border militarization and police militarization go hand in hand.
  7. Police are cracking down on dissent.
  8. Asset forfeitures are funding police militarization.
  9. Dubious informants are used for raids.
  10. There’s been little debate and oversight.
  11. Communities of color bear the brunt.

There is a rampant and systematic abuses by police to beat and kill innocent unarmed American citizens. Police officers excessive use of force is observed on a daily basis in the United States in direct view of the public.These are barbaric and savage crimes. It is also corruption by the very judicial system that is also established to protect us by failing to prosecute these officers for obvious crimes.

This is collusion in that it promotes dishonesty and fraud, which, in turn,undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.We know that law enforcement and prosecutors are married at the hip. Therefore when law enforcement commit the assaults and murder are generally never charged. In turn, from their respective departments suspended from duty nor disposed from duty. Most of their actions are legitimized by their departments and swept under the carpet of the code of silence.

Some of these abuses and murder of citizens are carried out when the oppressed is in custody and restrained with handcuffs. There is anywhere from 4-16 officers on hand to control one individual who is at times begging for their lives. Some never get the chance as they are killed within a minute.

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There should be no escalation of lethal force with anyone that is not carrying any weapon and can be controlled with ANY non-lethal weapon.  If not, the police academy do not have proper standards and training. The golden rule is to use one more ounce of force that is used against you. If you cannot accomplish this and control any given situation, you should not be an officer of the law that is sworn “to protect and serve”. The problem initiates with the foundation of training. However, any citizen that endeavors to become an officer of the law needs to have rigorous psychological assessments before moving ahead with training and re-evaluated on a steady basis.

Scott Bernstein  – International Tactical Law Enforcement & Military Trainer. ‘Global Security International|Bounty Hunter Training Academy’