The current crisis of police violence, gamesmanship and civil rights violations in Ferguson, Missouri - of all places - brings to light the guiding militaristic 'win at all costs' operational guidepost of American law enforcement. Clearly law enforcement in the United States has lost its way.
|But Officer, I wasn't speeding!|
One of the unfortunate consequences from the winding down of America's foreign wars has been the marshaling of militaristic slogans from veterans into the police community. But not only have ideas of war from the Middle East infiltrated the police community - the used armaments from those wars have made their way to middle America. Now the smallest police forces in America can boast of having tanks, rocket launchers, armor piercing equipment and many other battlefield tested weapons. No wonder there's a war mentality in American law enforcement. Since they have the equipment of war what are they suppose to do, simply sit on it? Who are these armaments to be used against?
Our federal and state governments share blame for periodically declaring war against various segments of American society. In the late fifties and sixties civil rights marchers were arrested in the South even as they fought police to protect their basic constitutional rights such as the right to vote. Later as the Supreme Court defended the defenseless by finally protecting civil rights, other wars emerged against Americans. Again these wars were waged by law enforcement. Among the most bitter fights is the war on drugs conducted for two generations which has successfully incarcerated millions of otherwise law abiding citizens, destroying lives without pity nor mercy while making a mockery of justice.
Yet lost in the shameful statistics of waste and decay from harsh drug minimum mandatory sentencing found in federal and state prisons is an interesting question. What have these corrupt sentences from wars waged against our own citizens done to prosecutors and law enforcement? It has made them cynical, base, immoral and free from the burdens of conscience. It has empowered the untrustworthy with the ability to imprison those whom they hate thereby imperiling the very rule of law upon which our republic was founded.
What can be done to change the very hearts of law enforcement officers? Law Enforcement officers who want to wage war against us must find other work or face imprisonment themselves. New police leaders must be appointed and elected who will work to hire only those who are truly fit to wear their badges with honor and pride to defend American constitutional rights. In the mean time could someone please ask the cops to lock up the rocket launchers before they accidentally hurt somebody.