The growing American police state

We’ve discussed the growing militarization of police in the USA in these pages before, and also commented on the erosion of civil liberties.  Three reports in the last week alone add fuel to the fire.

First, the American Bar Association Journal asks “How did America’s police become a military force on the streets?”  Radley Balko attempts to answer the question.  Here’s an excerpt.

If even the earliest attempts at centralized police forces would have alarmed the founders, today’s policing would have terrified them. Today in America SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than 100 times per day. The vast majority of these raids are to enforce laws against consensual crimes. In many cities, police departments have given up the traditional blue uniforms for “battle dress uniforms” modeled after soldier attire.

Police departments across the country now sport armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battlefield. Some have helicopters, tanks and Humvees. They carry military-grade weapons. Most of this equipment comes from the military itself. Many SWAT teams today are trained by current and former personnel from special forces units like the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers. National Guard helicopters now routinely swoop through rural areas in search of pot plants and, when they find something, send gun-toting troops dressed for battle rappelling down to chop and confiscate the contraband. But it isn’t just drugs. Aggressive, SWAT-style tactics are now used to raid neighborhood poker games, doctors’ offices, bars and restaurants, and head shops—despite the fact that the targets of these raids pose little threat to anyone. This sort of force was once reserved as the last option to defuse a dangerous situation. It’s increasingly used as the first option to apprehend people who aren’t dangerous at all.

There’s more at the link.

Next, Courthouse News Service reports on the ordeal of a Nevada family who found their home seized and false charges laid against them because they would not co-operate in a police surveillance operation.  It’s far too long an article to summarize here, but I suspect the family is likely to end up considerably wealthier – at the expense of the taxpayers of the city concerned, who’ll have to pay any settlement awarded by the court.

Finally, and much closer to home, it looks like at least one police officer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, need a sharp lesson in the Constitution and laws of this country.  I’m not sure which agency was involved (it apparently wasn’t the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department), but the entire incident was captured on video.  You can read about it here, and watch the video here.  I sincerely hope the citizen involved sues over this.  (Since I live near Murfreesboro, you can bet I’m going to be watching developments with considerable interest.  If that uniformed clown had behaved towards me in that fashion, I’d have insisted on speaking to his supervisor, and immediately laid charges against him – criminal charges – under color of law.  If the supervisor had refused to accept the charges or otherwise take action, I’d have laid charges against him, too!)

I’m afraid the only way we’ll be able to hold back the creeping tide of law enforcement overreach is to hit back, every time, in whatever ways are legal and appropriate in the light of each incident.  That’ll inevitably involve lawsuits, complaints, and publicizing such cases as widely as possible.  That’s inconvenient, but it’s the only way I can see to reassert our civil rights and liberties over jackbooted thugs like the officer in the third case above.  I hope his agency disciplines him severely . . . but I won’t hold my breath waiting.



  1. It's getting to the point where you almost wonder if we'll need dash-cams and cell-cams like the Russians do.


  2. If you record police in Illinois state and some other places, they'll beat you within and inch of your life and drag you off to jail – perhaps leaving you there for a long time – then if you are lucky, you'll be hauled into the light on your way to a courthouse.

    It's (supposedly) illegal to record cops in Illinois.

    Of course, the fact that the Constitution is the foundational law of our land (supposedly); and that any "laws" in place which violate same, are legally and entirely null and void isn't much comfort when you are being beaten by "boys in blue" for displaeasing them.

    Yes; Amerika is now a police state.

    I never thought I would live to see this.

    Why did I bother going into the military to defend this country way back when, when this is what has become of it? It was a total waste of my time.

    Same thing for all the boys who died over the past 235 or so years.

    Pastor Glenn

  3. Cops and take away your rights for reasons of safety? If they are such pussies, maybe they should change jobs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *