By Craig McKee
The sight of police in camouflage uniforms with assault rifles, grenade launchers, and mine-resistant armored vehicles advancing on protesters in Ferguson, Missouri has shocked a lot of people.
But it shouldn’t have.
Those paying attention know that law enforcement across America has been undergoing a transformation over the past two decades with the process accelerating noticeably since 9/11. This is thanks to the Pentagon and its “1033 program” (section 1033 of the National Defense Authorization Act), which allows it to transfer surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies across the country.
The result is police forces being turned into small armies, officers into soldiers, and citizens into potential enemy combatants. The emphasis is no longer on protecting and serving – it’s now about controlling and intimidating. Meanwhile, dozens of movies and (more…)