AFRICANGLOBE – Rafael Rivera – who served in the U.S. Army for seven years – writes:
The police in Ferguson have better armor and weaponry than my men and I did in the middle of a war. And Ferguson isn’t alone — police departments across the US are armed for war.
The Hill notes:
[Senator] McCaskill pointed out that in some places local police departments are more heavily armed than the National Guard.
Business Insider points out:
Someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment[ed] that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone”
Constitutional and civil rights lawyer John Whitehead notes that homeland security officers within the U.S. have three times as much ammunition as front-line soldiers in Afghanistan (and possess a type of ammunition that is banned in war zones).
Huffington Post reports:
Many combat veterans have since pointed out that the SWAT officers are more heavily armed and outfitted than they themselves were while patrolling the streets of Iraq or Afghanistan.
Indeed, many veterans have noted that American police are more heavily armed than they were when serving on the front lines:
The gentleman on the left has more personal body armor and weaponry than I did while invading Iraq. pic.twitter.com/5u6TxyIbkk
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) August 14, 2014
— Joan McCarter (@joanmccarter) August 14, 2014
— Phillip Carter (@Carter_PE) August 14, 2014
I don’t know how it was in IRQ and AFG, but in Bosnia we had less firepower while on patrol than the cops in #Ferguson
— Dan Bramos (@CaptainAwwsum) August 14, 2014
4 years in the Army, including 2 spent staring down N. Korea and I never had as much sweet gear as the cops in Ferguson, Mo. pop. 21,000
— Journanalyst™ (@_Journanalyst) August 14, 2014
I would like to point out that these cops have better gear than many American soldiers 15 miles from North Korea. https://t.co/fG6i5DUiWi
— Nate Bethea (@inthesedeserts) August 13, 2014
We’ve decided, as a society, that local police forces need greater armor capabilities than an invasion force in 2003.
— Alex Horton (@AlexHortonTX) August 14, 2014
Indeed, the extreme militarization of American police is as anti-American as it gets.