Opinion - We must stop the militarization of our police now
Everyday our police are becoming more militarized. Last night, I saw on the news, Davis has received a new $700,000 assault vehicle free from Army surplus. Why?
Sacramento has them and so do many other cities and towns. Even our county is blessed with one, but it is not to the military standards of the ones in Davis and Sacramento. I guess these are surplus vehicles that didn’t make it to Iraq or Afghanistan. They are machine gun ready or maybe high-priced sniper rifles might fit the bill.
If you have followed the news recently, a little town in Missouri named Ferguson has been in the emotional grip of civil unrest, outrage and sorrow. Beyond the news stories lurks a dark side to the unrest. In the news footage, you will see several assault vehicles like the one in Davis. This type of vehicle was used earlier this summer in Sacramento or Roseville in the pursuit of a gunman that was finally trapped in a house. In this pursuit, the vehicles apparently knocked down fences. Hundreds of shots were fired into the house from many locations, but the suspect was captured unharmed. Ferguson, in my opinion, is a test case to test these vehicles in crowd control against American citizens. This country is being tested to see if anyone will object to their use. Ferguson, Davis, Sacramento and El Dorado County are not in downtown Bagdad or Basara. If and when this country has an economic, terrorist or natural disaster that starts a social earthquake, our government wants to have these vehicles in place to calm the public.
Since I started this letter, the city of Davis has told its police department what it could do with its vehicle. The City Council, after a public meeting that expressed major dissatisfaction against the vehicle voted 4-1 to get rid of it.
The people of Davis need to be thanked for leading the way in sending these vehicles back to the U.S. government. Every vehicle should be sent back immediately. Apparently the U.S. government is more concerned with our national streets than our national border with Mexico. If we have that many surplus vehicles, put them on the Mexican Border, not Sunrise Blvd. or Mother Lode Drive.
Right now, many of you are probably finishing your morning coffee and sending your children off to an armed camp … oops, I mean school. Or maybe you’re fresh home from work, having that toddy for the body after a bad day at work, waiting for the kids to come home and keeping up with what’s new on Facebook. Think for a moment about what I have said in this letter. Still do not believe me? Well, remember I said “armed camp.” The Compton School District wants to purchase assault rifles (50) for its school police. Los Angeles County School District already has them, but they are not calling them assault rifles.
Do we want our schools to become armed camps? Have our schools become so dangerous that assault rifles are necessary? They don’t really need more security because of the chance of more bullets flying around and hitting kids and teachers. Police equipped with a good pistol and proficient as an expert in its use is all that is needed. The police are not dealing with a “human wave attack” — where is the gun control crowd now? Remember, they do not want you to have a gun.
We must stop the militarization of our police now. Tomorrow might bring news we do not want to hear.