Rand Paul:”If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.”
The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.
The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.
Glenn Reynolds, in Popular Mechanics, recognized the increasing militarization of the police five years ago. In 2009 he wrote:
Soldiers and police are supposed to be different. … Police look inward. They’re supposed to protect their fellow citizens from criminals, and to maintain order with a minimum of force.
It’s the difference between Audie Murphy and Andy Griffith. But nowadays, police are looking, and acting, more like soldiers than cops, with bad consequences. And those who suffer the consequences are usually innocent civilians.
You should go and read the whole article.
Now I’m in no way suggesting disarming the police. However, as with so many things, this is about mindset. When I took Police Science courses (1973-75), it was about apprehending lawbreakers and protecting the rights and persons of all involved – suspects, subjects, witnesses and police. For some reason, we seem to have lost that. And the term Peace Officer is no longer in use. The doctrine of posse comitatus is no longer in effect. We are no longer worried about the military being used as civilian police. The police have become the military.
h/t Brock Townsend