Why do American police tanks?

The "Police vehicle" pictured in the photo contains a 10 man, weighs more than 7 tons, stands bullets like Batman, and develops speed 130km \ h

16 May 2010 year, when it was already past midnight, a light grenade was thrown into the window of a young man’s house. The apartment was an ordinary family idyll: the seven-year-old daughter was sleeping, the grandmother was watching TV. The grenade fell right next to the bed of a little girl and burned a blanket. A few seconds later the door flew away from a powerful blow, and people armed to the teeth ran into the apartment. A random shot hit the little girl's throat and led to her death.

The police missed: they tried to capture a man who was suspected of killing a teenager, but the attacker was exactly one floor higher. History did not occur in a war zone somewhere in Iraq, but in huge Detroit. As a result of the coordinated work of the police, Iyana Stanley Jones, seven years old, broke up with her life.

Here are just such stories are not uncommon in the work of US law enforcement agencies. “Effective” methods of capturing criminals would be more suitable for hot spots.

The militarization of police in the United States is a very dangerous trend that has been observed over the past thirty years. Breaking into the homes of people, using tactics and strategy of warfare, as well as creating powerful education is a “normal” practice in the United States.
Each year, the police performs about forty thousand operations, and most of them are carried out in the framework of the fight against drugs. But very often there is no need to resort to such radical methods of combating crime. As a result, people who are not violent, unarmed, are exposed to a sudden and swift attack. “Misunderstandings” also occur, when in the dead of night police, armed with the latest technology, can rush into an apartment or house to no one who is not involved. However, innocent people are killed and injured as a result.

What is the reason for this turn of events? Why is the police car more and more like a repressive apparatus for violence?

Initially, the police were called upon to ensure public safety, without violating constitutional rights and freedoms, and also to work within their competence. On the other hand, the military are called upon to destroy the physical and material forces of the enemy, causing maximum damage.
A police officer and a military officer are representatives of two different camps who have diametrically opposite tasks. It’s just that these ranks are increasingly resembling each other, as if the war of defeat is being waged in cities.

The Sheriff’s Extraordinary Competences Act, passed back in 1878, outlawed the use of military forces within the United States. However, supporters of the militarization of society were looking for loopholes for the implementation of plans. Thus, a wide range of competencies of law enforcement agencies, among which is control over migration, was transferred to the military. Congress by its actions partly forced the police to use military methods to solve the tasks. The SWAT squad created at the end of 60's (police special forces) is the fruit of such a policy.

However, many consider the appearance of such parts forced. In 1966, a man, having climbed onto an 32's storeyed tower, was shooting at random passersby. In just an hour and a half, he killed a 15 man and injured 46.

The internal security of the Americans was called into question. It was this turn of events that gave rise to the strengthening of law enforcement agencies and the work "ahead of the curve." Another bloody episode of 1969, when American special forces fought for four hours against the Black Panthers, reinforced public opinion and allowed the militarization of the police.

The next twenty years were marked by the reinforcement of the police. In 80's, the famous law on emergency competencies was in full swing trampled under the noble pretext of the fight against drugs. The drug mafia, by the way, did not win.

1981-th year was remembered by the adoption of the law "On military cooperation with law enforcement agencies." He canceled a number of provisions of the previous legislation and made it legal to use the achievements of military science, equipment, as well as military specialists to train police personnel. It was assumed that such measures in the coming years will eradicate drugs.

In the wake of the trend, many actions were taken from both the US Government and the Presidential Administration, which resulted in the difference between law enforcement and the military almost completely erased. The apogee of this trend was the Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 1994 between the US Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. The document gave the right to the police at the municipal level to use military equipment of the federal troops. Prior to this, heavy vehicles were oriented toward use only in the event of war.

Over a million different units of military equipment were placed at the disposal of civilian structures from 1995 to 1997. Over the next two years, the number of vehicles increased to four and a half million units, which were owned by eleven thousand police departments.
The scale of weapons can be represented by considering the following figures. In December, the 2005 of 17, thousands of police departments, had military equipment at their disposal, the total cost of which exceeded seven hundred million dollars. This volume included more 250 airplanes, 181 grenade launchers, nearly eight thousand M-16 rifles and other "big boys" toys.

And "sin" is not to take advantage of all this arsenal. Following the militarization program of the police, the growth in the use of combat techniques and tactics increased exponentially. Already at the end of the 20 century, 9 from 10 of American cities, where there were over 50 thousands of people, had its own police special forces. This is two times more than in 80's. The trend continues today.

Why do American police tanks?But the military-minded part of this politicians was not enough. In 2002, the US Department of Homeland Security opened a grant program to police departments. They were used to acquire additional police equipment, including assault.
Such a state policy, which assumed close cooperation between the police and the military, allowed private suppliers of military equipment to have at their disposal “bread” clients. Calling on local departments to develop grants, suppliers weapons began to actively encourage the police to buy the latest solutions. They conducted seminars on how to use weapons more efficiently, distributed booklets and other promotional materials. Many plants carried out total branding in order to gain trust in the eyes of potential buyers.

But if earlier all this somehow fit into the campaign against the drug business, the latest trends look, at least, intimidating. Police departments began to buy armored tanks. These are not the cheapest "toys": in the city of Roanoke, Virginia, such a device was purchased for 218 thousand dollars. Naturally, the example is contagious: more and more offices are dreaming of such a purchase.

The paramilitary police of the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, hastened to acquire Lenco BearCat, which is famous for its fighting power. They can ram the walls, carry up to a dozen armed law enforcement officers, and calmly withstand direct shelling. It costs nearly 227 thousand dollars.

To carry out such expensive purchases, you need their competent rationale. And it was found: the increasing incidence of attacks on police officers. But according to statistics, this is not the case: every year, from the beginning of the century, around 50 law enforcement officers perish in the performance of their duties.

Supporters of the militarization of society and other arguments. Tanks can be used to combat the terrorist threat, as well as to minimize the effects of natural disasters. However, this is not necessary, because earlier in such situations, no police tank has not found a use for itself.

Spectacular raids on drug lords, worthy of Hollywood films, in fact, are not a necessary element in the fight against the spread of infection. They cause tremendous rejection in ordinary people who are not sure that such results could not be achieved without such a large-scale use of violence. Yes, and the temptation to "palnut" the police is higher.

What will a person feel peacefully sleeping in bed when a lot of incomprehensible people in camouflage with weapons at the ready will break into his house? Light grenades, muzzle guns, a total search, the violation of civil rights? Despite the absence of physical injuries, it is very hard psychologically to survive such an invasion. It is impossible to protest, because it can be regarded as an attempt of resistance, authorizing the use of violence.

One of the politicians subtly noted the soldier’s mission: to wipe the target into powder, without bothering to read her rights. The militarization of the police cannot but lead to a change in psychology. Why use civil law if you can shoot once? It remains only to adopt a law that will exempt from liability in such cases.

What is it like for Americans to be opposed to military units on their own territory? The poor neighborhoods of Chicago, Washington, and Detroit more than once experienced similar “interventions” by the police. US militarization brings blood, destruction, and legal nihilism.

But can the military, for whom armed conflicts are a familiar environment, maintain calm and peace in society? Can the soldiers who were taught to kill read the rights to a person?

If the police continue to evolve into the army, the future of the United States is obvious. It will be a police state, where the society is in a rigid framework. However, for many it is no longer a trend, but a reality.
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