The new progressive bromide: Militarization of police

As a favor to progressives who never want to be the last one to use the latest cliche, I give you this: Militarization of Police.

We can thank the tragedy of  Ferguson, Missouri for the sudden appearance and flood of references to a police force that looks more like an army than, well, a police force. Broadly speaking, progressives allege that if you're among those who believe that police are here to protect, then you should be opposed to and troubled by the appearance of police in riot gear and weapons one would associate with an armed force. On the other hand, if you are convinced that the role of cops is to oppress minorities and the poor, then you see the militarization of the police as a good thing.

Ferguson cops

How tiring.

First, you can simultaneously believe that the role of the police is to protect and to think that they should be adequately protected against mobviolence and sufficiently armed to restore peace. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Second, I make no judgment here about the propriety of the local police in the Ferguson protests and looting. But it stretches reason to suggest that police should not be equipped to safely and effectively deal with threats to peace and their own safety. Sure, you can argue that the armed police look too much like a force armed for war. But in one way, looking like that makes some sense; it might scare some lawbreakers into a hasty retreat. But what it comes down to is not how the police look, but how they behave. If they go beyond the bounds of reasonable force, then that is wrong, seriously so.

See details of my award-winning historical novel, Madness: The War of 1812, at www.madness1812.com
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Comments

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  • Nobody is scared of how the police "look" but that some gresat trolling. Maybe you missed the part about how the police have actually behaved lately. Here. I'll help you out with some events that have nothing to do with Ferguson:

    Killed a kid:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/07/justice/north-carolina-teen-killed/

    Tased an 8-year-old:
    http://www.lifetimemoms.com/in-the-news/a-family-is-filing-a-lawsuit-after-police-fired-taser-darts-into-the-chest-of-their-daughter

    Threw flash grenades on a family in their own home who were unarmed and pleading, "don't hurt me" :

    http://www.courierpress.com/news/local-news/crime/city-seeks-favorable-ruling-in-swat-incident-lawsuit-police-video-shows-what-happened_21314982

    That should get you started.

  • In Ferguson aren't we talking about how the police behave?

    BTW, can you name perhaps the only famous song that has the adjectival form of 'bromide'?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I don't mean to suggest that the conduct of the police shouldn't get a thorough and objective examination. It should.

    The song? I'd guess The Babbit and the Bromide from the Ziegfeld Follies. I'm not sure that it's a famous song, though.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I think I've heard of it. Can you hum a few bars?

    What I had in mind, my Conservative friend, was "A Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific. To wit:

    "I'm as trite and as gay
    As a day in May
    A cliche comin' true.
    I'm bromidic and bright
    As a moon-happy night
    Pourin' light on the dew.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Here goes: Hum, hum, hum, hum. Recognize it?

  • HAHA, of course you didn't publish my insightful comment littered with examples that disprove your point. You are such a smug little shit.

  • In reply to Jenna Karvunidis:

    PS, Just messing with you :)

  • In reply to Jenna Karvunidis:

    Wait, I didn't censor your comments; I'm sure they were most persuasive and thoughtful. :) Send them again and I'll make sure they get the full ride.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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