Our Militarized Police Tossed a Stun Grenade at a Baby

Our Militarized Police Tossed a Stun Grenade at a Baby

Occupied armies are walking America’s streets. Right now, a 1-year-old toddler with severe burns is clinging to life in a Georgia hospital, after a SWAT team barged into the house where he and his family were staying, and mistakenly threw a flash-bang grenade into his crib. This past Wednesday, members of the Cornelia, Georgia police department’s SWAT team entered the house where the toddler and his family were staying, searching for an alleged drug dealer who they say was living in the home as well, and who was armed and dangerous.

Because the suspected drug dealer had previous weapons charges, the SWAT team members had a no-knock warrant, which meant they could enter the house without warning, and without checking to see if there were children inside the home. Now, a little boy is struggling to survive. Unfortunately, incidents like this are becoming all too common in America today.

That’s because America’s police forces have become like occupied armies, hyper-militarized for the benefit of our nation’s military industrial complex. All across our country, local cops are kicking in doors, SWAT teams are carrying weapons of war, and warrants are becoming things of the past. Fortunately, there’s a way to change all of this, restore sanity to local policing, and to put weapons of war back where they belong.

Back in 1994, the Clinton administration created something called the COPS program. The federal Community Oriented Policing Services program provides resources for local police forces across America, intended to help those forces become more involved in their communities.

The goal of the program is to create more police officers like Madison, Wisconsin police officer Katie Adler. Unlike regular patrol cops, Adler spends much of her time in crime-ridden at-risk neighborhoods, getting to know the people she serves, and building lasting relationships along the way. She is the perfect example of community policing.

Meanwhile, European countries have been relying on community policing for years.

Take Sweden for example. Back in 1972, the Swedish government created a national center for research, development and coordination of policing, with the goal of fighting and reducing crime at its social and community levels. And in 1992, local policing committees began popping up across Sweden. These committees, in 200+ communities across Sweden, work hand-in-hand with local police forces, community leaders, schools and other groups to improve living conditions and to reduce crime.

Unfortunately, funding for community policing back here in America has seen a steady decline since the COPS program was first introduced. In 2010, $792 million was allotted in the form of federal grants under the COPS program for local police forces across the country; By 2012, that number had shrunken to just $199 million.

Now, there are fewer and fewer Officer Katie’s, and more and more hyper-militarized local police forces, that are breaking down doors first, and asking questions later. Rather than being viewed as community members, America’s police forces are being increasingly viewed as occupying armies, and that needs to change.

Community policing needs to be a priority in our country once again. But the changes shouldn’t stop there. We also need to put weapons of war back in the hands of real military forces, like the National Guard, and pay our cops better while holding them to higher standards. Only then can we make sure no more1-year-old toddlers are hanging on to life by a thread because a flash-bang grenade went off in their cribs.

Comments

ChicagoMatt 20 weeks 10 hours ago
#1

I know a few cops, and they all talk about a "code of silence" in gang-infested areas of the city. They tell me that most cops begin by trying to help the communities they are in, and get to know the regulars on their beat. But that optimism is short-lived, once they realize those communities don't want them there. When a crime is committed, everyone complains about the high crime, but no one will talk to the cops, so nothing ever gets done. They're a lot like Republicans in that regard - they want the good stuff, but they don't want to cooperate at all to get it.

Here's an interesting article about that:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/radley-balko-chicago-code-of-si...

ckrob's picture
ckrob 20 weeks 8 hours ago
#2

Within the last couple of weeks our local newspaper indicated that the local State University now receives only thirteen percent of its operating costs from our State. Yesterday we learned that the State plans to close almost half of the facilities now serving our mentally disabled. Services will, no doubt, be contracted out. How are these and similar government services not considered privatization? (Profitization?) Next will be our water systems.

Eliz77's picture
Eliz77 20 weeks 6 hours ago
#3

More and more we see the militarization of law enforcement that sees people as enemies, rather that fellow citizens to be protected and served. I have worked with the Department of Justice and state agencies developing trainings with law enforcement in the past, and bad behavior, like the incident below, was seen as bad or inadequate training. I am retired now, but still pay attention and notice the changes. Many of my former collegues are upset and embarrassed by the present state of affairs and the growing police violence.

Over the last few years it is apparent that the military industrial complex is looking at civilian law enforcement as a source of revenue. The economic situation growing out of the corporate greed that has no involvement with the welfare of the country has taken our youth and trained them to war rather than peace.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 20 weeks 6 hours ago
#4

I've experienced this hyper-civilian militarism myself. I've seen the consequences. I also saw a flash grenade thrown into a baby's crib. Fortunately, that baby and his mother were shopping when it happened. Then these mercenaries threw military grade tear gas grenades into all the apartments in one building where a fugitive was supposedly held up. The only apartment they missed was the one he was in. He ended up surrendering peaceably after they let up their assault.

I learned that these new military grade tear gas grenades send out chemicals that go everywhere in a building. They penetrate and permanently ruin everything they touch from clothes and carpet to walls and ceilings. Everything has to be thrown away and destroyed because any contact with it makes you instantly very sick.The flash grenade they threw through the windows of the apartments shattered all the other windows sending glass fragments flying through the air. It seems so unjust that to catch one fugitive the police had to destroy the apartments and all the belongings of 5 innocent families and put countless innocent people in deadly danger.

This is a very serious travesty of justice people; and, it's coming to a neighborhood near you.

goat-on-a-stick's picture
goat-on-a-stick 20 weeks 5 hours ago
#5

I wish I could stay as optimistic as Thom to think that this is reversible, but with the huge amount of profit for companies to gain, the ever growing connections of police to military and intelligence resources, and the lack of punishment given to officers and departments who go too far, it seems like not only will it get worse, but that's exactly what they want!

Ann Jurrjens 20 weeks 5 hours ago
#6

I cannot believe this but I can. I live in your 52nd state. It's the largest island in the world and it is the continent of Australia. Our police here are imitating yours I was among those who protested against GW's visit and saw police and army dressed in black in full gear loaded with weapons. The world is getting scarier by the day. so far no baby has been targeted but we do have young first Australians tazered and beaten up dying in custody. Militarised police brutality is infectious and seems to be spreading worldwide. Like the Ninja's we will have to band together and find a solution before they let the robots on the loose, which they are planning to do.

I hope and pray the little baby survives it's burns and is not to scarred. I feel so sorry for her.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 20 weeks 3 hours ago
#7
Quote ChicagoMatt:When a crime is committed, everyone complains about the high crime, but no one will talk to the cops, so nothing ever gets done.

ChicagoMatt ~ I've experienced that too. In poorer inner city areas you have a definite split amongst the people. You have those who actively engage in crime and naturally hate the police. You have those who are honest and are also split between two lines. The youth get no respect from the police and are constantly harassed into hating them. The older folk feel that the police don't do enough to protect them. The victims are afraid of cooperating because they might have to pay for it.

I recently attended a meeting with our Mayor, our brand new Police Chief, and several members of the community. I was somewhat surprised at how many of the people responded to the Chief. Just about everything he said pissed off somebody. The students felt harassed for nothing. The adults felt endangered and neglected. I can only imagine how the new Police Chief came out of that meeting feeling. My heart went out to him.

There is little the police can do. This problem is a result of poverty; and, until poverty is addressed it will continue to go on. Nevertheless, militarizing the police instead of focussing on reducing poverty has the same result of trying to put out a fire with a bucket of gasoline. It's just going to make a bad situation much worse for everyone.

Our military industrial complex has become a curse not only on this nation but on humanity itself. The time has come to completely dismantle it.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 20 weeks 2 hours ago
#8

I'm pretty sure you mean "occupying army", not "occupied army". The army does the occupying, it doesn't get occupied by someone else.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 20 weeks 2 hours ago
#9

I thought Cliven Bundy had all these local Rambo wannabes disarming the Federal government.....Ha Ha...nobody kicking in the doors and flash grenading the nuts pointing their weapons at Federal Rangers.....this country has turned into one big sad and pathetic joke.

richinfolsom's picture
richinfolsom 20 weeks 1 hour ago
#10

Long ago, I went to college to become a police officer and after a short time on the streets, it became apparent it was an active war zone. I drew down on a man crouched down pretending to hold a handgun. Associates were shot and killed for no reason. I found out there were guns everywhere. I also found out I was not meant to be a domestic soldier of war.

My heart goes out to the baby and mother. There are too many guns and too few jobs.

The war on drugs has turned our streets and this baby's home in an urban war zone. The upper middle class scurry away from the cities to their security-gated communities, a type of self made prison, ignorant of the reality of massive incarceration of the highly profitable illicit, black market (no pun intended).

Rich in Folsom

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 20 weeks 29 min ago
#11

Let me start by saying that when SWAT teams meet up with detectives prior to serving no knock warrants and learn layout of the house and how many people occupy the house or building and they also ask if there are children present. If there are children then flash bangs are not used. Most drug dealers have served in the military so it would follow that when they have to be arrested you have to send people who have special training. Some SWAT teams train 40 hours a month they recieve no extra pay for those duties and most work in patrol until they are needed to serve high risk arrest warrants. They are called into resolve domestic violence situations where the husband has barricaded himself in his house and is threatening to kill his wife and children. They raid crack houses arrest violent suspects. To understand what they do watch SWAT with Sam Jackson or the Mario Van Peebles directed movie 44 minutes About the shootout with LAPD by the Serbian bank robbers Valley Trust bank at Boyle and Kitteridge.

Thom why shouldn't the parents get some of the blame for bringing a child into a crack house in the first place.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 6 days ago
#12
Quote UNC Tarheels:Most drug dealers have served in the military so it would follow that when they have to be arrested you have to send people who have special training.

UNC Tarheels ~ That is really quite a stretch. If you could provide some credible source to back up that claim I for one would be most interested in seeing it. I had no idea our military was producing so many drug dealers.

Please, don't use Hollywood movies as a source of information, or justify using a grenade on an infant by blaming the behavior of parents. I don't really care if they sold crack. Crack doesn't hurt people like grenades do. Besides, in this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty. In my opinion any officer who throws a grenade into a house without without issuing a fair warning is a sick coward. Police have blow horns, helicopters, radios, and tasers. There is simply no excuse for that kind of reckless and irresponsible behavior.

These raids are unconstitutional and illegal. The only reason we are sacrificing our Constitution is because of this stupid War on Drugs. It is these stupid drug laws that have to go, not our Bill of Rights. Everyone has the right to be safe and secure in their own home--even if suspected of a committing a crime. There is a procedure to follow for such instances to protect not only innocent victims; but, the police and the suspect as well. You surround the building. You use a helicopter for aerial surveillance. You use a blow horn to issue a warning and ask for surrender. Only when that fails do you use force. You don't surprise people by using force first; and, you never use military weapons in an urban setting. That has always been strictly forbidden by the Constitution; and, only by outfitting our police with these weapons has this basic principle of the Constitution been circumnavigated. That is a travesty.

BARBARA NECKER's picture
BARBARA NECKER 19 weeks 6 days ago
#13

If many states follow Georgia's example & pass legislation allowing open carry everywhere, police will have even more twitchy trigger fingers than they do now. We seem to be developing an "every man for himself" attitude in this country that I've never seen before in my 74 years on earth. Are we regressing to a Wild West mentality? I expect to see the "Gunfight at the PK Corral" 21st Century-style any day.

BARBARA NECKER's picture
BARBARA NECKER 19 weeks 6 days ago
#14

Yes, the police seem to have adopted an us-versus-them attitude regarding the communities they were hired to protect. Like the cop in New Mexico (I think it was there) who shot a man who was wandering around the hills -- granted he had a knife in his hand, but the story indicated he was in a confused state. I was married to an epileptic for 40 years & often found him in a confused state, once carrying a knife & walking the road in his long johns. Fortunately, it was a very rural back road with no one else in sight, so nobody was around to call the cops. I was able to take the knife away & get him back home with no problem, as he was just confused, not homicidal.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 6 days ago
#15

Marc - I see a connection between what police go through, and what teachers go through as well. Everyone wants good services, but not everyone is willing to help or is on the side of the people giving those services. So many good teachers refuse to work in certain neighborhoods - the neighborhoods that need good teachers the most - because they don't want to deal with the parents.

I don't really blame all of the parents though. If you've been on the "low rung" of society your whole life, you would naturally start to strike out at people on higher rungs. Teachers are well-paid professionals, and make easy scapegoats for the problems in education.

Just about everything he said pissed off somebody

That's how I feel about Obama too. Even if I don't agree with him much, I still feel bad for the hyper-polarized climate he is stuck in. And really, there is no end in sight for whichever person and party gets the presidency next. After so much bad blood between the two halves of this country, what can possibly bring us together?

I've said this before, but if this were a marriage, even the counselors would be calling for divorce by now.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 6 days ago
#16
Yes, the police seem to have adopted an us-versus-them attitude regarding the communities they were hired to protect.

When it comes to bigger cities, I feel like there is an unwritten and unspoken understanding that the cops are there to "protect" the nicer areas of the city, and "placate" or "tolerate" the less-nice areas. Since cops are paid for with property taxes, the people who pay more in property taxes (businesses and the wealthier types) expect better city services. I can envision a partol officer driving through a bad neighborhood, where he or she isn't wanted in the first place, and wondering to themselves, "why am I even here?"

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 6 days ago
#17

Marc, great answer! I could not have said it better.

What more evidence do we need to convince our fellow Americans that we are living under fascism? We're not even safe in our homes anymore! What a freak show... - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 6 days ago
#18
Quote ChicagoMatt: Teachers are well-paid professionals, and make easy scapegoats for the problems in education.

ChicagoMatt ~ Yes! I agree! I also agree that the same can be said of the police and President Obama. Of course, no one has said that sentiment better than my good friend Jenna Marbles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkQxHlr2fXM

The truth of the matter is that our society is disfunctional from the top down. It needs to be completely renovated from within. Good teachers, good cops, even good politicians can only do so much. Sure you can make some difference. However, it is an uphill climb at best. Without the full cooperation of other members--all other members--of society, it is a losing battle.

A few blogs ago you insisted that some children have no innate sense of what is right and what is wrong. I still disagree; however, I see where you are coming from; but, don't be fooled. Children are helpless and clueless victims of their environment. They desperately need attention and love in their lives and simply don't get it--some more so than others. Many are starving for the attention of their parents and don't get it for one reason or another. Sometimes it's because the parents are to busy working. Other times because they just don't care. In your situation, many parents throw money at you to "fix" the problem. Of course, alone, that is impossible. So then they turn around and blame you. It's there right, after all, they already paid you well to take the blame. The problem goes on; but, at least they don't feel guilty anymore.

The poor children can't see what is wrong so they either blame themselves or you. When they "act out" it isn't because they don't know the difference between right and wrong. They know it well. They are consciously choosing to do wrong. Why? Well obviously they already tried doing right and simply didn't get the reaction that they need. Often, you've no doubt experienced some really "bad" kids who when asked why they did something bad will reply, "I don't know!" That reply alone should tell you that they knew very well when they did what they did that it was wrong and they knew it. Otherwise, they would have an explanation. If they could grasp their own situation they might say something like, "Because I wanted attention. This isn't the attention I wanted, but it is better than nothing!"

This is one of the major reasons I can't see spending a dime of public funds on private education. One of the greatest obstacles in the private ed sector is overcoming the tremendous lack of discipline that comes with privilege. This should always be and remain the sole responsibility of the privileged few that created the problem in the first place; and, can easily afford to deal with it.

Not to say that similar problems don't exist in the public ed sector as well. A good friend of mine was a substitute teacher in public schools for many years. She hated that job. It was also very challenging and thankless. Her greatest pet peeve was with students that--for lack of a better word--she described as stupid. Incapable of learning. Not everyone, of course, but many. These students represented her greatest challenge, discipline not really being a great issue in public schools. She often spoke about having confrontations with these students parents who were outraged with her test results. She had to remain calm during these encounters but always noticed that the parents were pretty much just as stupid as the kids. Not being able to simply tell them that to their face was the most frustrating part of her job. Can you as a teacher imagine what it would be like to look a parent in the eye and say, "Look, I've done everything possible? You just have a really stupid kid. He must take after you."

Of course the police have to sweep up the consequences of all this. I certainly do not envy their job at all. Whatever you do, my friend, I wouldn't blame myself. All you can do is your best; and, at the end of the day, go home with the satisfaction that some students in your class are better people for it. You can't help all the people all the time. You've made some difference; and, in this world, that is a lot more than most people do.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 6 days ago
#19
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Marc, great answer! I could not have said it better.

Aliceinwonderland ~ Thanks Alice! Coming from you that REALLY means a lot.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 6 days ago
#20
Quote ChicagoMatt:Since cops are paid for with property taxes, the people who pay more in property taxes (businesses and the wealthier types) expect better city services.

ChicagoMatt ~ Not necessarily. Ask any Cop where they would rather serve, the crime ridden inner city or the wealthier elite neighborhoods. Anyone that would says the crime ridden inner city is either already psychotic; or, will be soon after serving there for a while.

Personally, I believe the exact opposite is true, it is far easier--and cheaper--to police the wealthy then the poor. That is why poverty is the real problem behind crime in this country, and not the lack of good policing.

Frosty46's picture
Frosty46 19 weeks 6 days ago
#21

The Police State is a direct consequence of the Rightwing take over of America. It will not end well and there is not much that can be done. US elections are dirty and totally corrupt exercises in futility as the vote counters are Rightwing directed. Republicans and their minions are terrorists out to destroy our nation and there is not means of defeated them except revolt by the citizens. I know--What about the Democrats? I ask What Democrats? Show me some of these Democats--------we have jake the fake Dems but the Rightwing kills off any real Democrats when they get too uppity!

Frosty46's picture
Frosty46 19 weeks 6 days ago
#22

The game is rigged in that the wealthy live under different laws and justice than the poor. We see examples everyday of wealthy getting away with crimes--it's become the American way. The stats tell the tale of justice in America. The poor have become a profit generator for the justice system in the US.

Frosty46's picture
Frosty46 19 weeks 6 days ago
#23

I feel the same as you. It is not safe to out in public anylonger is America. Guns and the Rightwing rule America--it will not end well.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 6 days ago
#24

Frosty, I agree; we are in deep do-do. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 6 days ago
#25

No one has mentioned the approach that Thom described. Thom described what Bill Clinton did. He just put more cops walking the neighborhoods. If any cop knew the name of the baby and the family, I would bet the grenade would never have been thrown. Of course, dubya stopped the program so he could give more money to Ken Lay, the Kochs etc.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 19 weeks 6 days ago
#26

How many executions by law enforcement are there every year in our society? Try to google the info. It is not available. A young man was executed by taser in Santa Cruz not long ago while incarcerated in jail. Not much mention in the corporate media. One executed homeless man that the media did report, was because it was captured on video and the victim was a son of a police officer. He was calling out for his father while the police killed him. The new method of execution is to kneel on the chest of the victim till he suffocates. Easier to report then tasing to death or a shooting. We need a federal police force to police the police. Replace internal affairs.

28 homeless executed in New Mexico alone by one division of police. While in Nevada nothing is done to armed right wing miilitia threatening law enforcement over hamburger? This selective law enforcement is a dangerous reflection of bigotry and injustice by police in our society. There are those hidng behind the badge who are criminals under any standard. We must find a way to weed them out. Take back our justice system.

There is a new system developed that enables the police to block out any cell phone cam images during a police event. This is the death of free speech and freedom of the press. All power is in the hands of the military industrial complex now. It is the end of freedom and liberty as we once knew it to be. A new fleet of drones to spy on us is on the way.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 6 days ago
#27
Without the full cooperation of other members--all other members--of society, it is a losing battle.
I think tht's the essence of the problems facing this country and the world. Progressivism would work well if a majority of the people were on board with it. But that will never happen, especially after all of the insults/spite/etc from both sides. So we're stuck with two things: 1. Griping about the problems, and 2. Taking care of ourselves.

I had a revelation earlier. After a little over a month on this blog, and three years of listening to Thom on the radio, I realized that his tone (to use my English teacher jargon) is mainly depression and nostalgia. Or, in other words, most of what he says is a variation of: "This part of society sucks, but it didn't used to suck before Reagan."

Conservative talkers all have the same tone too: Anger and nostalgia. "Things used to be better, and it's the government's or liberal's fault that your life sucks."

Children are helpless and clueless victims of their environment. They desperately need attention and love in their lives and simply don't get it--some more so than others. Many are starving for the attention of their parents and don't get it for one reason or another. Sometimes it's because the parents are to busy working. Other times because they just don't care.

Very true. And now we're two or three generations into it. There are entire families who have no living members who remember how to raise children well. I know "traditional family values" connotes different things to righties and lefties, but there is some truth to the need for a return to the way things used to be in the family. As a parent myself, I know the best thing I can do is set a good example for my children, and correct the little problems, before they turn into big problems.

This is one of the major reasons I can't see spending a dime of public funds on private education. One of the greatest obstacles in the private ed sector is overcoming the tremendous lack of discipline that comes with privilege.
I think you're thinking of a stereotype - the spoiled white kid who can wreck his parent's Lexus and not get punished. There are those types in the world, but not where I teach at least. Every time they do a survey of why people choose Catholic schools, our stricter discipline is in the top 3 reasons. (Saftey is always the number one reason. The Religious part of the school is usually pretty low on the list, much to the chagrin of the priests.)

Can you as a teacher imagine what it would be like to look a parent in the eye and say, "Look, I've done everything possible? You just have a really stupid kid. He must take after you."
Ha! Tact is very important in this job. And documentation to prove what you say about a student. I slipped once and called a student a "smartass". His mother emailed me and wanted an explanation. I told her what he did that got under my skin, and she agreed with me. He was being a smartass, and she thanked me for calling him out on it.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 6 days ago
#28

What I meant about wealthy neighborhoods and the police was this:

The wealthy, businesses, and upper-middle-class types pay the majority of property taxes, so they pay the majority of police salaries. They also have the best ability to move to a different city if they don't like what their hometown has to offer. If they move, it's a problem for the city's payroll. Just ask the mayor of Detroit.

The poor, on the other hand, can't move as easily if they don't like the services they get from the city. And they aren't putting as much into the "police salary bucket". And, even though they will never admit it, some cities officials WANT the poor to move somewhere else. They are seen as a burden.

When they began tearing down the projects in Chicago, they replaced them with HUD vouchers for private rental properties. (I think those are called "Section 8" funds.) The HUD people steered the recipients of those vouchers to the working-class suburbs.

Every now and then you'll hear a story about cities offering one-way tickets to anywhere in the country to homeless or mentally disabled people. It's cheaper to send a homeless person to Florida than it is to give that person a heated room in the winter here in the North.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 19 weeks 6 days ago
#29

yes the military teaches how to handle weapons and how to kill people. Secondly 44 minutes is real movie about the hollywood shootout. But since you think raids on drugs houses are unconstitutional if one crops up in your neighborhood don't report just let crime run rampant. I don't think they are unconstitutional since a narcotics detective gets a warrant from a judge and if the suspect has a violent history which all drug dealers do then instead of SWAT lets send the meter maids into arrest them or would you prefer that people that have been SWAT trained make the arrests and clear the house so the detectives can look for evidence to find where the drugs are coming in and who is bringing them in. Also uncover and evidence relating to homicides or from deaths from innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire between two rival drug pushers?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 6 days ago
#30

Tarheels asks rhetorically: "...if the suspect has a violent history which all drug dealers do then instead of SWAT lets send the meter maids into arrest them or would you prefer that people that have been SWAT trained make the arrests and clear the house so the detectives can look for evidence to find where the drugs are coming in and who is bringing them in[?]"

What Marc & I would prefer is to end all drug prohibition. Period. And send those gestapo thugs back to bootcamp or wherever the hell they came from! Because they don't belong in our neighborhoods. We definitely don't need them terrorizing us in our own homes, whether we use drugs or not.

This bullshit has got to stop. END PROHIBITION NOW!!! The remedy is worse than the "disease". ENOUGH already. - AIW

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 19 weeks 5 days ago
#31

Again you are all missing the point! THE POLICE DID NOT KNOW that a baby was in a crack house and again what kind of mother is she to bring her child there! Again SWAT was not told that a baby was there! I guess you all think that all police agencies should be disbanded. While we are at it why don't we just disband government and all laws and have total anarchy. Since you all think the police are gestapo don't call them to report anything no matter what the problem is!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 5 days ago
#32

UNC Tarheels ~ All drug dealers have a violent history? Most drug dealers have military training? Dude, again I ask you, where are you getting your facts? I think you are living in a fantasy world. Here are some facts that might help enlighten you to the real world.

First, below you will find a link to the DEA Hall of Fame. It is a government website dedicated to honoring fallen DEA agents. Take some time to read about all the agents who died since 2000. You will find one who was killed in a raid. The rest died in none raid activities. The activity that leads the list in DEA agent deaths is helicopter crashes.

As far as local law enforcement is concerned here is a clip from an article that describes real statistics in casualties from the war on drugs.

Quote Article from Stop The Drug War website:In 2008, the number of police who died maintaining drug prohibition was seven; in 2007, it was four; it 2006, it was five; in 2005, it was four. When placed in the context of the more than 1.5 million drug arrests made in each of those years, it is clear that only one in every several hundred thousand drug arrests leads to an officer's death. During the past 10 years, the odds were less than 1 in 350,000.

The simple facts do not support your claim that these drug offenders are indeed dangerous enough to warrant not only deadly force but military grade deadly force. In fact, nonviolent drug offenders are the true victims in this senseless war.

As someone who has been active in the community to get dangerous drug houses out of the neighborhood I can tell you that the best way to do it doesn't involve violence of any kind. Most cities have nuisance and blight ordinances on the books that enable them to put liens against the homes of troublesome drug houses. Landlords usually don't really care how some tenants earn their money to pay the rent, however, if the city places a lien against the house and notifies the owner that everyday that the house fails to comply with the cities demands that the owner will be fined $2K then you would not believe how fast that house gets cleaned up. Problem solved! Door and civil liberties still intact!

You need to stop watching movies. They have a vested interest in selling you on violence. Violence in the theatre is more addictive than drugs.

http://www.justice.gov/dea/about/wall-honor/wall-of-honor_bios.shtml

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2010/may/14/feature_police_officer_deaths_us

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 5 days ago
#33

DEA helicopter crashes- WOO-HOO! I love it when karma does the dirty work.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 5 days ago
#34

AIW -- Speaking of Karma, did you notice that a tornado wiped out a oil production field in North Dakota?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 5 days ago
#35

Chi Matt -- I seem to be completely ignored. A whole lot more police on the beat would solve a lot of the problems.

Almost every problem you describe can be attributed to economic inequality. You really need to watch that TED talk on inequality. There is a direct correlation between the growing economic inequality and reaganomics. Every problem I hear the right blame on the left seems to be caused by the economic inequality.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 5 days ago
#36
Chi Matt -- I seem to be completely ignored. A whole lot more police on the beat would solve a lot of the problems.
Sorry about that. I was distracted by real life for a moment.

I think that, in the past, more beat cops may have been helpful. But not as much today. Not with the anti-police culture that permeates many of the worst neighborhoods. Plus, would you want to be the cop walking the streets in those neighborhoods, knowing that the people there have zero respect for you, your position, and what you stand for?

Almost every problem you describe can be attributed to economic inequality. You really need to watch that TED talk on inequality. There is a direct correlation between the growing economic inequality and reaganomics. Every problem I hear the right blame on the left seems to be caused by the economic inequality.

I agree that most of the problems of society can be attributed to income inequality. I also think the Democrats are doing their best to make people feel like they don't have a chance or the wealthy are out to get them, in order to drive more voters to the left. I don't see any real, practical solution other than individuality. At this point, no matter who is in charge, the other side of the aisle will fight them tooth and nail. For any real change, you would need like 80% or more popular support in the country. When was the last time something like that happened?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 5 days ago
#37

Matt, the residents in the poorest neighborhoods hate cops for a REASON. Cops are in the business of protecting the interests of affluent and rich Americans, not the poor. And poor folks know it. Cops don't treat them with the respect other Americans take for granted. What goes around comes around.

On a separate but related topic, each time I see a protest in the streets turn violent, it's usually the cops who are being violent. Time and again, we've witnessed peaceful protestors being assaulted without provocation. The message comes across crystal clear: "Get back in your pens, peasants, and shut up!"

So you think Democrats are misleading us into falsely believing this system is rigged against us?! Not on the planet where I reside. It is unfortunate that so many Americans watch faux fiction rather than real news; otherwise more people might have a grip on reality, enough to understand who the real enemies of democracy are. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 5 days ago
#38

WOW Chuck! How cool is that?! It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature. Revenge is sweet.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 5 days ago
#39
Quote chuckle8:Chi Matt -- I seem to be completely ignored. A whole lot more police on the beat would solve a lot of the problems.

Almost every problem you describe can be attributed to economic inequality.

chuckle8 ~ I too agree about economic inequality; however, throwing more police at the problem isn't going to solve anything. In fact, at best it would only help increase our already overgrown prison population. The fact remains that there is nothing that police alone can do about economic inequality.

That said, recently, and probably in the future, our city government has laid off a lot if much needed police officers. For that reason, along with a crime problem that stands to get worse, we do need more police officers now. However, not much more than we already had before the cuts. What we really need is an economic stimulus package to help reduce economic inequality. That is where the real improvements need to be made.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 5 days ago
#40

Poor people hate the cops because they protect the interests of the affluent. The affluent also pay the majority of the cop's salaries. So, if you're a cop, where is your motivation to give a damn for the poor? I wonder if cops on patrol in high-crime areas even bother enforcing some laws if they see them being broken. "We have a report of someone spray-painting garages in the alley... I'll get to it when I get to it... The people on that block don't want me there anyway."

A lot of people like to bash cops until they need them.

And the only logical result of this is a continuation of the status quo. Society isn't going to change on the kind of scale necessary to end this cycle. But individuals can change themselves to benefit from society's current structure. Hence, individualism is the way to go.

So you think Democrats are misleading us into falsely believing this system is rigged against us?! Not on the planet where I reside. It is unfortunate that so many Americans watch faux fiction rather than real news; otherwise more people might have a grip on reality, enough to understand who the real enemies of democracy are.

The bluest of the blue areas - inner cities - also tend to be the most impoverished. You would think that after generations of voting for the same party and getting no where with it, people in those neighborhoods would start looking for alternatives. If I were a billionaire Republican (like a Koch), I would make a deal with people: I will open X amount of factories and hire X amount of people in Chicago within a week of the election if my guy gets elected. Bribery? Yes. But is it any worse than Democrats promising to improve the lives of the poor cycle after cycle, but not delivering on it?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 5 days ago
#41

Chi Matt --

Quote Chi Matt:Hence, individualism is the way to go.
. Individualism has never helped any society in the course of human events. Darwin in his "Origin of Species" observed that all higly evolved species got there through love and co-operation. However, individualism is the snake oil the 1% try to sell to the masses. So you think the poor people should look to Daddy Koch for a handout. Where is the individualism in that?

Quote Chi Matt:The bluest of the blue areas - inner cities - also tend to be the most impoverished. You would think that after generations of voting for the same party and getting no where with it, people in those neighborhoods would start looking for alternatives.

Where do you think reagonomics hit the hardest? For the 13 weeks of the last 5 years when the dems were in control, the life of those impoverished areas saw the most hope. Do you think anyone in their right mind could look at the voting record of the repugs and think it would lessen the poison of reagonomics?

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 5 days ago
#42
Where do you think reagonomics hit the hardest? For the 13 weeks of the last 5 years when the dems were in control, the life of those impoverished areas saw the most hope. Do you think anyone in their right mind could look at the voting record of the repugs and think it would lessen the poison of reagonomics?

And what came of all of that hope? Are things any better in those areas? I can only speak for my own city. The answer is no, things are not better. It is sad to me that there are people who, if they were just entering the workforce when Reagan was elected, would now be in their 50s and who, this entire time, have been waiting for the Democrats they keep electing to change things for them. To continue to do the same thing over and over (elect Democrats), and expect different results, is, as you know, the definition of insanity.

The solidly Red areas of the country continue electing Republicans for the opposite reason. They don't want change. They like things the way they are.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 19 weeks 4 days ago
#43

So you are saying that drug dealers don't kill people who rip them off or people who they think rip them off? So they don't engage in drive by's to sweep rival dealers away so they take over the turf? Or how many inncoent children get caught in the crossfire between rival gangs?

I really don't care about why people sell drugs! They are breaking the law! Period. With all the welfare programs in this country that people can apply for people should not have to steal, kill, rob people , sell drugs or break the law. If you were serious about cleaning up the mess you would support the police not tie their hands behind backs because you want to live in some hippie utopia where everyone is high on dope.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 4 days ago
#44
If you were serious about cleaning up the mess you would support the police not tie their hands behind backs because you want to live in some hippie utopia where everyone is high on dope.

Although I agree with your sentiment, sort of, I see a parallel here. Or irony, depending on how you look at it. Tea partiers look at the Washington bureaucracy when it comes to healthcare the same way that Progressives look at the militaristic police force when it comes to crime. In order to fix the problem (healthcare or crime), the other side is telling you to "trust us, this is the best way". I'll start believing that single-payer healthcare is feasible in this country when the lefties start believing that crime can be stamped out with force.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 19 weeks 4 days ago
#45

MISTER Tarheels- with the steady procession of cuts to social services in America, our skimpy, raggedy safety net is going, going, gone. Your reference to "all the welfare programs in this country" only shows how out-of-touch with reality you are.

The only way to put those drug dealers out of business is to end prohibition. PERIOD! Some people like using recreational drugs. If your gestapo little war against them was working, recreational drugs would have vanished years, if not decades, ago. To the contrary, it hasn't even put a dent in the availability of pot and other drugs. You dumb-ass fascist control freaks just never learn. You keep right on busting and banging and slashing and burning and stealing, and busting people's doors down and throwing grenades into babies' cribs... all of it an exercise in futility. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 4 days ago
#46

Chi Matt -- In your economics course was the lag time of economic policy ever taught to you? Economists say the average time for an economic policy to take effect is 7 years.

Quote Chi Matt:And what came of all of that hope?

Scott Brown was elected to the senate.

Quote Chi Matt: I can only speak for my own city. The answer is no, things are not better.

With the number of jobs going from 700,000 per month loss to a gain of 200,000 it is hard for me believe there was not some improvement in your city. The improvement may have been in the marginal rate. Are you basing your answer on anecdotal data?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 4 days ago
#47

Chi Matt -- You should look at vote counts. You should look at things like % of eligible voters who voted.

Quote Chi Matt:The solidly Red areas of the country continue electing Republicans for the opposite reason. They don't want change.

I thought they stayed solidly red because of voter suppression and gerrymandering. Also, you should look at the results of the senate primary election for South Carolina in 2010 (?). You should see the interview by K. Olberman of Al Green, the winning democrat. If that is not a flashing neon sign for election fraud, I do not know what is.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 4 days ago
#48
Quote UNC Tarheels:So you are saying that drug dealers don't kill people who rip them off or people who they think rip them off? So they don't engage in drive by's to sweep rival dealers away so they take over the turf? Or how many inncoent children get caught in the crossfire between rival gangs?

I really don't care about why people sell drugs! They are breaking the law!

UNC Tarheels ~ Precisely! They are breaking the law. Also, it is because of the law that all the crimes you've mentioned take place. The simple fact of the matter is that lots of people want to take drugs. We, as a country, have tried now for over three decades to make them stop. I call that a failed policy. Continuing to try and make something work repeatedly that always fails is a classic definition of insanity. Since we obviously can't make people stop wanting to take drugs we certainly can change the law. We learned that a long time ago with alcohol prohibition and are learning the lesson again. The real culprit behind the murders of those innocent victims is the law and the people like you who support them. Get over it!

As far as I am concerned when a solution to a bad problem is this blatantly obvious the people who speak out against it--as well as those who actively defy the status quo--are the real heros. The bad laws, the law makers, and those who blindly follow them are the real criminals.

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 4 days ago
#49
The simple fact of the matter is that lots of people want to take drugs.

Alice said a similar thing.

If "lots of people want to do it" is an excuse for changing a law, think of the other laws we should change. Speeding, underaged drinking, gun ownership and concealed carry, bigomy or pologamy, prostitution, praying in schools, etc...

I'd like to see statistics for how many people want to do those things as compared to how many people want to do drugs. I suspect some of those things would actually have higher rates.

That having been said, I actually support legalization of marijuana and most other drugs. If people want to do that stuff in their own houses, that's their problem. I lost someone very, very close to me to drugs. It started with weed when she was a teen, and ended with an overdose on morphine in her 30s. And altough I am saddened by her loss, I know that she made all of those choices, and I support other people's rights to make those choices as well.

Legalization is one issue that fits well with both right and left thinking, depending on how you look at it. A righty could see it as a case for individualism - make your own damn choices and live with the consequences. It could also become a literal "opiate of the masses", keeping people from getting to uppity about the status quo. (That does not mean I believe in the elitist conspiracy theories I've read on here, that everything is part of a grand plan to keep people in check.)

ChicagoMatt 19 weeks 4 days ago
#50
As far as I am concerned when a solution to a bad problem is this blatantly obvious the people who speak out against it--as well as those who actively defy the status quo--are the real heros. The bad laws, the law makers, and those who blindly follow them are the real criminals.

This reminds me of something I read on a teacher blog a few years ago. Someone posted a story about a teacher who was in her 20s that had a romantic relationship with one of her female students, who was 17. The teacher was, of course, arrested and had her life and career ruined. But the person who posted it on the blog was arguing that the teacher was a hero for "following her heart" and that the real problem is the law the prohibits that kind of love. Their argument was that the age of consent in the USA is too high, and the law needs to be changed. If the age of consent was 16, like it is in some more liberal countries, people would be applauding the lesbian relationship.

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