Monday, August 18, 2014
Mark Steyn sees
something in the ongoing events of Ferguson, Missouri, that should concern
every American: a trend towards the militarization of our police departments.
The most basic problem is that we will never know for certain what happened. Why? Because the Ferguson cruiser did not have a camera recording the incident. That's simply not credible. "Law" "enforcement" in Ferguson apparently has at its disposal tear gas, riot gear, armored vehicles and machine guns ... but not a dashcam. That's ridiculous. I remember a few years ago when my one-man police department in New Hampshire purchased a camera for its cruiser. It's about as cheap and basic a police expense as there is.Noting that, "In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn't have a camera, it's a conscious choice", Steyn goes on to note the historical origins of the modern police departments and observes:
[W]hen the police are dressed like combat troops, it's not a fashion faux pas, it's a fundamental misunderstanding of who they are. Forget the armored vehicles with the gun turrets, forget the faceless, helmeted, anonymous Robocops, and just listen to how these "policemen" talk. Look at the video as they're arresting the New York Times and Huffington Post reporters. Watch the St. Louis County deputy ordering everyone to leave, and then adding: "This is not up for discussion."There is much more from Steyn on both this alarming trend and on the ineptitude of the local authorities, particularly Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson.
Steyn leaves us with the following warning: "[O]ne day, unless something changes, we will all be policed like Ferguson." (HT: Steve D.)
8-19-14: Corrected Mike to Mark.