Scenes from Militarized America

Friday, November 16th, 2012

From a drug raid in Wilson, North Carolina.




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39 Responses to “Scenes from Militarized America”

  1. #1 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Notice the color of the garment.
    People might be surprised, these 21st Century troopers are sporting
    riot gear weaved from pure Hemp.

  2. #2 |  Dan Z | 

    Theres nothing funnier to me (or sadder) than when a SWAT team responds to a situation in an urban setting with officers covered in camo or green gear. Youre in a city dickheads. Even better is when you get the sniper on the team in his full ghillie suit. Far too many of these guys want to play soldier, if they want they can sign up for that as well. Anyone that wants to be on a SWAT team should be permanently barred from doing so and there would be far less issues.

  3. #3 |  Some lawyer | 

    I am a native of Wilson, and almost all of my family still lives there. It’s not Mayberry, but it’s not a bad little town. The previous police chief was a real “peace Officer”. He kept the peace with a minimum of nonsense. If a kid gets in trouble, call the parents (I was subject to this a couple of times, they knew my daddy, and all the other fathers pretty well). The climate of policing has changed there substantially since he retired about 10 years ago, and a new more “professional” approach has been instituted by the new chief. This is the flip side of the “new professionalism” touted by Scalia.

  4. #4 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    When I see this kind of thing I wonder if the Gun Control fetishists could be tricked into accepting a clarification of the Second Amendment that limited private citizens to ownership of weapons routinely carried by the civil police. Since I doubt the police are at all willing to give up their toys, this would pit the gun control hysterics against the police unions, to the distraction of them both, one hopes.

  5. #5 |  Michael McNutt | 

    After pot or whatever is legal they’ll find something (or somebody(s)) to have a war against.

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    McNutt nails it. Like the pro-drug war people say, ‘If drugs are legalized, the drug cartels aren’t going to go away, they’re just going to change their business model a bit.’

    The feds are the biggest cartel…

  7. #7 |  CyniCAl | 

    Thought I’d share a scene from the 2004 film Garden State:

    Andrew Largeman: You’re a COP, Kenny?
    Kenny: Yeah, I know!
    Andrew Largeman: …Why?
    Kenny: I don’t know, man. Had nothing better to do. People really listen to you, you know? I mean… [suddenly pulls out gun] they HAVE to!

    Kenny: Plus, the benefits are great, you know? If I get shot on the job, I’m like… *MMM*… rich!

    Kenny: Speaking of which, how’d I do?
    Andrew Largeman: You mean… as a cop?
    Kenny: Yeah, you know, the whole, [shouts] shut-the-fuck-up thing…
    Andrew Largeman: Well, I thought you were a dick, so I guess that’s good…
    Kenny: [pumping his fist] Nice!

    That’s kind of the mentality we’re looking at. Let’s all be safe out there.

  8. #8 |  Darwin | 

    At 53 years old I’m beginning to despise the police. Never felt much one way or the other about them before. A bunch of jumped up wanna be’s feasting on the “drug war” and “war on terror” at the expense of their relationship with the public. No wonder they don’t want pot legalized when it will should their budgets and power by 2/3’s.

  9. #9 |  RBS | 

    Wilson had a population of a little less than 50,000 people according to the 2010 census via Wikipedia.

  10. #10 |  Len | 

    C.S.P., perhaps you are already aware of this, but I’ll mention it anyway. The second amendment was meant to ensure that any private individual could be as well armed as anyone in the army, and forward to today, that would include automatic weapons, riot/protective gear, etc.

  11. #11 |  Mario | 

    Len @ #8

    The second amendment was meant to ensure that any private individual could be as well armed as anyone in the army […]

    I think that’s a bit of an oversimplification, and at least a little misleading. I think it certainly protects the private ownership of M-16’s and such; I don’t think the same is true of rocket launchers. However, I think the biggest part of the Second Amendment that is completely ignored, which back in the day was thoroughly understood and even taken for granted, was the idea of militia organizations as a protection against the threat of a standing army kept by the federal government.

    Our official national military ought to be small; our military as a whole should be decentralized, with state militias made up of local militias, supplemented by state “regulars.” All of these personnel would be trained under a unified code, which is in part what “well-regulated” means. The other part of well-regulated pertains to equipment. Such equipment, like rocket launchers for instance, would no doubt be kept under the care of local and state government, and made available for use on training days and, of course, should the militia have to be called up.

    A large standing army held by a national government is trouble waiting to happen—abroad and at home. That’s why the founders were against it.

  12. #12 |  Aresen | 

    The link doesn’t say what drugs and how much the police found.

    I am willing to offer long odds that the total value of the drugs found (even by the inflated valuations usually quoted by the police) is not even a fraction of the cost of the raid.

  13. #13 |  RBS | 

    Aresen, it almost never is. Several months ago our local Drug Enforcement Unit busted some Hell’s Angels who were selling marijuana. The raid netted about 12 full grown plants and maybe a few ounces that were ready to be sold. This was the result of about 2 years worth of “investigation” and involved the police forces from all over our county and several neighboring counties.

  14. #14 |  Matt | 

    What country is this again?

  15. #15 |  EH | 

    Look at it this way, the suspect might be addicted to reefer.

  16. #16 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Little boys playing soldier, this is the standing army our Founders warned us about.

  17. #17 |  Phil in Parker | 

    Why are these guys green? Just in case the bad guy gets away and they have to hunt him down in the vast, Wilson, NC jungle. I’m surprised they don’t have the facepaint to match.

  18. #18 |  StrangeOne | 

    I’ve been through Wilson, North Carolina. It’s the type of place where the opening of a Walmart is a momentous event. The fact that the police are this well armed and tacked out for a drug raid just goes to show how much federal money and equipment is being pushed into local police. Undoubtedly they received a lot of money from anti-terrorism grants and the like, so they are essentially not even paid by the community they are supposed to protect, a very dangerous situation for law enforcement and the community alike.

  19. #19 |  MikeV | 

    It seems like a lot of firepower for a city of 50,000.

  20. #20 |  albatross | 

    Fortunately, there’s just no way you can see for this sort of thing to go badly for us as a country. Really, having every two bit county sheriff, state regulatory board, and federal agency regulating toilet seats have its own private army is totally a force for stability in the world.

  21. #21 |  JLS | 

    Dan Z “Far too many of these guys want to play soldier, if they want they can sign up for that as well.”

    Hell no they won’t! Are you crazy? People overseas actually fight back!

    No it’s much safer to be brave and heroic against people who can’t fight back.

  22. #22 |  Len | 

    Mario, #9, rocket launchers etc. would be up to the states. Unless a power was granted to the federal government it can’t be exercised, and there is no power period allowing the federal government to restrict weaponry, not even under the treaty power. I will give my usual disclaimer though, in that the US constitution was thrown out by Lincoln who clearly didn’t like this….The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

  23. #23 |  Dante | 

    Sooner or later, the majority of Americans will realize that the people who naturally gravitate toward police work are, as a general rule, mentally unstable and prone to gratuitous acts of violence for enjoyment. Oh, and they lie a lot, too.

    Psycopaths and Pathological Liars, we call them here.

    What happens when you put mentally unstable sadists in a position of authority?

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  24. #24 |  The Stag Blog | Friday Afternoon Links | 

    […] The Agitator has another dose of the militarized state of police today. These pictures are scary. […]

  25. #25 |  Pinandpuller | 

    My understanding is the ROE overseas are quite strict. US soldiers can get in deep shit for shooting civilians. Especially if they don’t fire first. American cops have no such limitations.

  26. #26 |  Dave | 

    @ #9 Mario

    This may surprise you, but rocket launchers are actually legal as long as you register them as a destructive device as required by the 1934 National Firearms Act and buy a tax stamp for the launcher and each explosive rocket.

  27. #27 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Len & Mario;

    If you insist on interpreting the Second Amendment according the the rules of English grammar, then the only Constitutional limitation would be that the weapons would have to be ones that could be carried by one person. I suppose that one might stretch a point and say that the weapon would have to be one that could be used by one person. That would eliminate nuclear missiles and (despite dozens of action films to the contrary) belt-fed machine guns.

    Naturally this approach is too simple for the lawyers who run the court system. It is notable, however, that in one of the landmark cases on Gun Control the Supreme Court ruled that sawed-off shotguns could tightly controlled because they had no legitimate use in warfare.

    There is considerable evidence to suggest that the Second Amendment was intended to cover all military arms; after all private persons were permitted to own armed ships, which were the biggest ‘weapons systems’ of the time.

  28. #28 |  L. Brooks | 

    When I first saw the colour photo I thought it was a photo of a German soldier from WWII.

  29. #29 |  Cynical in New York | 

    Just remember kids; They’re only here to protect you

  30. #30 |  Len | 

    Mario, I insist on interpreting the 2nd according to those who ratified the US constition, and the claims made by those who supported it in the state ratification conventions. Do you have a viable alternative? Have you spent much time studying the conventions and/or the legal context of the day, such as fiduciary responsibility, reasonableness, the understanding of grants at that time, etc.?

  31. #31 |  CyniCAl | 

    Here’s a heartwarming tale from the LA Times about the LACSD. Seems they have themselves a trophy culture. Next up: cutting off the ears of their victims, no doubt.,0,7884988.story?track=rss

  32. #32 |  BamBam |

    4.5 year sentence for a cop killing a man (note I don’t say innocent, as that should be irrelevant). Prosecutors all did nothing. Other cops got nothing. This is where private justice should take over.

  33. #33 |  Whim | 

    Again, no NAMETAPES on the uniforms means the police are not individually identifiable for their misdeeds.

    And, wearing a balaclava is used to further hide their identify.

    Judges could easily rectify the War on Americans by throwing charges out.

  34. #34 |  Yank lll | 

    The illegal militarization of police in America is a disgusting corruption of Liberty and an Embarrassment to the concept of America. Anyone who would become a part of such a totalitarian contrivance of our laws is a Quisling by nature and a traitor to the concept these same mongrels spout everywhere.. “to serve and Protect”.
    The idea that civil servants can break the law and violate our rights simply because some corrupt judiciary puts them on a pedestal is abhorrent and illegal. When the corrupt judiciary made it more of a crime to kill a cop than the people they serve the die was cast for a power grab by the egotistical wannabe GI’s who insist on “playing soldier” at our expense while they prance around in combat gear “claiming” to serve us while at the same time they shoot us down, injure our children and violate our rights with a crooked smile.
    This vile and illegal concept of “Police Militarization” was enabled by the Clinton administration that gave them a pass on using any recovered drug siezures for their own funding. Now we the people must right the wrong and put this corrupt and illegal geanie back in its box and nail the lid shut with legislation that makes this contrivance of civil service illegal, their corrupt funding unlawful and their equipment turned over to civilian review boards for destruction and scrapping.
    Its time “Peace Officer” was put back into policing and the concept of “Playing GI” put to bed once and for all by performing psyche evaluations on all law enforcement at every level and get rid of the insecure militants who only seek power and control once and for all to make civil service an honorable position once more.
    Citizens have a lawful right to resist unlawful arrest because law enforcement has no authority or lawful right ro break the law in the performance of their duty.. not to mention the concept of Free Will.

    Yank lll

  35. #35 |  liberranter | 

    Hey, look on the bright side: at least their faces aren’t protected by anything bullet-resistant. Plenty of room to squeeze off a bulls-eye shot at the noggin from a distance.

  36. #36 |  Whim | 

    Notice in the picture showing the various SWAT ninjas that their uniforms are not….UNIFORM.

    Some are black or blue. Some are green. Some appear gray. Some have different colored vests.

    It’s called a Uniform for a reason: Uniformity.

  37. #37 |  Personanongrata | 

    “War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society these irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense.” ~ Randolph Bourne

    The US government needs a humanitarian intervention.

  38. #38 |  Vic Kelley | 

    It’s only 2 photos, but I can’t see any names. I hate that. Instead of stenciling “police” on helmet and having “police” patches they should have to have their names visible on their uniforms, too. Without their names I consider them cowards. Actually I consider them cowards anyway. In the top photo it looks like after the raid they just loiter. Why not, once everything is “secured,” be replaced by uniformed police and take the soldiers back to their barracks. Of course in some communities – mine included – regular police uniform is BDU and boots so what’s the difference.

  39. #39 |  liberranter | 

    Instead of stenciling “police” on helmet and having “police” patches they should have to have their names visible on their uniforms, too.

    I’m guessing that the only reason they don’t stencil anything on the uniforms is because even though these brainless assholes certainly DO need to be reminded every few minutes of what they are and what their names are, they can’t read. Ergo, there’s no point in stenciling anything on their uniforms on the assumption that being able to read these reminders will be of any help to them – not to mention that “Prick,” “Dick,” “Shithead,” and “Fucktard” contain too many letters and are too hard for these idiots to remember anyway.