The recent column by Bob Sawatzki, “Guns and Drugs Don’t Mix” [Feb. 2, City Weekly], brings to mind another aspect of drugs: the users and those enforced to stop users from using. This is the accelerating militarization of police forces throughout America. Increasingly, police look less like Andy of Mayberry and more like Robocop cyborgs charged with defending Earth from the space lobsters of Rigel 4.
With this trend, defense contractors have developed an entirely domestic market for the machineries once destined only for military battlefield use. Along with this influx of combat-zone hardware comes an eagerness to use it and a military mindset that can (but, admittedly, does not always) lead to the use of offensive tactics when it is unwarranted. The tactics of infiltration have also become more blatant and deceitful, seemingly modeled after such Cold War NATO projects as Operation Gladio. This is not a good trend.
Admittedly, America is not like Egypt, which has seen many deaths and tens of thousands of arrests with torture and severe injuries at the hands of both police and military personnel. If this is not to become standard operating procedure here in America, it is up to both the general citizenry and members of America’s domestic civilian-policing agencies, large or small, federal or local. After all, it is their job to enforce laws and uphold the Constitution of the land. The two should not be at odds with one another.