14 October 2013

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To Protect and To Serve Or Militant Force? [Infographic]

The police officers of America are bound by their duty to protect and serve the public. They are an essential part of keeping the peace. However, questions arise when it comes to unannounced SWAT raids. Officers are completely outfitted in military-style gear, in essence becoming an armed force. With their body armor, submachine guns, night vision gear, sniper rifles, armored transportation, and grenades meant to stun, they are a true force to be reckoned with. When SWAT teams take suspects unawares, they can truly bowl over everything in their paths. Often, civilians become victims during skirmishes between authorities and criminals. Of greater concern are the many instances when raids take place without sufficient evidence and the suspects prove to be innocent. It's a troubling trend in law enforcement and makes one question what path justice will continue to follow. "No Knocks" Raids Have Increased at an Alarming Rate In 1970, a "no knock" law was put in place to wage war on drugs. By 1974, it was repealed. Law or no law, at least 80,000 surprise raids are held by law enforcement on an annual basis. That's shocking jump from only 3,000 in the 1980's. The police argue that they have had to step up their efforts because the amount of weaponry and force used by the criminal element has escalated. However, take a closer look at statistics, and over half of all individuals apprehended in raids had no weapons whatsover. 12% were captured with guns of some sort, while 10% carried knives. In contrast, SWAT teams of today are equipped for major combat. One can only wonder how often the authorities actually cause more of a problem when they arrive at the door, hammering their way in with undue force. While law enforcement officers claim the ends justify the means, unannounced, "no knock" raids are a violation of basic rights and an invasion of privacy. If the current trend continues, the question remains: What line will the police cross next if their power is unchecked. How many innocent victims will be injured as a result? It's time to think about the consequences of militarized police. [...]


The police officers of America are bound by their duty to protect and serve the public. They are an essential part of keeping the peace. However, questions arise when it comes to unannounced SWAT raids. Officers are completely outfitted in military-style gear, in essence becoming an armed force. With their body armor, submachine guns, night vision gear, sniper rifles, armored transportation, and grenades meant to stun, they are a true force to be reckoned with. When SWAT teams take suspects unawares, they can truly bowl over everything in their paths. Often, civilians become victims during skirmishes between authorities and criminals. Of greater concern are the many instances when raids take place without sufficient evidence and the suspects prove to be innocent. It's a troubling trend in law enforcement and makes one question what path justice will continue to follow.

"No Knocks" Raids Have Increased at an Alarming Rate
In 1970, a "no knock" law was put in place to wage war on drugs. By 1974, it was repealed. Law or no law, at least 80,000 surprise raids are held by law enforcement on an annual basis. That's shocking jump from only 3,000 in the 1980's. The police argue that they have had to step up their efforts because the amount of weaponry and force used by the criminal element has escalated. However, take a closer look at statistics, and over half of all individuals apprehended in raids had no weapons whatsover. 12% were captured with guns of some sort, while 10% carried knives. In contrast, SWAT teams of today are equipped for major combat. One can only wonder how often the authorities actually cause more of a problem when they arrive at the door, hammering their way in with undue force.

While law enforcement officers claim the ends justify the means, unannounced, "no knock" raids are a violation of basic rights and an invasion of privacy. If the current trend continues, the question remains: What line will the police cross next if their power is unchecked. How many innocent victims will be injured as a result? It's time to think about the consequences of militarized police.


The Militarization of the Police
Source: TopCriminalJusticeDegrees.org


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