|Riot police in Ferguson, Missouri - Photo from AP by Jeff Roberson|
"demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies."When I tell people that, "one reason I support Bernie is that he wants to demilitarize the police," I get a blank stare in response. No one seems to be moved by this statement. I don't know why. I think this is so important.
Sanders is not the first person to suggest demilitarizing local police forces. Rand Paul has posed the idea in the past. In 2015 President Obama took steps to ban the federal government from providing certain military-style equipment to local police departments. Rand Paul wanted to take it a step further and make police departments return the equipment they already received.
Why demilitarize local police departments. According to Rand Paul:
"When we couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury...we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands." Time - Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the PolicePolice officers around the country drive huge war like vehicles, use military assault weaponry at public events and protests, have heavily geared SWAT teams that raid peoples homes, and on occassion, they murder innocent people. Many people who are killed by police in the US are unarmed victims. US courts find it perfectly legal that people are murdered at the hands of police officers. This creates fear. It fuels anger. It destroys the relationships between police officers and the communities they serve. It is indeed a very serious problem.
Our police force should not look like this:
|Getty Images/Joe Readle|
"Police departments should be part of the community...not an oppressive force." - Bernie SandersBritain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand, have police forces that are unarmed while they are on patrol. The police are only armed in special circumstances. Community policing works in these countries.
This is my SWAT invasion story. It didn't end violently, it was just so unnecessary.
In 2005 the police had their SWAT team raid my house at 5 something in the morning! I heard this loud banging on the door and yelling to "open up, it's police!" As soon as I unlocked the door they just barged in making me stumble backward. I was told to sit in a chair in my dining room while the captain stood beside me with one hand on my shoulder. I was in my pjs while a bunch of men holding large guns, who were wearing masks & bullet proof vests ran through my house. They searched all floors and rooms of my home. They woke up my children who were 10 months, 2yrs old and 3yrs old. They did not let me go to my children, or bring them to me. After they finished searching the place they all stood around me (while I was in my little pajamas feeling completely exposed) and the captain asked me questions that I had already answered for him four days before. I guess he did not believe me, so he obtained a search warrant. So, they were legally able to raid my home. I answered all the questions the same as I had before, and just for fun I said, "You know? You guys are so late. The FBI came here in October without weapons and got the same information that you received twice this week. I think they're further in this investigation than you are. Maybe you should talk to them." They did not like that, but I'm still alive, since I'm not a black man.