For John, BLUF: We need to rebalance police power and make the local guys the good guys. Nothing to see here; just move along.
US Senator Rand Paul, quoting, amongst other folks, Law Professor Glenn Reynolds (the Instapundit), talks to the fact that there needs to be a distinction between the police and the military. The headline is "Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police". This item is sparked by the tragic events in Furguson, Missouri.♠
Senator Paul is spot on. The police and the military work in two different realms and need to operate to different standards and rules. While the drug war grows, most crime is down over the last few decades. At the same time we have seen the militarization of the police. Some may argue a more muscular police have driven this decrease in crime, while others would suggest things such as "community policing" and the "broken windows" view have made the difference. However, we have eroded civil liberties, such as with no-knock searches, national security letters and asset forfeitures.♥♦
Senator Paul makes the point that race is a factor and changes need to be made:
Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.I found this at Memeorangdum, but my Wife also pointed out that it was prominently posted at Drudge. I haven't checked, but I bet it is reference at the Instapundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ This is about the shooting, by police, of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
♥ The New York City Police and their stop and frisk actions seem to this writer to be particularly egregious. ♦ Asset forfeiture often involves the taking of private property even before a trial, or even without a trial. They money is then funneled to local and county police to beef up the firepower and force protection of the force.