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Remember the guys that did this?

Well they've decided that they need a $200,000 armored personnel carrier called a Lenco Bearcat.


The University of California - Berkeley Police Department (UCPD) has acquired a $200,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase an "Armored Response Counter Attack Truck," a police department spokesman told Campus Reform on Friday.

The eight-ton vehicle, commonly referred to as a "Bearcat," is used by U.S. troops on the battlefield and is often equipped with a rotating roof hatch, powered turrets, gun ports, a battering ram, and a weapon system used to remotely engage a target with lethal force.

Lt. Eric Tejada, a spokesman for UCPD, said the university plans to use the vehicle along with neighboring counties in dangerous situations that could involved heavy weapons.Tejada said that although he does know of any incident in the university's 144-year history in which such a vehicle would have saved a life, the police department would have have liked to deploy it in an incident last year when they mistakenly believed a man had an AK-47 assault rifle.

We now live in a world where campus police departments are purchasing armored vehicles, and feel that they need them. This is the same police department that felt the need to attack nonviolent student protesters.

The money came from a Department of Homeland Security grant. We are deciding as a nation to spend money on military technology; money that could otherwise be helping create better schools, or more jobs, or something else far more valuable. But our military-industrial complex has convinced us to buy tanks for schools.

This is insane.

3:27 PM PT: Kossack jpmassar commented with this update:

The Berkeley City Council chastised the Police Department this week for submitting a federal grant to acquire a $169,000 armored vehicle it will share with UC Berkeley and Albany police to defend officers in shootouts and rescue operations.
The council voted unanimously on Tuesday to request more information from the city manager on the Lenco Bearcat armored car's funding and purpose.

Council members were not happy, saying they were kept in the dark about a large acquisition that bears a resemblance to military equipment.

"It's pretty clear this is just one way to keep the weapons producers fat and happy," said Councilwoman Linda Maio. "I'm really sorry we got involved in this. It's very inconsistent with our culture and our values. We need to talk about what we're thinking before we act."

Originally posted to Writing by Will McLeod: A Better World is Possible on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 12:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group, Occupy Wall Street, California politics, and SFKossacks.

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