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When it's all said, and done, the problems we face as a Nation come mostly from inside the Country.
 There are few non-partisan groups doing any of the serious lifting when it comes to keeping an eye on threats to our universal Rights, and our Constitutional System.
 Once again, the ACLU is attempting to shine a light.

Excuse the HuffPost links and Quotes, but it's a good article.

ACLU Launches Nationwide Police Militarization Investigation:
 The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States. Starting Wednesday, ACLU affiliates in 23 states are sending open records requests to hundreds of state and local police agencies requesting information about their SWAT teams, such as how often and for what reasons they're deployed, what types of weapons they use, how often citizens are injured during SWAT raids, and how they're funded. More affiliates may join the effort in the coming weeks.
American Justice can be an extraordinary thing. It can be the most fair system in the World at times. At other times, it is the result of racism, cultural disparities, and influenced entirely too much by money. Many of the negative results can easily be found in the reports by Minorities, the victims of the Drug War, and recently by  the Occupy Movement.  In the forefront of  American Justice are the Police Forces. From small town to the larger City and  suburban environs, the Police are usually the first step into the Criminal Justice System.
  Many of us have Police Officers in our Families, have best friends who are, or can count as a good acquaintance. But something has gone terribly wrong in the world today. Even the “Good Cops” are effected by the National trends.
 It seems to all have begun back in those infamous times...


The militarization of America's police forces has been going on for about a generation now. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates first conceived the idea of the SWAT team in the late 1960s, in response to the Watts riots and a few mass shooting incidents for which he thought the police were unprepared. Gates wanted an elite team of specialized cops similar to groups like the Army Rangers or Navy SEALs that could respond to riots, barricades, shootouts, or hostage-takings with more skill and precision than everyday patrol officers.
The concept caught on, particularly after a couple of high-profile, televised confrontations between Gates' SWAT team and a Black Panther holdout in 1969, and then with the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1973. Given the rioting, protests, and general social unrest of the time, Gates' idea quickly grew popular in law enforcement circles, particularly in cities worried about rioting and domestic terrorism.
 What was once, an oft used Program has turned into what some consider, a nightmare, a blight on Democracy.


"This is one of the most intrusive things a government can do," Calvo said. "These are government agents, breaking down your door, invading your home. And yet it's all done in secret. In most cases, no one knows what criteria police are using when they decide how to serve a search warrant. There's no transparency, there's no oversight."
 Without going into a full length Research Paper, I thought the ACLU's news would be of interest to the Community, and leave the discussion to you.
"I wish the ACLU success," Calvo said. "And I suspect that once they force the police agencies to cooperate, they'll find that this problem is even more dramatic and pronounced than most people know. But then the question is, now what? Even if you can show that people are being victimized and terrorized by these tactics -- and to no good end -- if no one cares, then what does it matter?"

Originally posted to meagert on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 10:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group.

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