GPA Store: Featured Products

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Local Police Stockpile Weapons Of War

Arkansas Police Accountability Project

All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.  

Our neighborhoods are not war zones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. And yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

Thankfully, NewsChannel5 in Nashville Tennessee is willing to sound the alarm.

Unfortunately, most Arkansas news outlets typically either rubber stamp police actions or turn a blind eye.
In May of this year, 7 Arkansas law enforcement agencies received Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, provided through the military surplus program.
The following Arkansas law enforcement agencies are recipients of the specialized vehicles:
  • Benton Police Department
  • Benton County Sheriff's Office
  • Hot Springs Police Department
  • Jacksonville Police Department
  • Jefferson County Sheriff's Department
  • Little Rock Police Department
  • Texarkana Police Department.
In 2012, I wrote an article, Fear and Loathing in Paragould Arkansas, about the Paragould police chief attempting to turn a rising crime rate into a carte blanche for sending fully outfitted SWAT teams into communities to ask every single person in public for identification. The population of the town is 27,000.
“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” said police chief Todd Stovall at a town hall meeting in December 2012. “Well, I’ve got statistical reasons that say I’ve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you’re doing out.”
The mayor stood by his police chief. “They may not be doing anything but walking their dog, but they’re going to have to prove it,” he added to Stovall’s remarks.
The policy of de-facto martial law captured national attention and inspired an immediate response from the Arkansas ACLU. Stovall issued a statement justifying police-state tactics as features of “proactive police philosophy dedicated to managing problems before they become unmanageable,” and gave limited lip service to the Constitution and rule of law in general.  
The public outrage forced city officials to back away from the Orwellian initiative.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Little Rock Police Department's Operation Ceasefire.
The increased militarization of police and police brutality in America is a frightening reality.  In the last decade alone the number of people murdered by police in America has reached 5,000. According to the CATO Institute, you are now 8 times more likely to be killed by a law enforcement officer than a terrorist.  
What can we do about it? Educate ourselves and get involved. 
Arkansas Police Accountability Project is seeking volunteers who care about the victims of police violence. We do not "hate" cops.  We want to help improve the current system to hold police accountable and restore confidence in those who are charged with the tremendous responsibility of keeping us safe. We highlight the achievements of police officers who engage in positive policing activities, who do not violate our rights, who are willing to break the Blue Code of Silence, and who only use violence as a last resort  in accordance with the principle of non aggression.  We also highlight abuses of power and police brutality to shine a light in the darkness in an effort to promote transparency and accountability.  That which is hidden in the darkness can be revealed only when light shines on it.  We value life and the principle of non-aggression.  We do not tolerate anyone who wishes harm to the men and women who serve in law enforcement.  Many of them are victims of a flawed system.  We are interested in volunteers who want make the world a better place for everyone. If interested, please send us a private message on Facebook.
You can visit our Militarized Police State article archive here.

Be the Change! Donate Today!
Enter your email address to subscribe to our newsletter:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Fb Comments
Comments :

Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget