Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Military hand-me-downs: US police getting leftover armored trucks from Iraq

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   News 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 11/25/13

opednews.com

Original published at RT


A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Classification One vehicle demonstrates its off-road abilities in a water puddle at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland
(image by (Reuters/Larry Downing))


The US military is handing over leftover equipment from the Iraq conflict to police under a military surplus program. Civil liberties groups have criticized the initiative as unnecessary and a move toward the militarization of American law enforcement.

American law enforcement agencies have received 165 MRAPs -- 18 ton, armored vehicles with gun turrets -- this year, according to an AP investigation. Military officials say police have filed requests for 731 more, but none are available. 

"It's armored. It's heavy. It's intimidating. And it's free," Craig Apple, the sheriff of Albany County, told AP.

Each of the hulking military vehicles costs around $500,000, and before the MRAPs can be used by law enforcement agencies they have to be refitted for civilian use. Even after retro-fitting, the vehicles are still limited. Because of their size, the vehicles are unable to cross some bridges and travel on narrow roads. 

The investigation revealed that some of the MRAPs have already been put to use. In the city of Boise, Idaho, police deployed the vehicle because they suspected a suspect was in possession of heavy firearms and explosives. In Nampa, police used their MRAP to protect officers from a potential explosion. 

The distribution of the armored military vehicles to police forces has prompted strong opposition from US rights groups. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has attacked the military surplus program, branding it a move to militarize law enforcement. 


A new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle called the M-ATV is on display outside the Pentagon
(image by (AFP Photo/Tim Sloan))

"One of our concerns with this is it has a tendency to escalate violence," ACLU Center for Justice senior counsel Kara Dansky told AP. The ACLU has been investigating the use of military equipment in US police forces since 2012 as part of their campaign against the militarization of law enforcement under the slogan: "Towns don't need tanks." 

On its website, the NGO records examples of occasions when police have used military equipment in situations when it was unnecessary, disproportionate or counterproductive. 

In one such incident earlier this year, police in North Dakota used a $154 million MQ-9 Predator B drone to arrest a family of anti-government separatists who had refused to return six cows who had wandered onto their property to their owners. Local police borrowed the drone from the Department of Homeland Security, the ACLU reported. 

Apple, the Albany County sheriff, argued that the police force was not becoming more militarized and was instead preparing itself for every eventuality. 

"Our problem is we have to make sure we are prepared to respond to every type of crisis," he said. For example, he said, if SWAT teams need to get close to a shooter or protect passers-by, a MRAP would be the vehicle for the job. 

The ACLU argues that MRAPs might just be the tip of the iceberg, as it is not known "how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend." 

 

http://rt.com

rt.com is Russian television, which actually does a great job reporting on US news too.
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Senators terrified with abuse of Patriot Act's secret laws

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican Bank supervisory board

DOJ wants Bush, senior cabinet members exempt from Iraq War trial

"World moving away from American financial hegemony"

Fracking Debris Considered Too Radioactive Even For Waste Site

"More destructive" than Stuxnet: Saudis and Israelis propose new malware against Iran nuclear program

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

The US government has declared war against America... by Paul Craig Roberts on Monday, Nov 25, 2013 at 6:27:47 PM
Another very informative article about this is rig... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 3:06:04 PM
B-52 bombers are being decommissioned. Anyone need... by John Shriver on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013 at 12:03:11 PM