Two Letters: The Militarization of LEOs

Good Morning, Mr. Latimer. I have been following the subject of police incompetence very closely for the last few years, with the parallel corruption and deterioration of our political establishments and our military officer corps. I can save those last two items for later, but it is my firm conviction that our present LEO personnel are ALL corrupt. Every single one of them. Before someone(s) respond with bluff and bluster, protesting that “they” are not corrupt, I will put out this question. If there is one single LEO out there that has not committed an act of gross incompetence, like PA state trooper Joseph Miller of East Norritton, PA, who shot and killed his wife and unborn child, while he was cleaning his firearm. He said he didn’t know it was loaded. Really???? How about the many instances of blank search warrants being sworn out, to be filled in later. Or, the extortion known as “civil forfeiture” where if a LEO suspects it may be tainted money, it can be confiscated right then and there. Look up Humboldt county Nevada, Matt Lee, and Tan Nguyen. I’m sure everyone knows about babby Bou-Bou and the flash-bang grenade in his crib. I submit that sheriff department felt it was too troublesome to do some real investigating about the circumstances of who, what, where, when, and how. They just wanted to play with their toys and feel the adrenaline. How about the nine year old girl that was handcuffed and taken to the police station !!!!!without her mother!!!!! Google “Latoya Harris”, and police officers David McCarthy and Matthew Huspek. Then there are the recurring problems in Austin,TX, and Police Chief Art Acevedo’s brutality in that city. New Mexico has had a long run of unconstitutional and overwhelming body-cavity searches. The Border Patrol is also guilty of gross misconduct. The Department of (In)Justice is a joke. The FBI kills witnesses, look up Ibragim Todashev and do NOT rely on MSM reports. Try the real investigative reports from COP BLOCK, PINAC, and some of the other police brutality sites, I check mine at BATTLEFIELD USA. It will make you sick, some of those stories.

Additionally, there is a doctor in NJ that has confessed to writing thousands of prescriptions for steroids for hundreds of cops in the NJ/NY area. Ever heard of “roid rage”?

Based on all the abuse, corruption, and incompetence in LEO departments from coast to coast, sea to shining sea, I personally am afraid of all LEO’s. My first-hand experience with several LEO’s over the years has validated my opinion that all LEO’s are corrupt. If there is one LEO that has not pulled his or her badge to get out of a traffic ticket, or let a speeder slide because of the “brotherhood.. if there is one single cop who hasn’t looked the other way when one of “their own” did something a little shady, did not report it for fear of crossing the blue line…if there is one Internal Affairs officer that pursues and resolves abuses of their fellow officers, even if that means sending them to prison… if there are any LEO’s out there that always follow the rules, always does the right thing, doesn’t take bribes or return favors, then you are still corrupt for not doing your utmost to clean up the corruption all around you. You LEO’s need to start policing yourselves, start acting like the good examples you are supposed to represent so that children and senior citizens are not feeling threatened when you show up. If you are going to enforce the law, you darn well better start following the law, everywhere, with every single person, all the time 24/7/365.25. You clean up your act, and then we won’t be so fearful of our lives. It might even reassure us to be more co-operative when you are trying to do your … job…. Remember, there is no Justice in the American legal system. Ask Justina Pelletier. 15Fixer.

HJL Responds: I do understand your fears about LEOs, but I also know that there are Oathkeepers among them. The scary part is that you never know who the LEO you are dealing with is. I’ve even had a friend who was a LEO who I was surprised to hear that he didn’t need to prep because he would just take from those who did. The LEOs suffer from the same problems that the rest of society suffers from. You would be hard pressed to find a regular citizen who wouldn’t lie if they thought that it would better their position. Our society has reduced the ethical standards by removing “absolute truth” from the equation and making truth “situational”. It has even permeated into places that we once thought were safe, like our churches. When making business decisions, I almost cringe when the other person tells me that I can trust them because they are a “Christian”. It’s not that Christianity has changed, but their toleration of things that are obviously “unchristian” has grown. If it is hard to find a civilian that will always tell the truth, and LEOs come from the same population pool, it’s obvious that LEOs are going to have the same problem. The difference is that a LEO carries authority from the government, is willing to enforce that authority, and has the means to enforce that authority. It also does not help when either the citizen or the LEO takes on an “Us-vs-Them” attitude and applies it indiscriminately.

The bottom line is that LEOs have the higher standard to uphold, because of their given authority and means, and must regularly demonstrate that high standard. The unwillingness of LEOs to purge their own ranks of those reluctant to uphold that higher standard contributes heavily to the general mistrust. One of the obvious ways to help the situation is to make sure that you have the same documentation available to you, that the LEO will have, if there is an altercation. JWR’s son’s site is an excellent way to protect and guarantee that ability to document the situation.

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I have been following closely the stories of the federal government arming its agencies with no plausible explanation of need. The questions below are not mine originally, but they significantly reflect my concerns over the situation. Therefore, I ask that you take my request seriously and provide answers an informed lay person can understand. It would also be encouraging to hear specifics about what is being done to correct the situation.

To start with, what’s the rationale behind turning government agencies into military outposts? There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies, such as Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department. As of 2008, “73 federal law enforcement agencies… [employ] approximately 120,000 armed full-time on-duty officers with arrest authority.” Four-fifths of those officers are under the command of either the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice.

What’s with all of the government agencies stockpiling hollow point bullets? For example, why does the Department of Agriculture need .40 caliber semiautomatic submachine guns and 320,000 rounds of hollow point bullets? For that matter, why do its agents need ballistic vests and body armor?

Why does the Postal Service need “assorted small arms ammunition”?

Why did the DHS purchase “1.6 billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition, along with 7,000 fully-automatic 5.56x45mm NATO ‘personal defense weapons’ plus a huge stash of 30-round high-capacity magazines”? That’s in addition to the FBI’s request for 100 million hollow-point rounds. The Department of Education, IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, are also among the federal agencies which have taken to purchasing ammunition and weaponry in bulk.

Why is the federal government distributing obscene amounts of military equipment, weapons, and ammunition to police departments around the country?

Why is DHS acquiring more than 2,500 Mine-Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles, only to pass them around to local police departments across the country?

According to the New York Times: [A]s President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice. During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft. The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.

Why is the military partnering with local police to conduct training drills around the country? And what exactly are they training for? In Richland, South Carolina, for instance, U.S. Army Special Forces are participating in joint and secretive exercises and training with local deputies. The public has been disallowed from obtaining any information about the purpose of the drills, other than that they might be loud and to not be alarmed. The Army and DHS also carried out similar drills and maneuvers involving Black Hawk helicopters in Texas, Florida, and other locations throughout the U.S., ostensibly in order to provide officers with realistic urban training.

What is being done to protect the American populace from the threat of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, being used against them? Policy analysts point to Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” (issued on Dec. 29, 2010), as justification for the government’s use of military force to put down civil unrest within the United States.

Why is FEMA stockpiling massive quantities of emergency supplies?

On January 10, 2014, FEMA made a statement enlisting the service of contractors who could “supply medical biohazard disposal capabilities and 40 yard dumpsters to 1,000 tent hospitals across the United States; all required on 24-48 hour notice.” This coincides with other medical requests seeking massive amounts of supplies, such as “31,000,000 flu vaccinations,” “100,000 each of winter shirts and pants and the same for summer” and other goods and services requests as well as tarps, manufactured housing units, and beverages. And why does the TSA need $21,000 worth of potassium chlorate, a chemical compound often used in explosives?

Why is the Pentagon continuing to purchase massive amounts of ammunition, while at the same time preparing to destroy more than $1 billion worth of bullets and missiles that are still viable?

Moreover, what is really being done to hold the Pentagon accountable for its doctored ledgers, fraud, waste, and mismanagement, which has cost the taxpayer trillions of dollars? According to Reuters, “The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year.”

Given the similarities between the government’s Live Active Shooter Drill training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, which can and do fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers, and bystanders into thinking it’s a real crisis, how much of what is being passed off as real is, in fact, being staged by DHS for the “benefit” of training law enforcement, leaving us none the wiser? These training exercises come complete with their own set of professionally-trained crisis actors, playing the parts of shooters, bystanders, and victims in order to help “schools and first responders create realistic drills, full-scale exercises, high-fidelity simulations, and interactive 3D films.”

Given that Americans are 110 times more likely to die of food-borne illness than in a terrorist attack, why is the government spending trillions of dollars on “national security”?

How exactly is the $75 billion given to 15 intelligence agencies annually to keep us “safe” being spent?

Why is the DHS giving away millions of dollars’ worth of federal security grants to states that federal intelligence agencies ruled have “no specific foreign or domestic terrorism threat”?

Why is the government amassing names and information on Americans considered to be threats to the nation, and what criteria is the government using for this database? Keep in mind that this personal information is being acquired and kept without warrant or court order. It’s been suggested that in the event of nuclear war, the destruction of the U.S. government, and the declaration of martial law, this Main Core database, which as of 2008 contained some 8 million names of Americans, would be used by military officials to locate and round up Americans seen as threats to national security– a program to be carried about by the Army and FEMA.

Taken individually, these questions are alarming enough. However, when viewed collectively, they leave one wondering what exactly the U.S. government is preparing for and whether American citizens shouldn’t be preparing, as well, for that eventuality when our so-called “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is no longer answerable to “we the people.” – D.T.

HJL Replies: Some of these questions have been addressed in past posts and comments, but others are still open-ended. As an EMT, I understand why FEMA might want to stockpile emergency supplies. I understand that an open PO does not mean those items were delivered. Hurricane Katrina is a prime example of why having the supplies close to the emergency is a strong benefit. However, I still have trouble understanding the militarization of local police forces and the questions related to that, or the amassing of private data regarding US citizens, or even the accountability of any and all government entities.