“The crime legislation of the 1990′s didn’t just put more cops on the streets and build more prisons, it also made sure those cops were armed to the teeth. Throughout the 90′s, there was an expansion of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Byrne grants, which financed local police departments to wage a heavy-handed drug war (both programs increased under President Obama).
This past June, progressive House Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) introduced an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would block the 'transfer' of 'aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents, launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles' from the Department of Defense to state and local police forces. The amendment received the support of only 62 Members, and those voting against it included Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), who represents Ferguson, and every senior member of Democratic Party leadership including Reps. Nancy Pelosi (CA), Steny Hoyer (MD), and James Clyburn (SC).
These Democrats (and Republicans, most of whom joined them) were courted by police unions such as the National Fraternal Order of Police and by weapons manufacturers who develop the Pentagon armaments that are now finding their way to the police."
— Zaid Jilani, Salon Read more…
|"Slave Patrol" (from: LewRockwell) — see a slave patrol in action here...|
“Whether or not crime was on the rise [in ninetieth century America], after the introduction of modern policing the number of arrests increased. The majority of these were for misdemeanors, and most related to victimless crimes, or crimes against the public order. They did not generally involve violence or the loss of property, but instead were related to public drunkenness, vagrancy, loitering, disorderly conduct, or being a 'suspicious person.' In other words, the greatest portion of the actual business of law enforcement did not concern the protection of life and property, but the controlling of poor people, their habits and their manners. Sidney Harring wryly notes: 'The criminologist's definition of "public order crimes" comes perilously close to the historian's description of 'working-class leisure-time activity.' […]
The aims and means of social control always approximately reflect the anxieties of elites. In times of crisis or pronounced social change, as the concerns of elites shift, the mechanisms of social control are adapted accordingly. So, in the South, following real or rumored slave revolts, the institution of the slave patrol emerged. White men were required to take shifts riding between plantations, apprehending runaways and breaking up slave gatherings.
Later, complex factors conspired to produce the modern police force. Industrialization changed the system of social stratification and added a new set of threats, subsumed under the title of the 'dangerous classes.' Moreover, while serious crime was on the decline, the demand for order was on the rise owing to the needs of the new economic regime and the ideology that supported it.”
— Kristian Williams, HISTORY IS A WEAPON