Tuesday, February 03, 2015

New York cops, protesters, and...machine guns?

I don't know what's in the copshop water in New York City, but the police there apparently think they need several companies of infantry to police potential roving shooter terror attacks and, uh, "protests".
"It is designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,"
The unit will be equipped with long-rifles and machine guns. While the kind and type are not specified, these kinds of weapons form the basic arms of an infantry section, which makes me think they are developing a capacity somewhat different from the normal SWAT arrangement. I mean how long did we think it would take before the 'warrior-cop' thing just became 'army'?

Couple things.

First, the roving shooter problems they refer to tend to involve large numbers of civilians in the line of fire, and this requires a very controlled response. In Ottawa, despite the awesome array of firepower brought out by the police, the shooter was killed by normal beat cops and the sergeant-at-arms who had to go to his office to get his gun. In other instances, the shooters tend to hide quickly and are found in sheds and backyards, and boats, if not dead by their own hand. Mumbai was an exception and in the case of a highly trained and well armed terror cell, there are military formations and other police to be called upon.

But it's the protests bit that snuck in there that is the scary bit. A bunch of people protesting a suspicious police shooting, or some local political issue aren't terrorists hell-bent on killing people - not even in the same universe. But we live in an age where the powers-that-be insist on lumping them together.


Anyway, I don't know if the police quite realise what they're getting themselves into with this militarisation business. We know what eventually happens when armies are deployed to protests.


thwap said...

It's a shame such obvious truths have to argued for in this day and age.

e.a.f. said...

the politicians/police/corporate elite are sending a message: you protest, we have the arms to kill you en-mass. What the cops and their employers are doing is not so different from what ISIS is doing, trying to terrify the general population.

Unknown said...

I think you might enjoy my satirical reaction to Bill C-51. It is based on the idea that Stephen Harper’s Anti-Terror Bill C-51 needs to be expanded to give CSIS the authority to thwart the mad cow threat and beef up Farmland Security.