Friday, January 13, 2012

From Heros to Heels: police image ten years after 911

In a litttle over a decade, how did we go from this . . .

Photo Credit:
Photo credit:
  . . . to this?        

In the first photograph, NYPD emergency response officers take a break in the surreal early aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001.
Just a couple of weeks after the tenth anniversary, an NYPD officer runs over a National Lawyers Guild attorney serving as legal observer during an OccupyWallSt protest.
The officer then arrested the attorney despite the green identifying hat clearly visible.

When did we turn the corner in this country? Those who openly warned of the militarization of local police were scoffed at and called names like conspiricy-theorists and wing-nuts. Those who talked of martial law and the deployment of United States military on our own soil were subject to bitter contempt. However, the set aside of 20,000 army troops for the specific task of quelling civil unrest became reality at the end of last year.

In light of the upcoming DNC & RNC conventions, the United States government put up $100 million to assist host cities with security among other things. Noel Brinkerhoff of reports Tampa FL, host of the RNC, received a cool $50 million, "To handle what could be as many as 15,000 demonstrators, Tampa has purchased an armored SWAT vehicle and may bring in up to 2,000 police officers from other cities to bolster its local law enforcement."

Is this the world we are choosing for ourselves? Is this the world you are choosing for your grandchildren? There are better answers to the issues we face, if we face ourselves honestly, taking ownership of both the problems and the solution.

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