by: Paul Joseph Watson
Former Marine Paul Szoldra warns that events in Ferguson, Missouri illustrate the “terrifying” result of the militarization of police, with the American people now being treated like insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In an article for Business Insider, Szoldra questions why police in Ferguson are wearing combat gear such as desert camouflage which is normally reserved for troops fighting in foreign war zones.
“We looked intimidating, but all of our vehicles and equipment had a clear purpose for combat against enemy forces. So why is this same gear being used on our city streets?” asks Szoldra, adding, “When did this become OK?”
The former Marine notes how police in Ferguson are armed with military-style rifles with scopes as well as body armor.
“Their uniform would be mistaken for a soldier’s if it weren’t for their “Police” patches,” writes Szoldra. “They wear green tops, and pants fashioned after the U.S. Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. And they stand in front of a massive armored truck called a Bearcat, similar in look to a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or as the troops who rode in them call it, the MRAP.”
Szoldra cites conversations he had with other former military personnel who pointed out that some of the police in Ferguson are more heavily armed than U.S. troops in an “actual warzone.”
“When did “protect and serve” turn into “us versus them”? asks Szoldra, asserting that the sight of police in militarized combat gear is not helping the situation.
“In Afghanistan, we patrolled in big, armored trucks. We wore uniforms that conveyed the message, “We are a military force and we are in control right now.” Many Afghans saw us as occupiers. And now we see some of our police officers in this same way,” writes Szoldra, concluding, “If there’s one thing I learned in Afghanistan, it’s this: (article continues)