(TFC) – Law Enforcement Today unwittingly demonstrated everything wrong with American policing in a single post on March 19, 2017. The post featured a photo of a masked militarized officer with the caption “I’ll never explain myself to a person who…
Hu Sakpe, a French national was raised in the American Indian Movement in the 1970s. He discussed the use of equipment used by law enforcement in a previous encounter between the water protectors and the authorities. The encounter took over the course of a day and a night to push them out of the encampent referred to as “North Camp”, in late Oct. sighted as the 27. or 28. by Sakpe.
Hu Sakpe states,“We were confronted with a full frontal military force.”
The encampment no longer exists after the confrontation. According to Sakpe the assault started at about 9:00 AM. Law enforcement arrived with two BEARCATs (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck). After that, rows of armed figures marched in. 80 water protectors linked arms around the camp, which was located near the highway. Law enforcement boxed the protector’s camp to enclose them. Law enforcement swung at the knees of water protectors with truncheons according to Sakpe. Sakpe described the use of a sonic cannon, rubber bullets, clubs, and large canisters of mace being wielded by law enforcement.
Tensions flare once more as North Dakota officials graduate their militarized tactics against protesters. Sheriffs have now threatened a blockade of people, food, and medicine to the camps.
The threats comes on the heels of the US Army Corps of Engineers warning protesters to leave by December 5th. Anyone remaining stay under fear of prosecution for trespassing. Fines have also thrown into the basket of incentives for the water protectors to surrender.
Establishing a blockade represents yet another ultra-militarized tactic used against peaceful American citizens. Denying nourishment and medical treatment is a classic strategy to degrade will and resolve. Combined with harsh weather conditions, water protectors are faced with a tormentingly deadly roulette.
Millions around the world are again gawking over police brutality against water protectors. Following DAPL’s (Dakota Access Pipeline’s) corporation dishonoring Obama’s requests the to halt construction, a new wave of violence hit the protest camps. However, whereas these acts are obvious, those of contracted intelligence firms remain more insidious.
“Do not believe that your cellphones or your computers are clean and uncompromised”, said journalist Jeremy Scahill. “I guarantee you that they’re using the entire suite of surveillance devices.” Scahill was giving water protectors, and fellow journalists in Standing Rock advice on Democracy Now.
“I know that people have been complaining that their cellphones have been down”, he continued, “their internet has been down. That can be caused by surveillance weaponry targeting their devices.” Scahill describes how phones and computers belonging to water protectors can be used as “geo-tracking devices.”
The drug war’s casualties reach far beyond bloated penitentiary yards, fractured rehab facilities, and its own endless perpetuation. America’s opioid crisis, and its scale, is straining police, the policed, and the decades old rhetoric between them.
Heroin use and overdose in particular is climbing, indiscriminately rocking towns with barbaric fervor. Milwaukee Wisconsin is no stranger, nor its numerous nearby suburbs–like Wauwatosa. Perhaps now is the time for law enforcement to consider drug enforcement nuances cropping up elsewhere in the country.
“888 bodies and counting”, a morbid but fitting title to a recent report by Milwaukee’s alderman’s office. In 14 pages, the document presents detailed analysis of a overdose plague striking the city. “Milwaukee county alone has seen a 495% increase in heroin related deaths between 2005-2015”, it reads. As a point of perspective, Milwaukee’s opioid deaths, heroin and others, exceed deaths by car accidents and homicide.
From the Force Science Institute in Mankato, Minnesota to the ecological reserve outside Rio de Janeiro that houses Condor Non-Lethal Technologies’ police training center, the “use of force” industry has grown into a worldwide marketplace. Beginning on October 9, Hoffman Estates will host the five-day conference of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, or ITOA. To greet them, a coalition of community groups and organizations from the Chicago area are assembling under the banner #StopITOA. These diverse groups, including AFSC-Chicago, CAIR-Chicago, Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter-Chicago, the Arab American Action Network and War Resisters League, argue that government officials should prioritize spending for human needs not for militarization and violence.
The incredible litany of publicly exposed incidents of police use of force against African American males in the past two years is both a testament to the power of social media and an exposé of the deficits of state, local and federal government accountability. Yet, the brutalization of African American males by law enforcement agents is not a new phenomenon. It was chronicled after the riots of the 1960s in the Kerner Commission Report and remains a historical legacy of the power of law enforcement agencies over the lives and bodies of black men. Whereas W.E.B. DuBois used his brilliant essays published in the NAACP’s The Crisis magazine to expose the horrors of lynching in early 20th Century America, contemporary movements such as Black Lives Matter and their allies have used Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, FaceTime and related social networking platforms—along with the ever-present video phone—to expose police excesses.
In 2014, a Pew Research Center study revealed something perhaps viewed as impossible 10 years ago. Two-thirds of Americans felt that people shouldn’t be prosecuted for possession of heroin and cocaine. That trend has only spread, with even some police departments proposing radical new drug reforms. Seattle just raised the bar, however, and proposes safe spaces for addicts to use, and even get help.
City officials across the country are finding “radical” ideas like safe spaces more mainstream. Simply put, the body count of America’s opioid epidemic is ungodly staggering. In Gloucester, Massachusetts for example, police experimented with not sending addicts to jail. Instead, addicts are offered option to seek rehabilitation through it’s Angel Program.
For more than a year, EFF has been investigating how police in California misuse the state’s law enforcement database with little oversight from officials. An investigation published by the Associated Press today shows that abuse of law enforcement systems is a nationwide problem.
The AP’s investigation analyzed records from all 50 states and three dozen of the country’s largest cities. The reporters found that officers have routinely used law enforcement and driver databases to stalk ex-partners, dig up dirt on their neighbors, and even spy on journalists.
“I am here at World Beyond War because we need to move beyond war and there are many people who are delivering their ideas about how we move to a world beyond war and the idea that I presented it is that we need to grow our local peace economies. We live inside of a war economy; it is extractive, oppressive and destructive and war serves that economy. But if we think we are going to end war without end the war economy, we are… it is not going to happen,” Jodie Evans told the Tasnim news agency on the sidelines of World Beyond War anti-war conference in Washington.