Will the targeting of police continue?

Base Image Source: Tim McAteer

Base Image Source: Tim McAteer

Ferguson, Missouri (TFC) – Two officers were shot from a distance while they stood outside the Ferguson Police Department during a peaceful protest. Videos show the shots did not come from the protesters.

The question on everybody’s mind: Will the targeting of police officers become common place?

Civilian violence against the state historically works in a cycle of five stages. The steps were outlined in an article published immediately following the Ferguson riots:

5 steps to insurgency

Pamphlets: Prior to the digital age, pamphlets were the main method of spreading dissent around the world. The pamphlets examined and questioned the authority of the contemporary governments and control systems. In the modern world, pamphlets have been replaced by blogs, social media, and to a smaller degree, adversarial journalists.

Reactive Protests: Once the seed of dissent is planted, people take to the streets to voice their opposition to the government. These protests occur after the control systems of the era attempt to diffuse an offending incident.

Preemptive Rioting: Preemptive rioting follows a period of reactive protests that go unanswered by the government. The people begin taking to the streets and destroying private and public property as soon as an offending incident takes place, rather than waiting and hoping for the government to police itself.

Military or Law Enforcement backlash and crackdowns: These riots and small incidents of resistance [such as the targeted killing of police officers] trigger a government reaction. The control systems of the country tighten their grip on the people and further curtail civil liberties and infringe on people’s rights. The government crackdown fuels the resistance movement as more people tire of government intrusion.

Widespread rebellion and insurrection: At some point during the crackdown, an incident occurs that tosses a match into the powder keg of dissent. At this point, open rebellion occurs.

To showcase an example most Americans are familiar with, the American Revolution provides a clear instance for every phase of the cycle. As early as 1765, agitators were distributing pamphlets and making speeches. Patrick Henry made his “If this be treason, make the most of it!” speech that year (Pamphlet Phase). The government was unresponsive to the cries of the people and protests began. In 1770, British troops opened fire on one such protest in Boston. It is known today as the Boston Massacre (Reactive Protest Phase). The King continued to press colonials until preemptive rioting and violence began. While the 1773 Boston Tea Party is the most famous, violence was initiated in almost all colonial ports. In Annapolis, a ship was set ablaze along with its tea (Preemptive Rioting Phase). British authorities could see the coming conflict and attempted to seize arms from the colonials (Military or Law Enforcement Crackdown Phase). When the colonists of Lexington and Concord resisted, the colonies were plunged into open insurrection (Rebellion Phase).

Throughout history the same five phases repeat. The Tea Parties were not just about the Tea Act, they were a strike against the government for a collection of insults and intrusions. Much like the riots in Ferguson, the participants gave little thought to the private property destroyed during the action. Much the same way law enforcement looks at all of the innocent people killed as collateral damage or an unfortunate accident, the rioters in Ferguson (and during the Revolution) see the destruction as justified.

Most would argue that we are in the fourth stage of insurrection and are just waiting for the inciting event to plunge the nation into widespread rebellion. The crackdown in the United States is seemingly soft; relying heavily on a constant surveillance state and a militarized police force that employs daybreak raids, assaults on family members, and other Gestapo tactics to keep people in fear.

The general lack of accountability as exemplified in the string of recent murders and rapes by police have brought many Americans to a point where they are willing to resist with physical violence. It has become a choice of rolling the dice, because the cops will probably kill you anyway.

In addition to the five phase cycle, there are certain preconditions that are typical among nations that plunge into insurrection:

Economic disparity: There is typically a great gap between the rich and poor. The difference between the daily lives of the landed elites and the average citizen prior to the American Revolution is staggering. The gap is greater today.

Unresponsive Government: The government in the nation suffers from a disconnect with the people. During the Revolution, the King simply didn’t care. Today, elected officials are only responsive to large corporate donors.

Disenfranchised Populace: Whether a segment of society is selected because of its race, or in the case of the American Revolution, the population was simply unrepresented, the soon-to-be insurgents do not have a voice in their government. Today, with the overcriminalization of victimless crimes and the habit of making every crime a felony, millions of Americans are unable to vote and have no voice in the government.

Veteran Civilians: In order for an insurrection to take hold, there needs to be a large population of veterans that are no longer employed by the government. Many of the leaders of the Revolution cut their teeth during the French and Indian War. After more than a decade of constant warfare, the US population has a healthy percentage of people who have seen insurrection first hand.

Use of military for police functions: Prior to the Revolution, the people were so hampered by military presence, that the Founding Fathers warned against having a standing army and included a section in the Bill of Rights prohibiting the quartering of troops. Today, rather than deploy the military, the US government has militarized the local police forces by providing military equipment and training. The outcome is the same: a violent uncontrolled armed force that terrorizes the people rather than serves them.

To answer the main question in a single word: Yes.

The American people need to prepare themselves for the continued targeting of law enforcement by gunfire and eventually bombings unless the departments demilitarize and begin to hold themselves accountable to the people, rather than simply following the orders they are handed.

In August of last year, immediately following the Ferguson riots, The Anti-Media published an article very similar to this one in which I predicted:

“Without serious reform in what’s left of the justice system, the future is not one of officers walking free after killing an unarmed person; it will be one of officers becoming the target of sporadic violence. Despite the propaganda, being a cop in the United States is safer than being a trash collector. That will change, and officers will become targets of opportunity for those that previously sought reform through peaceful means.

Those in departments that have excused the actions of their officers and made significant peaceful reform impossible, have now set the stage for their officers to be shot while sitting at traffic lights.”


This was prior to the NYPD officers being gunned down while sitting in their car. I don’t advocate insurrection. It’s always the uninvolved civilian that bears the brunt of the hardship during insurrections. These predictions aren’t my wishes; they are historical cycles that have played out for hundreds of years. Whether the reader examines the American Revolution of more than 200 years ago, or the events in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, or the Arab Spring, or any other popular uprising since the advent of the firearm, the conditions are almost always the same. Slight deviations occur in timing and sometimes a severe economic situation can force an insurrection without one of the other preconditions, but in the vast majority of situations for the previous 250 years, everything follows a pattern.

Flag draped coffins will become the norm if there is no immediate and substantial reform of our nation’s police departments, domestic spying programs, and government as a whole. It won’t be the offending officer that is targeted, it will be random. The officer that is killed may very well be one of the few good cops. Police officers will then respond with more violence, which in turn causes the insurgents to become more brutal. This is how the downward spiral into chaos completes itself. With the availability of firearms, knowledge of explosives, and general desensitization of the American people to violence, an American insurrection will be more brutal and bloody than any we have seen in recent history to include Iraq and Bosnia.

For those Americans that have sat on the sidelines, it is time to get into the streets and make peaceful revolution possible before violent revolution becomes inevitable.