Rand Paul on Ferguson: We must demilitarize the police

posted at 5:21 pm on August 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

As expected, here he is belatedly seizing an obvious opportunity. The only question for Paul was which angle of the Ferguson drama to emphasize. Racial disparities in how the law is enforced? He mentions it in his op-ed but rarely does a would-be presidential nominee profit from expounding at length on race at a moment when tensions are high. State suppression of civil liberties, in particular the police restricting press activity in Ferguson? He mentions that too but no Republican will ever get much mileage from defending the media.

How about the militarization of the police, then? That’s the sweet spot for Paul as it influences both of the other problems above and carries obvious appeal to all of the constituencies he’s trying to reach, namely, blacks, libertarians, and conservatives that have grown more leery of state power in the Obama era. And best of all, it’s an issue on which there’s bipartisan support. There are valuable pieces online this morning on how the feds turned small-town cops into Special Forces by Alec MacGillis of TNR, Conn Carroll of Townhall, and Mark Thompson of Time — left, right, and center-ish. Big government has shoveled billions in money and materiel at PDs since 9/11, with predictable results. And if there’s one thing that summarizes the Paul brand, it’s skepticism of big government in all its aspects.

Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.

This is usually done in the name of fighting the war on drugs or terrorism…

When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury—national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture—we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands.

Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them. Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.

Racial double standards, the NSA, the war on drugs, federal spending, even a whiff of overreaction to 9/11 — the whole Paul policy portfolio is there in service to the broader point about demilitarization. He’ll have support from some veterans too:

“You see the police are standing online with bulletproof vests and rifles pointed at peoples chests,” said Jason Fritz, a former Army officer and an international policing operations analyst. “That’s not controlling the crowd, that’s intimidating them.”

King added that, instead of deescalating the situation on the second day, the police responded with armored vehicles and SWAT officers clad in bulletproof vests and military-grade rifles.

“We went through some pretty bad areas of Afghanistan, but we didn’t wear that much gear,” said Kyle Dykstra, an Army veteran and former security officer for the State Department. Dykstra specifically pointed out the bulletproof armor the officers were wearing around their shoulders, known as “Deltoid” armor.

“I can’t think of a [protest] situation where the use of M4 [rifles] are merited,” Fritz said.

Paul Szoldra, an Afghanistan vet, made the best point I’ve seen on this in a piece for Business Insider a few days ago. He too marveled at the use of M4s and the Bearcat, but the thing Szoldra couldn’t get over was the camouflage pants that some of the cops were wearing. You can understand why they’d wear body armor but what conceivable purpose is served by wearing clothing like that while patrolling city streets? The answer, obviously, is psychology. The pants don’t make the cop blend into his surroundings but they do put him in a warrior frame of mind and signal to onlookers that he’s apt to respond like a soldier would if challenged. That’s the core vice of police militarization, I think. It’s not that the cops are lobbing grenades through people’s windows, it’s that they feel more free to take lesser but still heavy handed measures like tear-gassing a camera crew. Sometimes, when you’re pacifying a restive enemy population in an occupied zone, you need to be a little rough with the locals. Aren’t the police supposed to be part of “the locals” themselves?

Anyway. Expect Paul to float some sort of bill cutting federal funds for military gear for locals PDs. There’s already some support for demilitarization among Democrats. It’ll be hard for Obama to resist.


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Comment pages: 1 2

I knew Allah would be posting about this today.

Bitter Clinger on August 14, 2014 at 5:22 PM

As expected, here he is belatedly seizing an obvious opportunity.
– Allah

Is that really fair, AP?
He penned an essay for TIME.
He’s not blogging – where it’s ‘belatedly’ comes a lot faster.

verbaluce on August 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

From what I’ve observed over the past 10 years, it’s too late.

Reminds me of movies where the Roman Centurion walks down the street with the certain knowledge he can do anything to anyone and walk away… except these are just beat cops.

Tard on August 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

“That’s not controlling the crowd, that’s intimidating them.” Well, you know, part of the reason for a show of force is to discourage any further violent action. While I generally would agree the “militarization” isn’t a great thing, and that police departments should definitely have good oversight, I don’t think that things would be any better if the police were holding flowers asking for hugs to calm things down.

RblDiver on August 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Maybe Paul should talk to Obama who wanted a civilian force just as powerful, strong and well funded as the military.

darwin on August 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Is that really fair, AP?
He penned an essay for TIME.
He’s not blogging – where it’s ‘belatedly’ comes a lot faster.

verbaluce on August 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Now or then, sooner or later, a politician’s gotta pander.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

If the bl@ck community embraced education and developed a strong sense of moral integrity, the problem of an over-militarized police force would solve itself.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

What about the militarization of all the federal agencies…? Does the Department of Education have a SWAT team yet?

d1carter on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

House Democrat Unveils Bill To Demilitarize Local Police

Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson proposed legislation on Thursday aimed at demilitarizing domestic police forces, amid national criticism of heavily armed cops going after protesters in Ferguson, Mo.

“Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s,” the Democratic congressman wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter to members of Congress. “Unfortunately … our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces.”

The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would prevent the transfer of certain military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies. That includes some automatic weapons, armored vehicles, armored drones, silencers and flash-bang or stun grenades.

Johnson boasted endorsements from the Friends Committee on National Legislation, American Civil Liberties Union and Defending Dissent Foundation.

“Before another small town’s police force gets a $700,000 gift from the Defense Department that it can’t maintain or manage, it behooves us to reign in the Pentagon’s 1033 program and revisit the merits of a militarized America. I hope we can work together on this important issue,” he wrote to colleagues.

Ned Pepper on August 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

If the bl@ck community embraced education and developed a strong sense of moral integrity, the problem of an over-militarized police force would solve itself.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

I wish it were so. The police have power they won’t easily give up regardless of the moral integrity of any given segment of the population. I’ve been gross malfeasance, misfeasance, and incompetence in the police department right in my home town. I’m from South Dakota. There aren’t enough blacks here to rate a statistical blip.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Only the police should have guns – Moms Demand Action

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:29 PM

What about the militarization of all the federal agencies…? Does the Department of Education have a SWAT team yet?

d1carter on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

This is at least as grave an issue as local policing considerations are.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

If the bl@ck community embraced education and developed a strong sense of moral integrity, the problem of an over-militarized police force would solve itself.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Indeed.

A lot of words being bandied about “police militarization” but hardly any about “responding with peaceful protests instead of rioting and looting in a black community”.

Bitter Clinger on August 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Should federal agencies have more military style equipment than local police agencies…?

d1carter on August 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

As expected, here he is belatedly seizing an obvious opportunity.

Ouch.

Jaibones on August 14, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Should federal agencies have more military style equipment than local police agencies…?

d1carter on August 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

The local police agencies are catching up. Just ask that kid who ended up with a flashbang in his playpen.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Ned Pepper on August 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Not gonna happen under Obama. He and other leftists want a militarized police force.

darwin on August 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

My favorite part is the pants-blaming. Please tell me more about how threatening their pants are.

drewwerd on August 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

I’m from South Dakota. There aren’t enough blacks here to rate a statistical blip.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Maybe so but the government sees what happens in locations like $h!tcago and Destroyt and decide to prepare for the worst.

And since the govt is famous for a one size fits all approach, you start seeing militarized swat like police forces in places like South Dakota.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

If the bl@ck community blacks embraced education and developed a strong sense of moral integrity, the problem of an over-militarized police force would solve itself.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Edit: mine.

Blacks used to be part of America and many still are. But the crazy/violent/angry/anti-social segment of that racial population seems to be growing, and that is why most blacks cannot have nice things. It might be productive for them to stop effing things up all the time.

Jaibones on August 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

My favorite part is the pants-blaming. Please tell me more about how threatening their pants are.

drewwerd on August 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Nice strawman. Now…whip him real bad, right here in the public square. That’ll show everyone.

Jaibones on August 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Ned Pepper on August 14, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Congressman Pushing Legislation to Demilitarize Federal Regulatory Agencies

Congressman Chris Stewart (R., Utah) is pushing legislation to lessen the number of federal agencies who have or are developing SWAT-like teams. The Regulatory Agency De-militarization Act prevents federal agencies that have not traditionally been tasked with enforcing federal law from purchasing machine guns, grenades, and other weaponry, according to a statement from Stewart’s office.

Maybe they can be bundled as a bi-partisan, omnibus, reign-in-the-jack-booted-thugs bill.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Paul will start with demilitarizing the Border Patrol.
Amnesty Now!

Look, Paul is right to want to end the drug war (or does he??), but violent rioting mobs can be extremely destructive; for example, the Watts riots killed 34 people. Police need to be equipped. End the drug war like Paul perhaps wants and the result will be that over 70% of law enforcement will have nothing to do. So they’ll be out of a job, and that will significantly demilitarize the cops just by cutting down the number of “troops” so sharply. Oh, I hear: “we can’t do that, those are good paying jobs!” Yes, typically paying over 100k + benefits and unionized. But this isn’t about just putting people on the public payroll. It’s about doing the right thing. These former militarized cops will find other work.

anotherJoe on August 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Oops. “Rein in.” Jeez, notropis….

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

OK, fine, too many yorkipoos being shot on no-knock raids to the wrong address.

Good on Rand, but

Maybe Paul should talk to Obama who wanted a civilian force just as powerful, strong and well funded as the military.

darwin on August 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM

this is the real issue.

Nobody had problems until Big Sis and her 2 billion rounds of ammo and MRAPs.

Didn’t hear Ned and the other morons then.

formwiz on August 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

When a town is in a riot and being set on fire you want the town’s police force to become less militarized and authoritarian? Maybe they should let it burn and pass out marshmallows?

Buddahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Maybe so but the government sees what happens in locations like $h!tcago and Destroyt and decide to prepare for the worst.

And since the govt is famous for a one size fits all approach, you start seeing militarized swat like police forces in places like South Dakota.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

What I’m saying is, it’s not the FBI we have to live with every day out of field offices in every city. It’s our local PDs.

I don’t give a greasy brown shit the whys and wherefores as far as why cops believe they have to be packing military-grade heat. I just know that it puts people, cops and citizens, at risk unnecessarily and jeopardizes freedom as well as lives.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

“We went through some pretty bad areas of Afghanistan, but we didn’t wear that much gear,” said Kyle Dykstra, an Army veteran and former security officer for the State Department. Dykstra specifically pointed out the bulletproof armor the officers were wearing around their shoulders, known as “Deltoid” armor.

Paul Szoldra, an Afghanistan vet, made the best point I’ve seen on this in a piece for Business Insider a few days ago. He too marveled at the use of M4s and the Bearcat


For all those who have been cheering on the police and telling the rest of us, “You don’t know!”

This is a Constitutional Republic. I DON”T have to know or agree with a police officer’s outlook.

He/she WORKS for US.

If HE/SHE doesn’t like the rules or the oversight – RESIGN!

And one other thing for the cheerleaders to consider:

WE are going to be paying for ALL the lawsuits militarized police are going to incur. And wait until you find out what the MAINTENANCE and REPAIR costs on MRAP’s, Bearcats, etc tally up to without the Federal grants.

All these “toys” come with lots of collateral costs.

PolAgnostic on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Is that really fair, AP?
He penned an essay for TIME.
He’s not blogging – where it’s ‘belatedly’ comes a lot faster.

verbaluce on August 14, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Compare and contrast:

[above] As expected, here he is belatedly seizing an obvious opportunity. The only question for Paul was which angle of the Ferguson drama to emphasize.

and then

[Rothman] Many were confused by Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) apparent silence on the situation in Ferguson. It turned out that he was penning a definitive article for Time in which he insisted that the police must be demilitarized.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

But the crazy/violent/angry/anti-social segment of that racial population seems to be growing, and that is why most blacks cannot have nice things. It might be productive for them to stop effing things up all the time.

Jaibones on August 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

And don’t you think there’s also a crazy/violent/angry anti-social segment of the white population that’s also growing? Sure seems like it to me.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

If the bl@ck community embraced education and developed a strong sense of moral integrity, the problem of an over-militarized police force would solve itself.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Are you serious?

There is over-militarization of police forces in jurisdictions that are overwhelmingly white demographically. There’s a freaking SWAT team in every mid sized town and federal agency these days. And that’s not surprising: they’re getting taxpayers money to increase their power and status. And like any other government bureaucracy, that’s exactly what they do.

Paul is exactly right: this is big government running amok.

joana on August 14, 2014 at 5:38 PM

There is an abandoned house across the street from me. A repo. There have been some problems with a homeless person sleeping in it. One of my neighbors called the cops when he thought the guy had come back. Three officers showed up. Two went around the back and the third officer went to her trunk and pulled out the automatic rifle and just stood with it in the front yard. I wanted to go over there and ask her why in the hell that rifle was necessary to get a bum out of a house, but I held back because I didn’t want to get tasered.

Mark1971 on August 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Yeah A. P. is more A-hole, sometimes…. especially the wrong times of the month, when his bitchy beta-male self emerges.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Given that the riots continued for more than two days, the police were not forceful enough! Horses for courses.

OldEnglish on August 14, 2014 at 5:40 PM

And don’t you think there’s also a crazy/violent/angry anti-social segment of the white population that’s also growing? Sure seems like it to me.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

You bet your pasty white ass I’m angry. That doesn’t mean I have to be violent, and that doesn’t make me crazy. But yeah, I’m pretty righteously pissed off.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:41 PM

PS Wasn’t Johnson the idiot who thought Guam would tip over?

Yup

formwiz on August 14, 2014 at 5:42 PM

And don’t you think there’s also a crazy/violent/angry anti-social segment of the white population that’s also growing? Sure seems like it to me.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

You’re right. The occupy movement is mostly white.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Rand Paul on Ferguson: We must demilitarize the police ensure that the police response to quelling riots is less effective and that more cops die

FIFY.

The problem here is not the police. The problem here is the race maniacal rioters that think that a dead kid in a case where not all of the facts are known is adequate justification to vandalize and rob the innocent and uninvolved.

When libertarians speak about freedom and liberty, those terms are really just euphemisms for chaos and anarchy. Their response to the Ferguson riots is a perfect example of that.

Stoic Patriot on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Paul need to shut his trap.

KBird on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Is that really fair, AP?
He penned an essay for TIME.

Yeah, it’s fair. This has been going on for days and Paul’s made outreach to black voters his signature issue. He could have said something days ago. As it is, Ted Cruz had a statement out before Paul’s op-ed emerged. But whatever. Better late than never.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Nobody had problems until Big Sis and her 2 billion rounds of ammo and MRAPs.

Didn’t hear Ned and the other morons then.

formwiz on August 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

It looks like what Big Sis did may have saved some police lives. According to this site, about 150 police died in the US on average each year during the last ten. Only 100 died in 2013 and we’re on track to exceed that this year. There’s recently been a significant percentage increase in the firearms-related deaths.

http://www.nleomf.org/facts/enforcement/

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Well, if they didn’t have a helicopter then “protestors” couldn’t shoot at it.

Wait, I’m sorry, I meant peaceful protestors couldn’t shoot at it.

JohnBrown on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

And don’t you think there’s also a crazy/violent/angry anti-social segment of the white population that’s also growing? Sure seems like it to me.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Yes, but they only get violent once you mention the name Sarah Palin….or when they see a Christian Mingle TV commercial.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Yeah A. P. is more A-hole, sometimes…. especially the wrong times of the month, when his bitchy beta-male self emerges.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:39 PM

heh

Tell him to stroke his cat.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

The problem here is not the police.

Stoic Patriot on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I can stop you right there. Why does there have to be a good guy in all this? Isn’t it possible that the rioters are idiots and the police effed it up royally? I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that no one comes out of this smelling like roses, if you know what I mean.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

You’re right. The occupy movement is mostly white.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I’m talking about the Cliven Bundy types (and some other Tea Party types as well).

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Are you serious?

There is over-militarization of police forces in jurisdictions that are overwhelmingly white demographically. There’s a freaking SWAT team in every mid sized town and federal agency these days. And that’s not surprising: they’re getting taxpayers money to increase their power and status. And like any other government bureaucracy, that’s exactly what they do.

Paul is exactly right: this is big government running amok.

joana on August 14, 2014 at 5:38 PM

My response to gryphon202 earlier:

Maybe so but the government sees what happens in locations like $h!tcago and Destroyt and decide to prepare for the worst.

And since the govt is famous for a one size fits all approach, you start seeing militarized swat like police forces in places like South Dakota.

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM

NapaConservative on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

As it is, Ted Cruz had a statement out before Paul’s op-ed emerged. But whatever. Better late than never.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I think the point was that op-eds take longer than facebook posts.

I’m not actually sure if that’s the case, and I’m sure Amanda Carpenter or someone was doing some editing on the Cruz post.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Rand Paul on Ferguson: We must demilitarize the police ensure that the police response to quelling riots is less effective and that more cops die

More cops? How many cops have died in Ferguson during all of this?

I realize it’s pointless debating this, by the way, even though we’ve been posting on it all day. This is a variation of the old police taser threads: Some people (libertarians) slam the cops, some people are conflicted, and some people think cops should have the power to do virtually anything they want, especially if they’re doing it in the name of stopping violence. No sense whatsoever in arguing about it, but have at it.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

For everyone out there complaining about police tactical teams, ask yourselves how many Cartel drug distribution houses are in their town? How many paranoid meth heads are cooking in your neighborhood? Is there a radicalized jihadi getting ready for his 72 virgins? The answer, of course, is i have no idea neither do you. But if you were responsible for public safety in your town it would be your responsibility to prepare for the POSSIBILITY of an incident like this. If you neuter police forces, you will embolden the lawless thugs into further acts of aggression.

rmkdbq on August 14, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Obama’s made “outreach to black voters” his only issue, and he didn’t say anything until after Paul’s editorial came out in Time, and, of course, when Time decided to publish it is up to Time, not Paul, but whatever.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I’m talking about the Cliven Bundy types (and some other Tea Party types as well).

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Oh, so you’re not talking about the predominantly white groups that have been destroying property and using violence to promote their angry, anti-social agenda?

Gotcha.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:47 PM

And yet ANOTHER Ferguson post.

Hey, HOT Fer-GAS-on, since you guys are so obsessed with what is going on in Missouri, why have you not posted anything about this?

Police chief rips Obama remarks

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/215178-police-chief-hits-obama-for-ferguson-remarks

Pork-Chop on August 14, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I’m talking about the Cliven Bundy types (and some other Tea Party types as well).

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Yup, all these violent acts at Tea Part rallies.

Rapes, assaults, defecating on cop cars…oh wait, those are Occupy Wall Street rallies.

Up Twinkles.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

No sense whatsoever in arguing about it, but have at it.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

You know, you do have the option of changing the tenor of the blog posts here if you think the things we argue about are stupid.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I think the point was that op-eds take longer than facebook posts.

Paul wrote an op-ed, not a book. He has a full staff working for him. I’d bet it took them all of a few hours to put together today’s Time piece.

My point here is, this was such an easy opportunity for him that I’m surprised he didn’t act faster to try to own the issue. Not sure why that’s controversial.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

More cops? How many cops have died in Ferguson during all of this?

I realize it’s pointless debating this, by the way, even though we’ve been posting on it all day. This is a variation of the old police taser threads: Some people (libertarians) slam the cops, some people are conflicted, and some people think cops should have the power to do virtually anything they want, especially if they’re doing it in the name of stopping violence. No sense whatsoever in arguing about it, but have at it.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Zero. Why? Because the police have been “militarized” — i.e., take the steps necessary to protect themselves and quell rioting.

Stoic Patriot on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Has militarization of the Ferguson police force killed any protesters…?

d1carter on August 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I can stop you right there. Why does there have to be a good guy in all this? Isn’t it possible that the rioters are idiots and the police effed it up royally? I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that no one comes out of this smelling like roses, if you know what I mean.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Thank you. I don’t understand why I must pick a side in this, I really don’t. I can believe that rioting and looting is completely unjustified, while maintaining the police are mishandling the situation.

TDSE on August 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Obama’s made “outreach to black voters” his only issue, and he didn’t say anything until after Paul’s editorial came out in Time, and, of course, when Time decided to publish it is up to Time, not Paul, but whatever.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:47 PM

I’d be careful using Obama as the standard for anything other than how stinky a turd is.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Zero. Why? Because the police have been “militarized” — i.e., take the steps necessary to protect themselves and quell rioting.

Stoic Patriot on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Were the police that threw the flashbang into that kid’s crib/playpen protecting themselves and quelling rioting? Or was that just a horrible-but-understandable, lawful-but-awful mistake?

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I’m glad that HA and Clare McCaskill and everyone left agrees on the big bad ugly Vehicles that the SWAT police drive…and I’m glad that everyone agrees that all that psy-ops from the Cops scared all the peaceful protesters into a raging mob with guns and molotov cocktails.

While all the political class has leaped to the mutually agree to solution, like most political class solutions, it is probably wrong.

the motives of a Mob are more basic. 1. cause some mayhem
2. maybe get on TV 3. Scare people into giving you stuff…or letting you steal stuff without fear of being caught.

I feel very sorry for the people of Ferguson. I don’t see much comentary on that….suffering night after night in your homes worried about The Mob. I don’t see much commentary about the business owners and their customers and what they’ll do now.

I see damn little concern for the gutting of a little town in MO, which here-to-fore had been a peaceful, if lower class, town.

But don’t worry…once this blows over and the politic pundits move on the town will somehow manage to at least clean up…maybe barry can send a Big Check. But, those of us not in the political class, not pundits, know that there’s a good chance that the town will never be the same. In fact by the time of the holiday parties this year, Ferguson will be long forgotten…just a dim memory of lots of talking points

r keller on August 14, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Do a little research on Hitler’s storm troops, etc.

Amjean on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

You know, you do have the option of changing the tenor of the blog posts here if you think the things we argue about are stupid.

Oh, I don’t think it’s stupid at all. This an important subject. I think it’s pointless to debate it, though. No one’s mind will be changed. I give my opinion, you give yours, etc. That’s what comments are for. But on this subject even more than most, there’s not going to be much persuasion either way.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Good point. I was thinking along those lines before I hit “submit comment,” but I hit “submit comment” anyway.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Were the police that threw the flashbang into that kid’s crib/playpen protecting themselves and quelling rioting? Or was that just a horrible-but-understandable, lawful-but-awful mistake?

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

That would fall under the mistake category. They were looking for a drug dealer, had reason to suspect they’d encounter a violent response, threw in a flash bang, and it landed in the wrong place.

Stoic Patriot on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Paul wrote an op-ed, not a book. He has a full staff working for him. I’d bet it took them all of a few hours to put together today’s Time piece.

My point here is, this was such an easy opportunity for him that I’m surprised he didn’t act faster to try to own the issue. Not sure why that’s controversial.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

On my list of “Eh, what’s Rand thinking,” this ranks pretty low. He got it out there. We’re all talking about it. It will probably steer the national debate on this topic for a day or two.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Yup, all these violent acts at Tea Part rallies.

Rapes, assaults, defecating on cop cars…oh wait, those are Occupy Wall Street rallies.

Up Twinkles.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Um, pointing guns at officers, refusing to show up for court hearings, violating court orders, shutting down public highways, former (and disowned) supporters killing themselves and cops in Las Vegas, son being arrested, etc. And then you have the Bishop types that ask about arrests and trials when they’ve had plenty over the last twenty years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliven_Bundy

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

The first level of force for an officer is called, “Officer Presence”.

The purpose is to keep people from doing bad things in front of you.

I’ve got an idea, let’s dress our officers in happy clothes, clothes that show they aren’t ready for action (Skirts for the ladies!) and then crime will go way down, right?

Oh wait, crime is already at the lowest it’s been in a long time. Hrmmmm, I wonder why that is.

Baggi on August 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

What about all those zillions of rounds of ammunition bought by Federal Agencies….why?

albill on August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Good point. I was thinking along those lines before I hit “submit comment,” but I hit “submit comment” anyway.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Well, when you expect a President to act like a President, sometimes it’s easy to give Obama some slack just because. :)

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Nice strawman. Now…whip him real bad, right here in the public square. That’ll show everyone.

Jaibones on August 14, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Sorry, just a general comment about people focusing on the pants the cops were/are wearing. No straw man. Anyway, pretty sure a whip would be ineffective.

drewwerd on August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM

What about all those zillions of rounds of ammunition bought by Federal Agencies….why?

albill on August 14, 2014 at 5:53 PM

If you even bring this up, you hate Obama because he’s black.

If black democrats start rioting, you’re a racist. Embrace the cause already!

#MindBlown

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

But the crazy/violent/angry/anti-social segment of that racial population seems to be growing, and that is why most blacks cannot have nice things. It might be productive for them to stop effing things up all the time.

Jaibones on August 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

And don’t you think there’s also a crazy/violent/angry anti-social segment of the white population that’s also growing? Sure seems like it to me.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

We have nice things because we WORK for them. We don’t expect others to give them to us or wait for a perceived racial slight to loot for them.
I am angry. Get your own nice things. Earn them and stop making excuses for what happened 200 years ago.

Cheese Wheel on August 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Oh, I don’t think it’s stupid at all. This an important subject. I think it’s pointless to debate it, though. No one’s mind will be changed. I give my opinion, you give yours, etc. That’s what comments are for. But on this subject even more than most, there’s not going to be much persuasion either way.

Allahpundit on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Okay. In other news, water is wet the Pope is Catholic. Film at 11.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I’ve got an idea, let’s dress our officers in happy clothes, clothes that show they aren’t ready for action (Skirts for the ladies!) and then crime will go way down, right?

Baggi on August 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I’d settle for standard, non-camo uniforms.

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 5:56 PM

“Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them,” Paul continued.

Given all the black on white crime, I would say it’s logically far more difficult for whites to not figure that blacks are targeting them. That is, when blacks are not targeting other blacks.

The last time I checked federal statistics, the black violent crime rate was a staggering 7.5 times that of whites, and among young males a hyper-staggering 14 times.

There is where your disparity is, you idiot!

VorDaj on August 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Um, pointing guns at officers, refusing to show up for court hearings, violating court orders, shutting down public highways, former (and disowned) supporters killing themselves and cops in Las Vegas, son being arrested, etc. And then you have the Bishop types that ask about arrests and trials when they’ve had plenty over the last twenty years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliven_Bundy

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Actually, those two supporters that killed the cops were Obama voters according to their Facebook postings.

Also, they were prominent members of Occupy Wall Street.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

That would fall under the mistake category. They were looking for a drug dealer, had reason to suspect they’d encounter a violent response, threw in a flash bang, and it landed in the wrong place.

Stoic Patriot on August 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

The problem is that in policing, mistakes get people killed. In order to minimize mistakes, it pays to NOT allow police officers to act as paramilitary forces. I’d be okay with a mistake or two every now and again that results in a broken door or a blown out car engine, but we are talking about the lives of innocent citizens — including in at least one instance children.

Whether you are okay with kids getting blown apart for someone else’s non-violent drug offense on the merest of suspicions that the alleged perpetrator may be packing heat is a matter of opinion. But you do a huge disservice to citizens the nation over by minimizing these occurrences and pretending they are somehow less than what they are.

gryphon202 on August 14, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Um, pointing guns at officers, refusing to show up for court hearings, violating court orders, shutting down public highways, former (and disowned) supporters killing themselves and cops in Las Vegas, son being arrested, etc. And then you have the Bishop types that ask about arrests and trials when they’ve had plenty over the last twenty years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliven_Bundy

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Wrong, you dope.

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2014/06/16/The-hunt-for-the-ever-elusive-Tea-Party-killer-leads-to-Occupy-Wall-Street

Cheese Wheel on August 14, 2014 at 5:58 PM

And then you have the Bishop types that ask about arrests and trials when they’ve had plenty over the last twenty years.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Amy Bishop?

Big-time lefty. Had Obama material in her office and home.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Given all the black on white crime, I would say it’s logically far more difficult for whites to not figure that blacks are targeting them. That is, when blacks are not targeting other blacks.

The last time I checked federal statistics, the black violent crime rate was a staggering 7.5 times that of whites, and among young males a hyper-staggering 14 times.

There is where your disparity is, you idiot!

VorDaj on August 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Yeah, this thought was racing around in the back of my head. Some of these “disparities” are to be expected – and mean justice is being served.

But there seems to be more. Paul seems to suggest that Blacks are being targeted more than their counterparts simply because they are black. No, he’s not saying police are racists. He seems to suggest that Blacks are locked up more often and for longer periods of time than others that commit the same crimes. Is there data to back this up?

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM

It looks like what Big Sis did may have saved some police lives. According to this site, about 150 police died in the US on average each year during the last ten. Only 100 died in 2013 and we’re on track to exceed that this year. There’s recently been a significant percentage increase in the firearms-related deaths.

http://www.nleomf.org/facts/enforcement/

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Maybe.

Isn’t violent crime down a little, too?

Seems like.

formwiz on August 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM

The last time I checked federal statistics, the black violent crime rate was a staggering 7.5 times that of whites, and among young males a hyper-staggering 14 times.

There is where your disparity is, you idiot!

VorDaj on August 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

I guess my first question here does it take socio/economic class into account? I would be interested to see crime rates of lower-class blacks compared to lower-class whites and so on.

TDSE on August 14, 2014 at 6:01 PM

I think Rand could have sent out a quick tweet regarding the journalist controversy, but I wouldn’t say he deserves criticism for his timing. After all, you have people like Obama with poor timing and saying essentially nothing of significance. At least Rand was able to get his points across and his article helps the ongoing debate.

Aizen on August 14, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Actually, those two supporters that killed the cops were Obama voters according to their Facebook postings.

Also, they were prominent members of Occupy Wall Street.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM

“And Rush Limbaugh hates babies because Media Matters said so!? /jim

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Anyway. Expect Paul to float some sort of bill cutting federal funds for military gear for locals PDs. There’s already some support for demilitarization among Democrats. It’ll be hard for Obama to resist.

It needs to include regulatory agencies as well that have no business fielding SWAT teams.

Wigglesworth on August 14, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Wrong, you dope.

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2014/06/16/The-hunt-for-the-ever-elusive-Tea-Party-killer-leads-to-Occupy-Wall-Street
Cheese Wheel on August 14, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Are you denying they were at Bundy’s ranch and that they were subsequently kicked out?

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Wigglesworth on August 14, 2014 at 6:02 PM

This. Perhaps they could be bundled and bipartisan.

notropis on August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Are you denying they were at Bundy’s ranch and that they were subsequently kicked out?

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Are you claiming that Cliven Bundy’s pals kicked out a bunch of violent, white Occupiers?

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Are you denying they were at Bundy’s ranch and that they were subsequently kicked out?

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

So, you’re complimenting Bundy?

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

jimbo, would love for you to expand on this comment.

You got me. I tried to cover up your mother’s molesting of six year old girls. And well-endowed gerbils.

Now I am going to bed. Goodnight all.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 12:27 AM

You directed that at me. You are a previously banned commenter jimbo. You really have no business giving your opinion or anything else for that matter here at HA. So why all the hate?

Bmore on August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Does the Department of Education have a SWAT team yet?

d1carter on August 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Apparently – yes.
google or bing it – lots of links.

dentarthurdent on August 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Maybe.

Isn’t violent crime down a little, too?

Seems like .

formwiz on August 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Could be. I can’t get cop death/injury stats by year. But it looks like violent crime was down only around 8%. Hope you have better luck getting stats.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Wrong, you dope.

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2014/06/16/The-hunt-for-the-ever-elusive-Tea-Party-killer-leads-to-Occupy-Wall-Street
Cheese Wheel on August 14, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Are you denying they were at Bundy’s ranch and that they were subsequently kicked out?

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

You got me. I tried to cover up your mother’s molesting of six year old girls. And well-endowed gerbils.

Now I am going to bed. Goodnight all.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 12:27 AM

Cheese Wheel on August 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Are you denying they were at Bundy’s ranch and that they were subsequently kicked out?

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Are you claiming that Cliven Bundy’s pals kicked out a bunch of violent, white Occupiers?

chris0christies0donut on August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Are you denying they were at Bundy’s ranch and that they were subsequently kicked out?

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM

So, you’re complimenting Bundy?

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Seems like Bundy realized these two were nuts and got rid of them. Yes, that would be a compliment.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Seems like Bundy realized these two were nuts and got rid of them. Yes, that would be a compliment.

jim56 on August 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM

So, Bundy got rid of two Occupy Wall Street Obama voters from his ranch.

We know. We showed you that earlier.

sentinelrules on August 14, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Oh, I don’t think it’s stupid at all. This an important subject. I think it’s pointless to debate it, though. No one’s mind will be changed. I give my opinion, you give yours, etc. That’s what comments are for. But on this subject even more than most, there’s not going to be much persuasion either way.

Allahpundit on 14, 2014 at 5:51 PM

well, I guess that the modern day style. Not very optimistic. Your assumption is that the emotional reaction outweighs reason.

You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into….or something like that. Reason is a good thing, and should be encouraged…not dismissed

r keller on August 14, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I guess the rioting and looting is to be forgotten, huh? There wouldn’t be armored vehicles in the streets if some hadn’t used a shooting to justify the stealing and destruction of property.

changer1701 on August 14, 2014 at 6:08 PM

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