Doraville SWAT team's online video says everything about U.S. police militarization


#1

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#2

Population 8,482 (2012)


#3

Great use of taxpayer money!


#4

This is a good reminder that fascism isn’t just a change in the law. We spend so much energy debating what’s legal and what should be punished. Because the law is black and white and it (supposedly) applies to everyone equally.

It’s a shift in community culture where fascism really resides. A pivotal group of people stop caring quite so much about some things, and begin to care quite a lot about other things. A larger, scarier example (for me) was http://boingboing.net/2008/03/12/air-force-uber-alles.html

I also had a similar reaction when I saw this ad campaign in this market


#5

Yup, tons of things wrong here. This is what happens when police departments in tiny jurisdictions get their grips on entirely too much filthy Asset Forfeiture lucre.

For some reason, allmusic insists that the song is by Suicide Commando.


#6

Well, they do need such a thing. Hell! The Russians could invade their county!


#7

Damn, beat me to posting this insanity, Rob.
It’s a perfect illustration of the mentality that leads to the shooting and overwhelming military/police presence that we’re seeing with the Ferguson shooting.

We’re so focused on winning hearts & minds with our military abroad, but “FYTW” to all the US citizens here getting doors kicked in, 3AM flashbangs, military weapons, drones, assault vehicles, etc.

It needs to stop.


#8

If they got it extra-cheap from military surplus (happens often), and use it mostly for pulling cars from snow, it may actually be an efficient use of money. “Real” heavy work vehicle could be much more expensive.
The fuel economy however is certain to suck.


#9

Doraville, as in Dora the Explorer?


#10

Touch of country in the city.


#11

In the end getting a vehicle like this is on the surface disturbing, sure. But when you delve a bit further and formulate an analogy its akin to a couple with one child buying a minivan. Is it overkill? yes. Is it necessary? no. Is it really that big of a deal…probably not in the end.

I’d be more concerned about the military-grade weaponization of their arsenal. Do they have standard issue 9mm hand guns, and standard police usage shotguns? or do they have police version semi automatic M16s and SAWs? Do they have tear gas or concussion grenades?

The vehicle is just a vehicle…tracked or not. Its the weapons they employ that concern me far more.


#12

Doraville is less than 20 miles from downtown Atlanta, Georgia. In fact, it’s the northern terminus of the Gold line of the MARTA trains.


#13

Wasn’t ‘Sin City’ the one where all economic activity appears to be trade between dirty cops and hookers? That seems like a questionable recruitment strategy.


#14

Except I don’t think the cops chose the music. Patriotsix6 might be a member of the force, but it looks like he’s just a fanboy. Also, the video is at least five years old. Plus also, I think the second guy on the right is Barney Fife.


#15

The video is four years old and from what I can tell, is made by a citizen.

Here is some footage, from another angle, that was posted under the official PD account. Again, it’s four years old. It shows a downed officer rescue drill.


#16

Wow - that was pretty weak as videos go.

Yeah - but the police are paid for with tax dollars. So let’s not waste our money so some podunk town can let their “SWAT” team play army once a month. It is completely unjustified and a waste. Also, once you have said items, you tend to use them, leading to more heavy handed warrant serving and the like which can lead to violence.

Also, I have a really big problem with police departments using a skull logo for anything.


#17

Agreed on all points. I admittedly am more in the pick my battles mindset though. We hear very few reports of anyone being harmed from these vehicles being used or bought. Are they a waste of dollars and such as you point out…absolutely.

What bothers me more is how every week it feels as if police are killing someone with their weapons. Far more of a problem IMO.


#18

Exactly.
These completely unnecessary arms and vehicles are free to acquire, but upkeep is sure to be a drain on funds sooner or later.

“Sorry, we couldn’t repave those potholes, but our tracked amphibious assault vehicle needed new treads.”

And when these adrenaline-junkie assholes have military hardware lying around they are not going to NOT use it. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.


#19

I see your point.
But I’d ask the more important question: Do we hear any of reports of these military vehicles doing a damn thing that an SUV or heavy truck couldn’t do for a fraction of the cost?

I recall hearing that fat blob Steven Segal was riding shotgun on a reality television cop show in Vegas (I think), where they used a SWAT tank to serve a warrant.
It’s not too hard to imagine someone being killed when these assholes want to playact “Col. Kilgore’s Army” for everyday community policing…


#20

I think the analogy is flawed, and as is often the case, I find Mr. Munroe has already made a cartoon to help me share the idea.

Militarization is not just the weapons. As @anansi133 so ably points out above, it’s a mindset and a culture shift. The same mindset that tells them they “need” an APC is the one that tells them they “need” to start using it to serve search warrants.

Note: I acknowledge that anansi133 posted about fascism, but I think it’s completely fair to borrow his arguments for the topic of militarization.