NH legislator introduces bill to stop small-town police from buying tanks

The militarization of the nation’s police has been a theme here at La Maison — everything from military-style torture of protesters, to SWAT team–like defense of banks, to taser-fun-for-cops, to crowd control machinery that can almost blow your ears off.

In all these stories, the direction has been More — buy more, arm more, up-armor more, prepare to react more strongly. It’s been a feast of testosterone.

Now someone is fighting back, and in a practical way. From Boing-Boing:

NH legislator introduces bill to stop small-town cops from buying tanks

Imperial Storm Troops guarding a bank in Portland

Imperial Storm Troops guarding a bank in Portland

New Hampshire state representative J.R. Hoell has introduced state legislation that will require police departments to get approval from citizens at a town hall meeting before they buy military-style gear. The bill, called the Police Equipment and Community Engagement (PEACE) Act, was prompted by the city of Concord buying its police department an armored assault vehicle, a decision justified in part by the police department’s stated need to fight protest groups such as Occupy.

The vehicle in question, a Lenco Bearcat, costs $258,000 and was widely opposed by the people of Concord, a town of 42,000 which has experienced three murders in the past ten years. The decision was justified in part by “recent murders and armed robberies” — but Concord had no murders in 2012 or 2013, and police responded to 20 armed robberies — the same number of robberies as the town experienced, on average, for the preceding decade.

This is the Lenco Bearcat:

Lenco Bearcat armored assault vehicle — $250,000. Bring your own testosterone.

Lenco Bearcat armored assault vehicle — $250,000. Bring your own testosterone.

The people don’t want this stuff, but the big boys do. Wonder why? In the video below, taken at the town hearing, a former Marine and Iraq veteran, says, in part:

“You don’t need this [equipment], you really don’t. … What’s happening here is, we’re building a domestic military because it’s unlawful or unconstitutional to use American troops on American soil. So what we’re doing is we’re building a military.

“My best friend, who’s a SWAT officer in Nashua, who came to Iraq with me to train the Iraqi police, sent me an email with a picture of him in the media on the streets of Watertown, Mass wearing the exact same combat gear we had in Iraq, only it was different color. …

“Homeland Security is pre-staging gear, equipment [that’s] consistent. What they’re trying to do is use standardized vehicles, standardized equipment … We’re building a domestic army and shrinking the military because the government is afraid of its own citizens. …

We’re building an army over here, and I can’t believe that people aren’t seeing it. Is everybody blind? …”

Here’s the video of his testimony. It’s short, compelling, and worth your time. Be sure to catch his closing comment, about the cheese.

In my opinion, this video needs to go viral. There’s something going on in the bowels of the State. I don’t know what it is — maybe just the usual testosterone-addicted suspects playing Manly-Man with the baddest toys they can get, and a frightened (on purpose) populace giving in to them.

Or maybe something else. I’m going to pick up the Deep State thread soon. Some of what’s going on doesn’t add up to four. Stay tuned — there’s a surprise ahead.

GP

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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