Yuri has found some more reads that pose more discussion questions.I love it! He is da bomb!
I do have to say one thing, Yuri...most of these authors are very LEFT. I also question this one's sources not in numbers...but his context. Let me begin with your first article from The Rutherford Institute:
publications_resources/john_ whiteheads_commentary/are_ police_in_america_now_a_ military_occupying_force
"Consider that in 1980, there were roughly 3,000 SWAT team-style raids in the US. By 2001, that number had grown to 45,000 and has since swelled to more than 80,000 SWAT team raids per year. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. In fact, there are few communities without a SWAT team on their police force today. In 1984, 25.6 percent of towns with populations between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team. That number rose to 80 percent by 2005.
The problem, of course, is that as SWAT teams and SWAT-style tactics are used more frequently to carry out routine law enforcement activities, Americans find themselves in increasingly dangerous and absurd situations."
1) I will not deny that some of these "stats" may be legitimate numbers, but not explained in context. When I was a detective, we saw a dramatic INCREASE in violent crime. It is true, that over time, the VIOLENT CRIME according to UCR numbers decreased or fluctuated during the last 5 years. Crime on the street got more violent and more frequent. Officers were very busy from 2004-2009. What happened? I can tell you it was in flux with the economy. Economy good...evil not as rampant. Economy bad...yikes. What about Wyoming then? It's economy has been steadily increasing since 2000. The ebb and tide of crime also depends on the drug market, interstate highway flow, and police presence and where that police presence is prioritized.
UCR is Uniform Crime Reporting which each agency codes certain types of crimes and sends the data to the FBI. It only deals with high crimes such as murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, etc. Go here for more information: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr.
Let me tell you about stats. I did them for our department in the very early 90s. Garbage in, garbage out. First...does the police department report how the calls came in or how the officer coded them afterward? Second, how do the state statutes define crimes? Wyoming laws changed dramatically. Child neglect is not child abuse. Third degree sexual assault is not rape. Some child molestation will never make UCR. There was no accurate reporting at my police department. It was a good guesstimate.
2) Yeah. SWAT calls are on the rise. Why? Because people shifted from compliance to killing police. We got into more fights. It became more dangerous. We got smarter. You don't take three detectives to bust a drug house anymore. You take an ARMY. Guess what? We had better safety. No one got hurt. We, including the bad guys, went out in one piece. Second, in my community, we began to see more hostage situations whether they were suicidal or homicidal. Enter SWAT. Happens some times depending on the threat level.
This author is generalizing his information and twisting it to make his point that he thinks police are out of control and have gone too far in the operational tactics. I will say it time and time again...we aren't going back to Mayberry. Yuri knows this. He, in fact, stated that as well. Those days are over. We have to adjust. We did. Police became stronger, smarter, better trained, and mostly better equipped. COPS CARRY GUNS-- BIG ONES! Get used to it! What's so bad about SWAT anyway?
If there is an extreme incident like the DNR example or the cops shooting an innocent man...that's not SWAT's fault for existing. That is a situational problem with their operation or a person.
3)And, Yuri, I agree...this author is comparing police to the British attempt at takeover of colonial America. We aren't there by any means. But the cops are visible. With guns. And armored vehicles. It's not Martial Law. It's not the military. It's the police keeping peace because we, as Americans, have gotten that far out of hand. Don't blame the police for adjusting to societal dysfunction. Blame the American Family for falling apart. Blame Ward and June for getting a divorce and abandoning their children so they could go partying and shooting up on Friday night.