y Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
(Image credit: The Brain Toad/Flickr)
Last month I reported on how Georgia law enforcement agencies have acquired a massive arsenal of military-grade vehicles and weapons through the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, it’s far from isolated.
Many law enforcement agencies acquire military equipment through the Pentagon’s 1033 program. Police have also acquired military robots through the DoD but they have other ways to get their hands on armored surveillance vehicles and armored personnel carriers as well.
Indeed, the Department of Homeland Security gave the city of Keene, New Hampshire, with a population of less than 25,000, $285,933 to buy an armored counter-attack vehicle called a BearCat, according to Radley Balko.
Keene has had a whopping three murders since 1999 according to City Data and according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the city lied about the need for the tank-like vehicle built by Lenco Industries, Inc.
The ACLU points out that a Keene City Councilmember actually admitted that the city lied about their need for the BearCat to DHS.
“Our application talked about the danger of domestic terrorism, but that’s just something you put in the grant application to get the money,” the councilmember said, according to the ACLU. “What red-blooded American cop isn’t going to be excited about getting a toy like this? That’s what it comes down to.”
Another example of this type of completely unnecessary equipment being acquired by a law enforcement agency can be seen in Richland County, South Carolina.
With a violent crime rate down 3.7% and property crime down 3.9% compared to last year, Richland doesn’t seem to have a massive crime problem. Furthermore, many of the crimes there are related to drug use or gambling, according to the ACLU.
Yet Richland’s Sheriff’s Department for some reason has an armored personnel carrier they call “The Peacemaker.”
As was reported by Reason in 2008, the armored personnel carrier has a belt-fed .50-caliber turreted machine gun which even the US military is reluctant to use on humans.
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More at EndtheLie.com – http://EndtheLie.com/2013/03/07/cities-continue-to-get-tanks-they-dont-need-in-nationwide-police-militarization-trend/#ixzz2N0oGDYUj