More on responses to the police crackdown in Ferguson by U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the police actions so closely resemble. Many vets at the protests and quoted in news stories say the police crackdown is not only overkill, but totally clueless.
“You see the police are standing online with bulletproof vests and rifles pointed at peoples chests,” Jason Fritz, a former Army officer and an international policing operations analyst tells the Washington Post. “That’s not controlling the crowd, that’s intimidating them.”
Scriven King, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force’s law enforcement component and a SWAT officer:
“The first thing that went wrong was when the police showed up with K-9 units,” Scriven said. “The dogs played on racist imagery…it played the situation up and [the department] wasn’t cognizant of the imagery.”
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. “I don’t see it as a viable tactic in any scenario.”
"Military veterans see deeply flawed police response in Ferguson" [Washington Post]
Previously: "A sample of US military veterans' reactions to Ferguson police crackdown" [Boing Boing]
The gentleman on the left has more personal body armor and weaponry than I did while invading Iraq. pic.twitter.com/5u6TxyIbkk— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) August 14, 2014
STL County Police Chief Belmar: "We've done everything we can to demonstrate a remarkable amount of restraint." pic.twitter.com/97AcVPPZGK— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) August 14, 2014
@PaulSzoldra LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), the last place I saw one of those was at the Iraqi detention facility.— James Skylar Gerrond (@JimmySky) August 14, 2014