a northern gothic trough through the sludge
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/

Dear policeman

The world is a dauntingly dangerous place. You want to protect yourself and the people you swear to serve, and outfit yourself accordingly for the job. Take no chances, and never fight a fair fight are good rules to live by when Major Murphy decides to screw up your day…. but, listen fellas, we have to talk…

Things seem to have gotten a bit out of control here in your righteous quest for truth and justice. To you, it seems that around every corner, there is an unhinged crackhead or terrorist or rightwing militiaman or unlicensed lemonade stand. Maybe you even believe that. Now, you seem to think that outfitting yourselves like extras in a Halo game is the way to deal with the problem. The truth? You’re going out of your way to isolate and enrage everyone you’ve vowed to protect. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our freakishly hawkish government under either democrat or republican rule, it’s the shock and awe tactics just plain don’t work at best, and stir up a hornet’s nest of civilian rage at worst.

Given, most of us don’t typically look to the great state of Missouri at a beacon of light and understanding. Let’s not forget they’ve given us Rush Limbaugh and the world’s largest truck stop/fireworks store. But these actions taken over the past week by the dozens of police jurisdictions in the town of Ferguson are the best example we’ve yet seen of the police state gone mad. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you didn’t gun down a defenseless citizen… and that he was indeed a real threat to the safety of those around him. You’re dealing with a nonviolent civilian assembly as if they were escapees of Arkham Asylum, and in the process have escalated the situation to a point it never should have gotten close to. You’re using tear gas and rubber bullets and growling German shepherds on a largely peaceful group of protestors, and wondering why everyone is put off by the guys doing violent stormtrooper cosplay. Did you ever think it’s because you’re using a SWAT team to serve a routine arrest warrant or bust a single pot dealer or check to see of the barber had a proper license?

You’ve become a standing military without the training, credentials, or reason for being. The government giving you these new toys may seem like a blessing, but you’re using these instruments of violence as recklessly as is possibly. Now we have flash grenades thrown at babies. Hundreds of dead dogs. Thugs rolling around in literal tanks waiting for someone to run a red light. Broken and maimed and beaten and deceased civilians because you decided the black guy in the park was up to no good. And for what…. for peace? To keep the rule of law? To fulfill this utopian dream of a crimefree, Amurrican paradise? You’re using methods of intimidation and violence we wouldn’t wish on anyone domestically, and you’re escalating it every week.

Shame on you all. Shame on the police for treating the citizenry as the potential enemy. Shame on the government for giving out tanks and grenade launchers and tactical marine training to a bunch of schmucks with a double digit IQ and a triple digit income. Shame on defense contractors for going out of their way to make up their lost profits by selling their military grade surplus to anyone with a checkbook. And shame on us for thinking this amount of security could ever happen without being hijacked by angry thugs with forearms making up 60% of their bodyweight.

We, the people, are not your enemy. You are members of the citizenry when you clock out. You drink with us and come over to watch the game and watch the same stupid TV shows and lust after the same waitress at Applebees. It’s okay… but please don’t forget the reason you wanted to be a cop in the first place, (unless of course you’re one of the legions of George Zimmermans who wants to carry around a gun and beat everyone around him with a black, shiny phallic symbol).

What you are NOT is an occupying force… so fucking act like it.