RadioWhoWhatWhy: Police Becoming Sixth Branch of US Military?

Lenco BearCat Armored police carrier used in Nashville. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation.
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Lenco BearCat Armored police carrier used in Nashville. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation.

Lenco BearCat Armored police carrier used in Nashville. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation.

No one ever said it was easy to be a cop, and the gig only gets tougher. On the one hand, community organizers and local leaders are calling for more personal policing; more positive interactions between law enforcement and civilians. On the other hand, we’re handing out riot gear and war weaponry as if the police were another branch of the military.

Terminator-style SWAT equipment and armored carriers are now ubiquitous in precincts nationwide. One needs only to look at the images of Baltimore earlier this year, or Boston after the Marathon bombing, or Ferguson, MO, to see how this bristling arsenal can dangerously transform delicate situations into locked down populations and killing fields.


Washington Post reporter and author of The Rise of the Warrior Cop Radley Balko talks with WhoWhatWhy‘s Jeff Schechtman about the perfect storm that led to the militarization of America’s police forces and what it means for our liberty.

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4 responses to “RadioWhoWhatWhy: Police Becoming Sixth Branch of US Military?”

  1. tomb215 says:

    I’m surprised that more people are not aware of the training games the Pentagon puts together. For sometime now there have been practice exercises that are training programs our military will use against civil uprisings. Obama has said that there should be a separate enforcement agency that answers only to him. I guess the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy , Air Force, DEA, CIA, DoJ, DHS,FBI and Secret Service isn’t enough. Now we have local enforcement agencies that are acting like strong armed robbers with the tactics they use against the citizenry. Use to be local agencies, city police, county and state agencies were there to “serve and protect” but not any more. Hell the city police cars where I live have taken that ‘Motto” off of every car on their fleet.
    You can bet until the Patriot Act in its’ present wording is repealed to give us our fourth amendment and complete Bill of Rights back it is only going to get worse.

  2. stevor says:

    maybe o’bama actually cares about posse commitatus, whereby the troops aren’t supposed to be doing their thing in our boundaries. Thusly, if o’bama can get the police to do that same dirty work, he can achieve his desired Martial Law that way. (Of course, after we have “false flag” attacks by the CIA/ISIS and the Patriots decide to do what o’bama won’t do, killing ISIS)

  3. Hosea Mcadoo says:

    A requirement of a police state.

  4. cyclist says:

    It was amazing how all the military equipment was so readily available in Watertown and how quickly everything was shut down.