Stop Arming Warrior Cops!
August 20, 2014
Tear gas, military grade rifles, and armored tanks. This isn’t a description of Iraq–– this is what is currently being deployed on protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, right here in the United States. And it’s the federal government that’s pushing military equipment on local police departments.
Tell the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel: Stop giving military equipment to law enforcement agencies!
On August 9, 2014, a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri profiled and fatally shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, leaving his body uncovered in the street for hours. Just days later, Los Angeles Police Department offices pulled the trigger on another young black man, 24-year-old Ezell Ford, who was lying face down on the cement when repeatedly shot in the back. We know these aren’t isolated incidents we are witnessing on the T.V. Racial profiling and targeted state violence has a horrific history in communities of color in America.
That’s why we have joined thousands of concerned Americans across the country to speak out against the institutional violence against black youth. But even our right to dissent is under attack, as local protestors in Ferguson are being met with excessive response by a hyper-militarized police force.
These images don’t lie. Police are escalating the situation by indiscriminately firing rubber bullets and tear gas canisters into neighborhoods, hitting children in their path, arresting journalists, installing curfews and checkpoints, and patrolling neighborhoods with equipment directly from war zones. Enough is enough, no more wars abroad and wars on our communities!
A shocking report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found police agencies across the country using surplus goods directly from the battlefield, given to them by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. This military surplus program has ballooned from $1 million in 1990 to $450 million in 2013! Among the weaponry deployed is armored mine resistant trucks, armored personnel carriers, camouflage uniforms and assault rifles.
Should our neighborhoods be war zones? No! Tell the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security to stop sending military equipment to local law enforcement agencies!
Join us in condemning the profiling of black youth across the country and in calling for an end to excessive equipping of local law enforcement.
In memory of those whose lives were taken far too early and without due process,
Alli, Anastasia, Holly, Jodie, Janet, Jes, Medea, Nancy, Sophia, and Tighe
PS: Find reports and resources to take more action at www.aclu.org/militarization.
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