If You Give a Cop an Assault Rifle, He’s Going to Ask for a Tank

…when you give him the tank, he’ll probably take your city hostage.

(Photo on right: Scott Olson Getty Images)

One of these photos shows a peaceful protest, the other shows a riot worthy of tear gas and rubber bullets. Go figure. (Photo on right: Scott Olson Getty Images)

Last night two reporters were arrested in Ferguson, MO; one from the Huffington Post and one from the Washington Post.  It’s a really, really big deal — not that the blatant crimes against the people of Ferguson aren’t already a big deal.

Journalists aren’t better than other people, but of course journalists being arrested will make headlines. Freedom of the press is pretty valued in the US, and these reporters have resources and a following much greater than the average person. If the police are willing to do this to someone with a well established media platform, it highlights that they don’t care about any sort of checks and balances.


About 85% of the world’s population live in countries that don’t protect press freedom. Places like Pakistan and North Korea completely shut out foreign reporters and block websites on a national scale. That’s terrifying.  Can you imagine living that way?

By arresting members of the press who have large scale media platforms backing them, who have more Twitter followers than you or I likely ever will, who have resources and funding behind them — the Ferguson police have showed they give exactly zero fucks about anyone or any potential consequences. How can average Joe expect to be treated? Journalists aren’t better than other people, but traditionally they are protected and they  are better equipped to share their story. Is the PD even thinking at this point, or are they just doing whatever the fuck they want?

So many people say they exercise their right to bear arms as a way to go up against the government if it is ever necessary. These are the people who came out to Bundy’s ranch. Remember him? Groups of people and private militias went to his place to make sure he wouldn’t have to pay taxes to the BLM (which is totally a bullshit govt department, to be sure) for letting his cattle graze on “their” land. Okay, fine. Soooo…where are these private militias now? Oooh, that’s right. Armed white people are a protest. Unarmed black people are a riot.

We’ve let the police become a militia. We’ve let them arrest our children and destroy their lives for things as simple as smoking pot. We’ve sat quietly by as they received military grade weapons in return for these heroic acts. Now is the time to stop supporting this, to understand how the system works and why it’s being done wrong.

Any area that has a population that is primarily black and only has 3 black police officers should be considered suspect from the get go.


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