Podcast: How Our “Local” Police Became a Standing Army of Occupation
With every day providing new — and infuriating — examples of indefensible criminal violence by law enforcement officers, many Americans are beginning to perceive their local police as a army of occupation, rather than a group of sworn peace officers committed to the defense of individual liberty and property rights.
Is that perception accurate? Has police violence escalated in recent years — or is there something innately wrong with government police agencies?
In a brief but comprehensive interview with radio host Scott Horton, Republic magazine managing editor William N. Grigg examines the history of the paramilitary organizations called “police departments,” discusses the problematic aspects of America’s British-derived law enforcement apparatus, and reviews some of the reasons why formerly civilian police agencies have become militarized.
The interview touches on the recent SWAT raid against a teenage girl and her grandmother in Evansville, Indiana, which was staged in response to anonymous on-line comments critical of the local police. The program also deals with the striking similarities between contemporary militarized law enforcement and the mafia — such as the quasi-official code of silence that protects corrupt and abusive police officers, and dictates retaliation against conscientious officers who insist on putting the truth ahead of tribal loyalty. (Some of those comparisons reflect better on the Mob, unfortunately.)
Listen to the interview here.