Suburban SWAT teams

Jesse Walker of Reason’s Hit & Run blog offers up an example of how a suburban SWAT team sees itself. Think heavily militarized and complete with an APC. As Walker notes: “This isn’t unusual. It’s part of the culture of policing in much of America. The consequences are on display in Ferguson right now.”

Michael Lowrey

Michael Lowrey is a contributor to Carolina Journal and a policy analyst for the John Locke Foundation. Lowrey has written numerous articles for the foundation on topics su...

Reader Comments

  • clayj

    And yet they seem completely incapable of arresting rioters, looters, and curfew violators.

  • richie

    I pressed Durham (sheriff dept.) to stop exposing their guns at a 4yo’s daycare (hip-holsters are at a 4yo’s nose height.)

    The sheriff’s office gave excuse after excuse, very defensive of their omnipotent ability to do whatever they wanted.

    They never responded to my actual request – that they wear shoulder holsters under a jacket. It’s all “Guns with no brains” if you ask me.

  • Tandemfusion

    The very specific problem that arises out of the general militarization of the police lies in that they see situations to which they respond as battles to be won. Rather than simply focusing on law enforcement and doing so intelligently and rationally, they identify an enemy and seek to defeat them. In other words the goal changes: it ceases to be a measured response to citizens and morphs into an all or nothing encounter in which there must be a loser. In Ferguson that is highly visible.

  • cheld

    In June Rep. Alan Grayson introduced an amendment to the NDAA to prohibit funds from being used to transfer certain kinds of military surplus to local police departments.

    Among the representatives voting to kill the amendment? Lacy Clay, Democrat, who represents Ferguson, MO.

    Also voting against it: Robert Pittenger and Patrick McHenry.

    If you are not actively working to remove Pittenger, McHenry, and their ilk from office, then YOU are the problem.

  • cheld

    Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who claimed to have been “thunderstruck” by the sights of militarized police in Ferguson, is an active supporter of the program allowing Pentagon military hardware to be transferred to local gestapolice departments:

  • cheld


    Your point illustrates why the Founders prohibited standing armies.