In the wake of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death, the spotlight is on Ferguson, Missouri and local police as they become increasingly more military-like.
Benswann.com and other voices in the liberty movement warned Americans of the rise of the “warrior cop” and warned of the dangers of the militarization of local police forces. In fact, Ben was interviewed on Adam vs the Man four months ago and at the time called the militarization of police “the biggest story in the nation the media isn’t covering.”
As previously reported by Barry Donegan, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul penned an editorial for Time magazine, stating the need for the demilitarization of police.
“The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.
“The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action,” wrote Paul.
Paul wrote that the rise of the militarization of local police has a lot to do with big government.
“Washington has incentive the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement,” he wrote.
The Department of Homeland Security provided grants for local police forces to expand SWAT and other military-style operations.
“When you couple this militarization of law enforcement with an erosion of civil liberties and due process that allows the police to become judge and jury—national security letters, no-knock searches, broad general warrants, pre-conviction forfeiture—we begin to have a very serious problem on our hands,” he wrote.
Paul received accolades from the black community and civil rights leaders.
In an interview with the Washington Post Dem Rep. John Conyers Jr. — the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus said, “I never thought of him in that light before,” Conyers said of Paul. “It certainly is heartening. I’m encouraged by that kind of observation.”
Many on the left and libertarians believe Paul can change the GOP and move it in a positive direction.
Watch Reason.com’s Nick Gillespie give his thoughts on Sen. Rand Paul: