Target: Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the U.S.
Goal: Demilitarize domestic police forces in the U.S.
According to multiple online sources, such as the police watchdog website “filmingcops.com,” American citizens are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist. Over the past two decades, and especially since 9/11, domestic police forces in the U.S. have been purchasing more military grade weapons and employing more militarized task forces like SWAT teams. Despite claims that these are efforts to fight against terrorism, police are pointing their guns almost exclusively at American citizens.
Those ‘protecting’ us from terrorists are far more likely to kill us than terrorists themselves. Domestic police forces in most American cities are equipped with high-powered automatic rifles and explosives; most with tear gas and rubber bullets as well which they use to suppress peaceful protests. Increasingly, police officers are encouraged to use deadly force in domestic crime situations, and increasingly officers are protected by the “Blue Shield” in cases of unnecessary force; meaning that the entire police force will protect an individual officer from legal proceedings in cases of abuse of power.
What the militarization of domestic police forces signals is the fortification of government power against the public. When we protest peacefully, we are gassed and shot at with rubber bullets. When we’re even suspected of a serious crime, we’re shot at with real bullets and an intent to kill. And even when were not suspected of anything at all, we’re seized and searched, and then charged for any technicality the police can come up with.
Militarized police forces are a threat to all Americans, however it’s important to know that these military tactics have been overwhelmingly used against racial minorities, and that police power abuses against racial minorities almost always go unreported by the media. We’re seeing the building process of a police-state infrastructure; it has been used successfully against racial minorities for decades now, and will increasingly become part of daily life for every American. Sign the petition to demand that the Justice Department scale back the militarization of our police forces.
Dear Mr. Holder,
Regardless of the intentions behind the increasing militarization of domestic police forces in the U.S., the outcome has been frighteningly oppressive for most citizens. With every local police department ready to employ automatic rifles and tear-gas at a moment’s notice, citizens are constantly under threat of a full-blown military strike from the people who are supposed to protect them. Americans are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist; something is very wrong with this situation.
Racial minorities in the U.S. have experienced police militarization for decades now, and the results have been disastrous; for instance black American men are 6 times more likely to be sentenced to prison than white American men for the exact same crime. Recently, as we’ve seen with the Occupy Wall Street protests, our militarized police forces are turning their guns on all of us. The severe abuses of police power that racial minorities have long experienced are now being felt by the general population, and we demand that it stop before it gets any worse. Do the right thing for your country by taking military powers away from domestic police forces, to stop the oppression of free and innocent citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: OregonDOT