"...if anyone thinks that the militarization of our police force isn't a huge issue in this country, I've got a story to tell you."
That's what Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly put up on his Facebook page after being arrested by Ferguson, Missouri police.
Ryan was working on his laptop in a McDonald's near the protests in Ferguson, MO, when police barged in, armed with high-powered weapons, and began clearing the restaurant. Ryan photographed the intrusion, and police demanded his ID in response. Ryan, as is his right, declined to provide it. He proceeded in packing up his belongings, but was subsequently arrested for not packing up fast enough. Both Ryan and Wesley were assaulted.
Wesley is Wesley Lowery, a reporter for the Washington Post, who was also arrested. Lowery ....
“I hope you’re happy with yourself,” one officer told me. And I responded: “This story’s going to get out there. It’s going to be on the front page of The Washington Post tomorrow.”
And he said, “Yeah, well, you’re going to be in my jail cell tonight.”
“Who’s media?” he asked.
We said we were. And the officer said we were both free to go. We asked to speak to a commanding officer. We asked to see an arrest report. No report, the officer told us, and no, they wouldn’t provide any names.
I asked if there would ever be a report. He came back with a case number and said a report would be available in a week or two.
“The chief thought he was doing you two a favor,” he said.
If younger readers would like to know what the racial tensions of the 50's and 60's looked like.....take a good look at what stormtroopers in Ferguson are doing....to unarmed protestors and to media representatives.
Some writers on the left have been warning about the militarization of U.S. police forces ever since 9-11. Now, perhaps others will understand why.
The hacker group Anonymous understands the problem....and, amazingly, is fighting back on behalf of the Ferguson protestors....
To the Ferguson Police Department and any other jurisdictions who are deployed to the protests, this is your warning. We are watching you very closely. If you abuse, harass, or harm the protesters in Ferguson, we will take every web-based asset of your departments and federal agencies offline. That is certainly not a hollow threat, but it is a promise. If you attack the protesters, we will attack every server and computer you have. We will d0x and release the personal information on every single member of the Ferguson Police Department, as well as any other jurisdiction that participates in the abuse. We will seize all your databases and e-mail spools and release them to the public. You have been warned.
In September, John Anthony Borell III of Toledo, Ohio was sentenced to three years in prison for hacking the websites of several law enforcement agencies across the US in early 2012; another hacktivist, Jeremy Hammond, is currently serving 10 years for pleading guilty to a crime spree that included the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and computer servers used by various New York State police chiefs among its targets.
While Teas and Patriots and militias have been parading around carrying weapons in public, pretending they are prepared to take on "rogue" governmental forces....Anonymous has been....well...taking on rogue governmental forces.
Obviously, citizen groups have no chance against militarized police forces....despite all the Bundy bravado. But hackers? They can cause some real embarrassment for establishment players. Hackers can expose the secrets law enforcers hide from the public. Hackers can expose the truth to the masses......and are therefore, much more dangerous to public officials than guys armed to the teeth waving Gadsden flags.
I think we're seeing the framework of the long struggle ahead of us. President Obama's most egregious action has been in prosecuting whistleblowers for releasing "secret" information which is embarrassing to his administration. Now it is clear that state and local law enforcers are following Obama's lead.
Remember when all those firefighters and police stood at street corners after 9-11 holding out firefighter boots for your donations? Remember how proud you were to donate a little something to our "first responders?" Didn't you feel patriotic?
As we watch the militarily-equipped stormtroopers abusing citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, as we hear about those same military-equipped troopers harassing and arresting journalists......let me ask you....how patriotic do you feel now?
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