Late Night Video — Police Should Dress for the Job They Have, Not for the Job They Want

Filed in National by on August 18, 2014

John Oliver takes on the militarization of the police as well as the serious lack of adult supervision in the Ferguson business. This is about 15 minutes long, but it is well worth it:


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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

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  1. pandora says:

    This is brilliant!

  2. bobsmith6019 says:

    How soon people forget.

    The North Hollywood shootout was an armed confrontation between two heavily armed and armored bank robbers and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles on February 28, 1997. Both robbers were killed, eleven police officers and seven civilians were injured, and numerous vehicles and other property were damaged or destroyed by the nearly 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired by the robbers and police.

    “Several officers also appropriated AR-15 rifles from a nearby firearms dealer. The incident sparked debate on the need for patrol officers to upgrade their capabilities in similar situations in the future”

    Due to the large number of injuries, rounds fired, weapons used, and overall length of the shootout, it is regarded as one of the longest and bloodiest events in American police history.
    I guess that ended the Pete Malloy and Jim Reed Police image for most of us.

  3. Geezer says:

    No, it ended it for the pants-wetters like you. Speak for yourself.

  4. cassandra_m says:

    No kidding. As if more military grade equipment is some miracle that would have stopped that. That shootout had a full SWAT team response AND no civilian or police officer was killed.

  5. Steve Newton says:

    @bobsmith6019: This is what cassandra loves to call the good old “false equivalency.”

    Because there was once a shoot-out in one of the countries three largest and most gang-infested metropolitan areas, all police forces have to be armed to the teeth.

    Even though the best example you could come up with is 17 years old.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    If you watch Oliver’s video, he makes the point of the silliness of the police wearing woodland or desert camo, when what urban cops really need is camo that makes them look like a Dollar Store.

  7. bobsmith6019 says:

    Steve, no this is what started the Police Departments around the country going to military grade equipment. So for 17 years this has been happening but now its a big thing. Where was all the complaining for the last 17 years?

  8. Steve Newton says:

    bobsmith6019: No, the move toward heavy armaments for big city departments goes well back into the early 1990s. The movement toward heavy armaments for small towns and suburban police forces is a post-9/11 phenomenon, and particularly driven by the 1033 program.

    As for where is the complaining was–Libertarians like me have been complaining about the militarization of police forces for decades. Since we now currently have 50,000 SWAT raids per year, 85%+ being either drug raids or to serve warrants, I’d say it is fairly safe to say that the future we predicted is already here.

  9. Another Mike says:

    This has not been happening for 17 years. The 1033 program is 25 years old. If you have been paying attention, there have been voices expressing concern for many years, but it took an incident like the one in Ferguson to bring it into the public eye on a large-scale level.

    BTW, The News Journal’s editorial today addresses the militarization of police. The paper refers to journalist “Randy Balko of the Cato Institute.” That would be news to Radley Balko of the Washington Post.

  10. Geezer says:

    Balko did not join the Post until earlier this year. He did most of his work on this issue for other outlets.

  11. SussexAnon says:

    Anyone know where the 3 C’s are on this?

  12. cassandra_m says:

    Haven’t heard a peep, SA. And why would they say anything? Especially Chris Coons who has some responsibility for why the DOJ Civil Rights Division does not have a permanent chief.