My father was a police officer at the municipal, county, and state level from 1963 until 1991. He has lamented to me on numerous occasions about how when he first began working as a police officer, he was considered a "peace officer" who was much like the men in the top photo, whereas by the end of his career in the early 1990s, "peace officers" were now "law enforcement officers" who were much more likely to dress and act like the men in the bottom photo.
For some Americans, footage of the house-by-house searches conducted by Boston Pollice dressed like the law enforcement officers in the bottom photo was their initial introduction to the radical change in police weapons, uniforms, and tactics that has taken place over the last few decades. Oh sure, people know on some sort of level that this shift has taken place, but even I, being very aware of the excesses of our current federal and state governments, was quite shocked by the news and blogger footage of the house-to-house searches and the Orwellian justifications given for those searches that took place in and around Boston in the aftermath of the two bombs being set off at the Boston Marathon on April 15th.
Watch this minute-and-a-half report from a local Boston news station. It is tragically enlightening beyond belief. You see the strong arm Gestapo tactics - complete with menacing them with barking German Shepherds - being used against innocent homeowners; a compliant news reporter using Orwellian language such as his description of these homeowners, "being rescued at the point of a gun," and worst of all, the sheep-like interviewees who had no problem having a police officer stick a gun in their face all in the name of keeping them safe. This is in Boston, Massachusetts, mind you - the birthplace of the American Revolution. If the militia farmers from the Concord Bridge could see this news report, they would puke:
A blogger named Bob Owens, who writes for PJ Media (see my blogroll) and is much more eloquent and succinct than I, explained this phenomenon best:
When you arm, armor, and equip peace officers like combat infantrymen, but don’t give them the training, don’t be remotely surprised when they sling lead like a bunch of scared recruits just out of basic training. If you want cops to act like peace officers, force them to act like peace officers, not make-believe adjuncts to Seal Team 6.Mr. Owens was writing these words not only in response to the Gestapo-like tactics used by these officers as they forced homeowners out of their houses at gunpoint in clear violation of the 4th Amendment, but also to the ventilation with their AR-15 and M-4 rifles of the boat in which surviving Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev was hiding. This brings me to my next question. Initial reports said that Boston Police engaged in a 1-hour shootout with Tsarnaev as he hid in that boat. Then all of a sudden, it was reported that Tsarnaev wasn't even armed when he was finally taken down and arrested. So did the 1-hour firefight take place or did it not? Did the cops shoot at that boat for a whole hour without the the unarmed Tsarnaev shooting back, and if they did shoot at the boat for a whole hour, how in the world is Tsarnaev still possibly alive?
My time is limited, but I have more questions to ask in the near future.