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    Posted August 20, 2014 by
    Calhoun, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Black Lives Matter protests (2014)

    cateswm and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Your view of police brutality protests
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    Police State

    Is this a race issue for the ACLU, or a right-wing case of ‘police state’?

    An instance is seldom found where both super right-wingers and Al Sharpton both have something bad to say about the way the government handles things. I’m sure there are other instances, just can’t think of any off the top of my head. But this instance of chaos provoked the minds of almost everyone who tapped in, and everyone has criticism for the way things were handled; regardless of skin color.

    Yes, this started as a race issue; a white cop shot an unarmed black male in the street of a predominantly black neighborhood with a predominantly white police force. That’s just asking for racial criticism. However, as this story unfolded, the handling of the protests became more harsh. The display of force was overwhelming and drew the attention of the nation.

    There have long been racial concerns over white-on-black, or police-on-black violence. I am not trying to discredit those concerns, as I know that racism still exists and is a legitimate cultural problem. But with the tactics presented by the police in Ferguson, there is a second major issue tacked on to this social catastrophe. That issue has been addressed by many conservative groups, but has not hit the national spotlight like it has in the Ferguson story.

    Police State. Attitude is the first problem. The attitude of ‘do what I say without question, and no one gets hurt’, has been expressed by some members of law enforcement, and is just plain wrong. I hope everyone realizes that, as taxpayers, we pay their salary. Law Enforcement are there to serve the needs of the people, not to incite fear; and innocent people being arrested and bullied for no reason is scary. There have been many people arrested in Ferguson for that reason: null.

    By the same token, people should wait until we have all the facts before incriminating that officer. I believe in due process, and so should you. If you are so quick to judge Darren Wilson, without evidence, why should the police take a different stance?

    Second problem: scale of force. What I mean by that is the equipment that is used, and the tactics employed. In recent years, police departments across the country have been outfitted with military-grade weapons, fit for war. They have M-16s, Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and a slew of Military standard issued equipment at their disposal. This equipment, along with their tactics, are for fighting an Army; not their own citizens. And yet, in Ferguson, we see those tactics, and that equipment being deployed in the streets. Why?

    There are law enforcement out there that do it right, to their credit. And I commend those officers who have spoke out for the rights of the people. However, those few are becoming less prevalent, I fear.

    Everyone needs to keep this government in check, and ensure they are not overstepping their bounds. Don’t vote based on your family, your friends, or your cultural bias. Vote on the basis of fact, and what is right and wrong. That is the peaceful way to ensure the stability and freedom of this country.
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