Breaking news, as well as the most pressing issues of political, economic and social life. Opinion and analysis. Programs produced and made by journalists from Sputnik studios.

Will Americans Welcome the Coming Police State With Open Arms?

Will Americans Welcome the Coming Police State with Open Arms?
Another black man has died in police custody. In response, people are up in arms across America. But will the riots lead to more people calling for the State to normalize the situation? And what role does the media play in shaping the narrative?

A young black male in police custody turns up dead, setting off a social movement. If you think you heard this story last week, well, you probably did. The story has been on repeated over the last few years, from Trayvon Martin in Florida to Eric Garner in New York to Michael Brown in Ohio and now Freddie Gray in Baltimore. While all of the young men had troubled pasts, the entire debate is now focused on how the police interact with the public. But really, it isn’t the public in general, it is a very specific group of people that happen to be poor, from a minority ethnic group and that happen to live in a certain area. As proof of this, an analysis of the available FBI data by —“ shows that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: black people accounted for 31 percent of police shooting victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the US population.” This is wrong. But there is also something troubling with the way that these cases are being sold to the public by the media. We can see that there are catch-phrases/slogans, manipulation of imagery/audio, selective fact reporting and information purposely left out. Shaping the narrative is what the media does, but to what end?

The Trayvon Martin story had a number of questionable incidents, as reuters reported that — “a veteran tv producer at nbc edited a tape of George Zimmerman's 911 call before he shot Trayvon Martin.” It further went on to note — “The edit made it appear as though Zimmerman told police that Martin was black without being prompted, when, in fact, the full tape reveals that the neighborhood watch captain only did so when responding to a question asked by the dispatcher.” In fact, notes that 3 different NBC news staffers were fired for different incidents.” Then there are the photographs of Trayvon Martin. The media continued to use the photo that showed him to be young smiling preteen, when in reality he was a nearly full-grown 17-year-old that according to his Facebook pictures was anything but smiling.

The story of Michael Brown is similar to Trayvon Martin, as photographs of a young Michael Brown were used again and again, although a different Michael Brown may be found if searched via google images. Even after the media trial and a grand jury, it is still unclear about what happened there on that fateful day although we do know that society has become even more polarized. Michael Brown gave us the #handsup hashtag, although it was not clear how he could have hand his hands up since he was apparently shot in the back while he was running away.

The story of Eric Garner is tragic intersection of big brother and crushing liberty-stealing laws. The police had been called because of a street fight between two men, Eric Garner had stopped that fight and was standing nearby, a hero. The police knew him because of his business selling single cigarettes, which had been legal until just a few months before. When the police arrived, they hassled him and subsequently killed him. The public never would have known about the incident if it hadn't of been recorded and released and then if the officers involved hadn’t been found innocent by a jury.

Enter Freddie Brown. The young man was taken in police custody and then turned up dead. As a result, the city of Baltimore has been up in flames for several days now. And the riots seem to be spreading to other cities. But, once again, there seems to be something strange going on. A story at noted that- “An analysis of social media traffic has unearthed striking connections to the protests in Ferguson, Mo. The firm found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore that were also tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson…it suggests the presence of "professional protesters" or anarchists taking advantage of Freddie Gray's death to incite more violence.” As further proof this, Fox analyst and former NYPD detective Bo Dietl connected the murder of NYPD officers by a man from Baltimore earlier this year and "outside agitators" instigating protests. Specifically, he said —“ It was the usual suspects, the ones who come into New York here. The agitators were there. And I saw — it's just funny to see — these white guys, six-foot tall white guys with bandanas over their faces. They're trying to hide their faces, what are they doing there? One thing. They're trying to stir up the young kids, and make it like [this is] right.” So, who are these professional provocateurs?

The Baltimore Sun reported on another strange occurrence —“it started with word on social media of a "purge" — a reference to a movie in which crime is made legal. It was to begin at 3 p.m. at Mondawmin Mall, then venture down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Inner Harbor.” However, reported that — “…the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway station. They also blockaded roads…and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.” It went on to quote an eyewitness — "The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board. They were waiting for the kids…Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown. With police unloading busses, and with the nearby metro station shut down, there were few ways for students to clear out.” published an article which asked —“Why were so many police vehicles conveniently parked along the street in areas where the worst violence happened?  After the destruction of a number of police vehicles on Saturday night, the Baltimore police had to know that they were prime targets.  So why were there even more police vehicles available for rioters to destroy on Monday?  And where were the cops that should have been protecting those vehicles? Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake might have provided the answer. She was quoted as saying — “…We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” Why would a Mayor seemingly condone violence and destruction of her city?

To answer this question, we should examine the Mayor herself. notes that —“Rawlings-Blake was one of three mayors who provided broad input into President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which advocates the federalization of police departments across the country.” went on to note —“This could explain her inaction to stop the rioting when it began: by allowing it to spiral out of control, the mayor and her friends at the Justice Dept. could use the unrest to justify the expansion of federal power into local law enforcement, which would also allow her to receive more funding.” Let’s not forget that the city of Baltimore is basically broke.

And maybe this is the big untold story. The federalization of the local police force aka the rise of the police state. Not only have the Feds given surplus military gear such as machine guns, drones and even MRAPS, which are basically light tanks, but over the last few years media has run numerous stories about how various government agencies are suddenly being militarized. Everyone from the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department now have SWAT units. Even the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, are also among the federal agencies which have taken to purchasing ammunition and weaponry in bulk.

In fact, notes that as of 2008, “73 federal law enforcement agencies… [employ] approximately 120,000 armed full-time on-duty officers with arrest authority.” Four-fifths of those officers are under the command of either the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice.

Seven years ago, the U.S. Army War College issued a report calling on the military to be prepared should they need to put down civil unrest within the country. Summarizing the report, investigative journalist Chris Hedges declared, “The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a ‘violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,’ which could be provoked by ‘unforeseen economic collapse,’ ‘purposeful domestic resistance,’ ‘pervasive public health emergencies’ or ‘loss of functioning political and legal order.’ The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’”  Is this why operation Jade Helm is to begin in just a few weeks time?

As the Washington Post recently noted, America’s economy continues to collapse and people are starting to realize the men behind the curtain are running out of tricks. Civil disobedience has devolved into outright rioting and calls for the State to normalize the situation are growing louder. Although medical issues seem to be ok, things could change in an instant. With the rising corporatocracy on one hand and the shrinking job market on the other, things aren’t looking good for the little guy in the near future.

So, what do you think dear listeners, Will Americans welcome the coming police state with open arms?

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала