Florida campus police militarization, students protest

This video from the USA says about itself:

Radley Balko on the Militarization of America’s Police Force: VICE Meets

28 August 2014

On August 9th, 2014 a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. The death of Brown fueled days of unrest in Ferguson. Protestors took to the streets and were met with heavily armed police officers in armored vehicles. It wasn’t long before Ferguson, a town of 21,000, resembled a war zone. This week’s VICE Meets is a conversation about the militarization of America’s police force, with journalist and author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, Radley Balko.

By Jennifer Portman, Tallahassee Democrat in Florida, USA:

FSU students to protest police ‘militarization’

7:03 a.m. EST January 27, 2015

Members of the Tallahassee Dream Defenders and Students for a Democratic Society plan to have a rally today calling for Florida State campus police to “demilitarize” and give up weapons and a combat vehicle the department purchased through a federal military surplus program.

Such equipment, purchased by thousands of state and local police agencies across the county through a U.S. Department of Defense program, gained attention when it was used by law enforcement officials during last year’s riots in Ferguson, Mo.

“We feel that it’s unsafe for a campus police department to have such excessive fire power,” said FSU sophomore Mark Niekus, president of the Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society. “There is no conceivable use for them except for using them on students who do not follow the rules.” …

The program, known as the 1033 program, was created in the 1990s to help law enforcement agencies get equipment to assist primarily in counter-drug and counter-terrorism efforts. Through the program, FSU police purchased a brand new amour-plated Humvee for $1,500, which [FSU Police Chief] Perry said would normally cost $83,000, as well as 10 semi-automatic rifles for $680. …

Niekus said the event is in response to the Missouri riots, but took time to come together. The rally is at 2 p.m. today at the Westcott Fountain.

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton on Thursday unveiled a new militarized police unit that will be trained and armed with heavy protective gear, long rifles, and machine guns to restrain terrorists and social justice protesters: here.

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