Roddy’s 1st temptation: Re-militarization of police under Trump

The group Concerned Citizens for Justice expressed alarm over police militarization prior to the naming of David Roddy as Chattanooga police chief. (Photo Concerned Citizens for Justice)

The group Concerned Citizens for Justice expressed alarm over police militarization prior to the naming of David Roddy as Chattanooga police chief. (Photo Concerned Citizens for Justice)

The seeming commitment of the Andy Berke administration toward police reform comes under a temptation days after city council voted to approve the nomination of David Roddy as chief of police.

That temptation is signaled in a speech given Monday in Nashville by federal attorney general Jeff sessions to the chief police Lobby, the national Fraternal Order of Police.

By David Tulis / Noogaradio 1240 AM

In that speech Miss recessions says that President Trump on Monday reinstated the 1033 program from the Department of Defense that puts into the hands of mayors and their police departments and county sheriff’s department’s military equipment such as grenade launchers, machine guns, .50-caliber Barrett rifles and other instruments of state power.

“Assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be re-purposed to help state, local and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime,” Mr. Sessions said.

“We’re not talking about tanks and cannons,” said James Pasco, the FOP’s executive director. “Armored vehicles don’t attack people; they protect people and not everyone can afford this equipment.”

In Chattanooga prior to Roddy’s taking the post, the doctrinaire left opposed him on grounds of his military demeanor. Concerned Citizens for Justice, 30 year old civil rights group, warned against Rowdy in favor of the leading alternate, Edwin McPherson. My local economy analysis favored Mr. McPherson on additional grounds that his being black would give him sympathy with the group most oppressed by policing, namely blacks and the poor.

‘Respect for police’ with armored cars

Mayor Berke in his Roddy speech highlighted the reform argument of valuing every human life, suggesting he will direct his department’s officers not to kill people extra-judicially under the “lines in the sand” kill-zone legacy thinking that finally came under major assault since the Ferguson, Mo., slaying and riots in 2014. Mayor Berke related the courageous actions of officer Jeffrey Abbott who used words rather than a bullet to nullify a potentially lethal threat. Mr. Abbott could easily have shot dead a drunken man firing a pistol. But instead he cajoled him to drop his firearm.

Mr. Sessions portrays the re-militarization of policing in terms of protecting lives of officers and opposing “radicals who promote agendas that preach hostility rather than respect for police.”  He said president Trump wants to “restore law and order and support our police across America.”

“I am here to announce that President Trump is issuing an executive order that will make it easier to protect yourselves and your communities,” Mr. Sessions said, according to a published transcript. “He is rescinding restrictions from the prior administration that limited your agencies’ ability to get equipment through federal programs, including life saving gear like Kevlar vests and helmets and first responder and rescue equipment like what they’re using in Texas right now.”

The federal government’s 1033 program has “recycled” more than F$5.4 billion in used gear and once police to “repurpose it in the fight against terrorism, crime, and disaster relief.” President Trump does not want to “put superficial concerns above public safety,” Mr. Sessions said.

Local economy — sorry

The police group is one of the nation’s most powerful lobbies, enshrining in federal and state laws immunities for police officers whose actions are often at the level of crimes and civil torts, but for which they are not able to be held responsible at law. Cops have killed 816 people men and women thus far this year, and in 2016 took the lives of 1,162 people. In the past 10 years, 24 Americans were killed by terrorism, an anti-gun group,, said in 2016.

“Roughly translated, the FOP’s motto means ‘Law is a safeguard of freedom,” Mr. Sessions said. “I would go one step further by saying that rule of law is the safeguard of freedom.  The law secures our God-given rights, and you – the officers who enforce it – ensure that all Americans enjoy those rights.”

The interest of local economy and free markets is one that views policing at the root as hostile the individual and too innocent and harmless civilian life in Chattanooga and points beyond. Policing is inherently a progressive and statist activity — with a questionable legal basis in Tennessee law. In Chattanooga, policing serves the interest of the chief executive of municipal government, that job held today by Mayor Berke. It is a didactic tool to manage the poor and to keep in business the judicial-industrial complex managed by county government and the city corporation and the department of correction in Nashville, with its 29,000 enslaved souls.

Uproar, riot, civil war unlikely

The fodder for this system are poor people whom are often harassed by commercial government claims against them touching on the right to travel (which police enforcers indicate does not exist by anyone in either car or truck).  Mr. Sessions’ renewal of the military program secures officers and their managers in their job of “law enforcement” and gives them confidence against the day of a feared civil unrest.

Among the people, in the context of policing, there is only despair and begrudging fear, especially among minorities. Revolt is unlikely; no spirit of principled resistance exists in any quarter, and hardly in the church, whose teachings give rise to the doctrines of interposition and nullification against lawless magistrates.

“It is both exceptionally dangerous and irresponsible for the administration to lift the ban on the transfer of certain surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement organizations,” said Janai Nelson, associate director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, according to a USA Today report. “Just a few summers ago, our nation watched as Ferguson raised the specter of increased police militarization. The law enforcement response there and in too many places across the country demonstrated how perilous, especially for black and brown communities, a militarized police force can be.”


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