We're a little crazy, about science!

Day 286: On the militarization of police

Police violence

Photo from Slate

The US is under attack, not by some foreign power, but by the people tasked to protect us. The police have increasingly become more militarized and as such their power to incite violence has increased exponentially alongside its budget. Notice I said incite violence, not end violence.

The government loves spending money on the military. I’m fairly confident that if it could, there would be no budget left for any other program other than those connected to the military. School funding gets cut more and more almost every year, but military spending (source) is almost always increasing (further current reading)(further older reading).

Interestingly the budget for police spending follows a similar trend to military spending in that it is almost always increasing (further reading). You would think that as spending increases our safety increases and you would be wrong (further reading)(more in case that didn’t convince you). Instead we see a common theme, police are violent and above the law (further reading)(Previous post explaining this in detail).

More and more people are being thrown into prison not because they are violent, but because they have a mental illness (further reading). Police are not trained to de-escalate situations and often times we try to warn people not to call the police because they have a history if escalating to violence (further reading). So it should be no surprise that time and time again when the police are sent to a non-violent protest we see police instigated violence and escalation (further reading with links to possibly graphic videos).

Now the national guard is being called in to help escalate the situation. Yes, you read that right escalate. The more people protest police violence the more police violence we are seeing and that is not an accident. This escalation means that they can further justify often times deadly force to stop the protests. They are literally trying to incite a riot so they can use our superior military force to end it. This isn’t the first time the United States has used this tactic and it won’t be the last (further reading).

To that end, if you are in the middle of it — and I hope you are — try to stay safe. Wear eye protection, police are shooting protesters and media in the face (further reading). Wear a mask, for multiple reasons. First COVID is still a thing unfortunately and it will make it harder for the police to identify you, that last part is important. Lastly, pepper spray is oil based, use a gentle soap and plenty of water. I know people push milk, but you want to break up the oil and soap will do this for you.

Lastly, thank you for fighting back.

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