A few weeks ago we discussed the alarming changes in America’s police forces over the last few years. From approachable guardians of law and order too many of our cops seem to have been transformed into paramilitary assault squads festooned with DoD-surplus weapons and backed up by armored vehicles more suited to Fallujah than Ferguson. As recent events in Missouri show these new-model police don’t seem to be any better at preserving the peace than the old sort were. In fact all the signs are they’re a lot worse.
We won’t go into the actual shooting of Michael Brown; the picture is getting complicated there, with new witnesses and CCTV footage showing that someone strongly resembling him had assaulted a store owner minutes before he was shot and that he may have assaulted Officer Darren Wilson immediately before he was killed. It’s hard to get at the truth while tempers on all sides are high, but some other facts are obvious to anyone who looks and they raise some very serious questions about modern American policing.