Ferguson: War Zone or US City?

Protester holding up a sign that says Stop killing us.


Protester holding up a sign that says “Stop killing us.”

Hilda Delgado, Staff Writer

The police’s militarization has come to a boiling point, and their abuse of power needs to be controlled.

Earlier this month, a police officer from the Ferguson police department shot an unarmed, black teenager named Michael Brown. This occurrence sparked riots, violence and plain outrage. Local police have begun to use tear gas bombs and rubber bullets against protesters. There were even officers on top of cars in camouflage and body armor pointing weapons at innocent protesters.

What we are witnessing is a local police department becoming a paramilitary force, and it has become common in towns across America.

Having local cops outfitted with body armor, rifles and tear gas bombs is a complete crossing of the line for what is just supposed to be a local police force overseeing a town. For one thing, the increase in police equipment has not helped decrease crime. The federal government encourages local police to equip themselves like occupying armies, when in actuality the Department of Defense must stop providing war-fighting equipment, on which it spends billions of dollars. The money put towards these weapons should be allocated to more effective causes like drug and mental health treatment and housing.

When police officers are trained, they are taught to treat everybody as if they are a danger. This brews an anti-authoritarian culture, particularly in the case of young African Americans that receive constant racial profiling and persecution.

This issue needs to be resolved immediately because we can no longer go on like this. The Justice Department needs to fund programs to retrain police in racial sensitivity and use of guns. For this change to happen, it is also essential to decrease the amount of weapons officers carry on them. The police force is becoming a force much stronger than intended, and this must be reformed.