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Acoustic Cannon Sales to Police Surge After Black Lives Matter Protests

Acoustic Cannon Sales to Police Surge After Black Lives Matter Protests

During a company conference call with financial analysts last week, Tom Brown, the chief executive of LRAD, a military contractor, informed investors that sales were rolling in, not just from Chinese government agencies and the U.S. Navy, but also from American law enforcement.

LRAD manufactures an acoustic cannon that can be used either as a mounted loudspeaker or as a weapon to fire deafening noises at crowds of people.

Over the last year, following a wave of protests over officer-involved killings of black Americans, LRAD has seen an uptick in inquiries from police departments around the country.

Brown told financial analysts in a May conference call about the “renewed interest” from police departments. “A lot of grant money starts to flow to law enforcement, and we’re getting a lot of inquiries” following protests, he said. One inquiry he mentioned came from the Maryland Sheriff’s Department following the protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray.

Speaking to investors, LRAD executives explained that their product was on site in Baltimore, on loan from Montgomery County, Maryland, though officers ended up not using it on demonstrators. But, the LRAD executives added, the New York Police Department used the cannon as a loudspeaker to order demonstrators in Union Square who were holding a solidarity protest in support of the Baltimore actions to disperse.

 

Videos of the NYPD using the LRAD cannon to manage the demonstrators were widely circulated on YouTube, company officials boasted. “So we have been getting good press,” Brown noted, adding, “depending on which side of the press you’re looking at, but we’ve been getting very strong press from law enforcement.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Washington Post Reporter Charged with “Trespassing” in Ferguson, Missouri as the “War on Journalism” Continues

Washington Post Reporter Charged with “Trespassing” in Ferguson, Missouri as the “War on Journalism” Continues

A year ago, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery, was arrested in a McDonald’s in Ferguson Missouri. The fast-food establishment had been used as a staging area for several reporters, including theHuffington Post’s Ryan Rilley, who was also arrested. Here’s last year’s video clip of Mr. Lowery being harassed by a paramilitary police officer.

Although the men were later released without charges, a year later, they are being charged with “trespassing” by St. Louis County. TheWashington Post reports:

A Washington Post reporter who was arrested at a restaurant last year while reporting on protests in Ferguson, Mo., has been charged in St. Louis County with trespassing and interfering with a police officer and ordered to appear in court.

Wesley Lowery, a reporter on The Post’s national desk, was detained in a McDonald’s while he was in Missouri covering demonstrations sparked by a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Charging a reporter with trespassing and interfering with a police officer when he was just doing his job is outrageous,” Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post, said in a statement Monday. “You’d have thought law enforcement authorities would have come to their senses about this incident. Wes Lowery should never have been arrested in the first place. That was an abuse of police authority.

According to the summons, Lowery is being charged with trespassing on private property despite being asked to leave. He is also charged with interfering with a police officer’s performance of his duties because, the summons alleges, he failed to comply with “

These counts carry a possible fine of $1,000 and up to a year in a county jail, according to the St. Louis County municipal code.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Violent Conditions Generate Violent Revolts: The Logic of Rebellion

Violent Conditions Generate Violent Revolts: The Logic of Rebellion

My eyes were glued to my television set as I watched civil unrest unfold in Baltimore. Yet, as a historian who has studied urban rebellions, I was not surprised. Since last August, the question for me has not been why, but when.

I watched CNN’s and MSNBC’s coverage. What I noticed was not surprising, but vexing, nonetheless. Commentators like Al Sharpton, Dr. Jamal Bryant, and others resorted to condemning and condescending participants and denying the uprising’s political significance. The assumption that violence is senseless and apolitical was embedded in their sanctimony.

Now, I do not aim to advocate for the use of collective violence, but I believe it is imperative that we analyze its political significance. In yesterday’s press conference, President Obama argued that the “riot” distracted us from the pursuit of reform. I argue otherwise, the Baltimore rebellion not only highlights the problem of policing, it opens a space for analysis and conversation of all of the structural problems that President Obama mentioned in his reactions yesterday. Rebellions historically have also created political opportunities for reform. Dismissing collective violence as senseless, criminal, and apolitical narrows our frame for understanding the history of interconnected problems plaguing cities and municipalities like Baltimore and Ferguson such as racial and economic segregation and redlining, deindustrialization, overpolicing, the emergence of mass incarceration, and even criminal activity. I argue that collective violence is protest politics. Violent protest does contain a logic, even if it appears chaotic.

The pressing question underlying live analyses of the Baltimore uprising was: Why do African Americans rebel?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are We Being Psychologically Conditioned To Accept Martial Law In America?

Are We Being Psychologically Conditioned To Accept Martial Law In America?

Have you noticed that we are starting to be bombarded with images of troops in the streets?  Have you noticed that the term “martial law” is coming up a lot in movies, news broadcasts and even in television commercials?  In recent years, it seems like the solution to almost every major crisis involves bringing in troops.  In fact, it has already gotten to the point where when something really bad happens a lot of Americans immediately cry out for troops to be brought in.  And we are seeing the same patterns over and over again.  Just remember what happened in Ferguson – protesters were whipped up to a frenzy, when the riots began the police were ordered to stand down and not intervene, and finally National Guard troops were brought in as the “solution” to a crisis that had escalated wildly out of control.  This is the exact same pattern that we are witnessing in Baltimore, and as you will see below, National Guard troops all over the nation have been training for this exact type of scenario.  A couple of decades ago, many Americans would have regarded the notion of “martial law in America” as absolutely unthinkable, but these days the threat of civil unrest is causing an increasing number of Americans to embrace the idea of troops patrolling our city streets.

The anger toward the police that we see in the city of Baltimore is very real, but there also seem to be a lot of signs that the events of the past several days have been orchestrated and manipulated.   This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “12 Unanswered Questions About The Baltimore Riots That They Don’t Want Us To Ask“.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

In Every City In America There Are People Ready To Riot, Loot And Set Things On Fire

In Every City In America There Are People Ready To Riot, Loot And Set Things On Fire

The city of Baltimore has been transformed into an “absolute war zone“, and the governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency as the rioting in “Charm City” continues to escalate.  The funeral for Freddie Gray has unleashed a firestorm of violence, and none of it is going to do anyone any good.  To their credit, some of the leaders of the African-American community are standing up and loudly condemning the violence.  They know that smashing cars, throwing rocks at police and looting stores is not going to solve anything.  But just like we saw in Ferguson, there are lots of people out there that are ready to riot, loot and set things on fire at the drop of a hat – all they need is an opportunity.  The social decay that has been eating away at the foundations of our society for generations is now manifesting in some very ugly ways.  We have raised an entire generation of young people in a “value free” environment, and now we are getting to experience some of the consequences of our foolishness.  And what we are witnessing in Baltimore right now is just the start.  Eventually, we are going to see scenes like this all over the nation.

Thanks to social media, the violence that we saw in Baltimore on Monday is being broadcast to the entire planet.  The whole world is getting a really good look at what the decline of America looks like.  The following is how the New York Times described what took place…

Angry youths could be seen surrounding a police cruiser and smashing its windows in what police described as an organized attack by criminals — not demonstrators. Cars were set on fire, and stores’ windows were smashed in. Heavy smoke poured out of a CVS drugstore, which had earlier been overrun by looters. Several other businesses, including a liquor store and a check-cashing shop, were also looted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

The Clash of Civilizations

The Clash of Civilizations

The big turnout in Paris was bracing but it also might reveal a sad fallacy of Western idealism: that good intentions will safeguard soft targets. The world war underway is not anything like the last two. Against neo-medieval barbarism, the West looks pretty squishy. All of the West is one big fat soft target.

Recriminations are flying — as if this was something like a Dancing with the Stars contest — to the effect that the Charlie Hebdo massacre should not be labeled as “France’s 9/11.” It’s a matter of proportion, they say: only 12 dead versus 2977 dead, plus, don’t forget, the shock of two skyscrapers pancaking into the morning bustle of lower Manhattan. Interesting to see how the West tortures itself psychologically into a state of neurasthenic fecklessness.

The automatic cries for “unity,” only beg the question: for or against what? The same cries went up in the USA after the Ferguson, Missouri, riots and the Eric Garner grand jury commotion, pretty much disconnected from the reality of ghetto estrangement, as if unity meant brunch together. The demonstrators quickly reminded everybody that Homey don’t play brunch. If French politicians think that some magical overnight state of fraternité will congeal between the alienated Islamic masses and the rest of the citizenry, they’re liable to be disappointed. If anything, mutual distrust is only hardening on each side, and, anyway, I think that is not the kind of unity they have in mind. Over in Germany, they don’t have to travel very far psychologically to recall the awful efficiency of Hitler in purifying the social scene according to some dark cthonic principle that remains essentially unexplained even after all these years and ten thousand books on the subject. It happened that he picked on a group that wasn’t disturbing the peace in any way; if anything, the Jews were busier than anyone contributing to Western culture, knowledge, and science.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Policing Justice Requires Economic Justice, Part I | Occupy.com

Policing Justice Requires Economic Justice, Part I | Occupy.com.

Demonstrating in Ferguson late in the summer, activist and former Green Party vice presidential nominee Rosa Clemente posted to Facebook:

“We ran to get away and were surrounded on a small path on [a] bridge, surrounded by all types of police and told to lie down and put our hands up. We complied and we were told if we did not stop moving we would be shot. We were breathing. The young brother lying on my feet as I was holding him was not able to control his breathing he said ‘I’m choking’ the cop told him to stop or he would shoot him. I told him ‘try not to move, just lay still I got you.'”

“The gun was at his chest. I looked at the cop and said ‘please, he is not doing anything’ I tried to record but the cop had his finger on the trigger . . . We laid there until one Black officer said ‘Let them go, we got who we wanted.’ In all my life I have never been so terrified . . . What is going down here in Ferguson in all my years of activism, organizing, I have never seen.”

A few months later, Ferguson exploded again as a highly problematic Missouri grand jury failed to indict Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown. A week later, a New York grand jury failed to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner—on video, with Garner pleading for his life, not behaving violently, the victim of an illegal police procedure.

Dayvon Love, director of the Baltimore-based Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, wrote in response: “The goal is not to make white people care about our pain, the goal is to be so effectively organized that it does not matter if they care.”

– See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/policing-justice-requires-economic-justice-part-i#sthash.vwfyvLNZ.dpuf

Now Eric Garner | KUNSTLER

Now Eric Garner | KUNSTLER.

The Beauty Shop had barely stopped smoldering in Ferguson, Missouri, when the Eric Garner grand jury decision came down on Staten Island — no probable cause to indict one particular cop for something — manslaughter? — in his choke-hold take-down of the 300-pound cigarette-seller. For my money, they should have indicted the whole gang of cops who were there that day, including the black female NYPD sergeant on the scene ostensibly “supervising” the action, at least for something like negligent homicide, since the infamous video shows them acting cruelly, stupidly, and indifferently as the poor guy just lay dying on the sidewalk.

Worse, the decision only muddied the public’s view of several events in recent years involving black people, police, and standards of behavior so that now a general opinion prevails that all black people are always treated badly for no reason. That was the same week, by the way, that a white Bosnian immigrant named Zemir Begic was bludgeoned to death by three black teenagers wielding hammers who were out beating on stopped cars on a St Louis street — a crime that was barely covered in the news media, and went unprotested outside the immigrant neighborhood where it occurred. It’s hard to blame the public for being confused about what may or may not be happening across the nation, but history will surely judge this as a tragic time for America.

If we can’t or won’t unpack the separate issues in these matters, the country is going to get into a lot more trouble. One issue is whether police forces in the USA are becoming goon squads. The decision by the federal government to offload tactical military equipment, including armored war wagons, on police departments far and wide was disgracefully stupid since it only gives the impression, when hauled out, that the police are at war with the citizenry. There ought to be public discussion of just flat-out taking all that stuff away from them.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to increase public approval for the police state « The Burning Platform

How to increase public approval for the police state « The Burning Platform.

If someone were to design an event to bolster public support for a militarized police state, what would that event look like? Let us imagine:

  • The event involves a controversial use of force by police.  The event generates a national controversy and debate — a debate which the government has sufficient evidence to win in the end.  After facing criticism, the police demonstrate to the country that they were right and opponents were wrong.
  • The “victim” is as unsympathetic as possible; a suspect fleeing from an assault and robbery that took place on camera.
  • All the physical evidence supports the official version of events — illustrating how witnesses lie to condemn innocent cops.
  • Protests emerge and come off as unlikeable as possible, leaving a trail of theft, violence, arson, and destruction.
  • The media ends its silence on police brutality long enough to repetitively lionize the police and decry the actions of the deceased suspect and his violent supporters.  The media intensely focuses on the wanton violence and the danger of public protests.  Every statist pundit in the country chimes in, reiterating the righteousness of the police and the wrongness those who oppose them.

* * * * *

This scenario is not hypothetical. It currently playing out in Missouri, after a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson after shooting Michael Brown. Dozens of businesses, buildings, and vehicles have been looted and burned to the ground by the aggressive mobs that have exploited the occasion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

BBC News – Ferguson shooting: Protests spread across US

BBC News – Ferguson shooting: Protests spread across US.

 

A dozen US cities have seen new protests over the decision not to charge a white policeman who shot a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Demonstrations from New York to Seattle were mostly peaceful but rioting broke out in Oakland, California.

There was some unrest in Ferguson itself, with police making 44 arrests, but the town did not see rioting on the scale of Monday night.

The officer who killed Michael Brown there says he has a “clean conscience”.

Darren Wilson, who shot the 18-year-old on 9 August, told ABC News that in the struggle which preceded the shooting, he had felt “like a five-year-old holding on to [US wrestler] Hulk Hogan”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2,200 National Guard Troops To Be Deployed In Ferguson Tonight, Up From 700 | Zero Hedge

2,200 National Guard Troops To Be Deployed In Ferguson Tonight, Up From 700 | Zero Hedge.

While last night’s events in Ferguson raised many eyebrows over the decision to release the Jury decision late into the night, and even more tempers, as rampant destruction and looting quickly became the means by locals express their indignation with the US judicial system, some say they could have been worse. Still, just to make sure the second night of the Ferguson protests is not a replica of what happened yesterday, moment ago Missouri governor Jay Nixon announced he would dispatch a massive 2,200 national guard troops, up from 700 on Monday night: a presence that is set to make the city resembles an all out warzone. One can only hope the similarities end there.

From AP:

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says more than 2,200 National Guardsmen will be in place in the region near Ferguson on Tuesday night in the event of more violence.

He said Tuesday that hundreds more will be deployed to Ferguson, where fires and looting erupted Monday night after word that a grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The rest will be in a position to respond rapidly, if needed.

Nixon says 700 guardsmen were in the area on Monday night, when more than a dozen buildings were set on fire and otherwise vandalized.

Ferguson’s mayor said earlier in the day that the National Guard wasn’t deployed quickly enough as violent protests broke out.

“Down Outright Murder”: A Complete Guide to the Shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson – The Intercept

“Down Outright Murder”: A Complete Guide to the Shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson – The Intercept.

The nation is on edge, awaiting a grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown — an unarmed African American teen in Ferguson, Missouri — by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson more than three months ago. The decision is expected any day and there is widespread belief, based on weeks of leaks to the media and laws that historically favor police officers in lethal force cases, that Wilson will not be indicted. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has preemptively declared a state of emergency in anticipation of protests.

Brown’s killing, the culmination of an incident that the St. Louis Post Dispatch would later report lasted no more than 90 seconds, devastated a family with high hopes for their college-bound son and sparked some of the most significant civil rights demonstrations in a generation — casting a harsh light on the disproportionate number of black men killed by police, on St. Louis County’s exploitative and racially discriminatory municipal court system, and on the militarization of law enforcement.

In the months since Brown was killed, numerous eyewitnesses have come forward to describe what they saw during the teen’s final moments, while controversial disclosures to the press have served to describe Wilson’s version of the events that day.

This is everything we know about the shooting.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Police arrest protesters as Ferguson awaits grand jury decision | Reuters

Police arrest protesters as Ferguson awaits grand jury decision | Reuters.

(Reuters) – Police arrested five people in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight after they tried to block a street in a protest calling for a grand jury to charge a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen in August.

A few dozen demonstrators, some chanting: “Indict that cop,” gathered outside the Ferguson police station late on Wednesday in sub-freezing temperatures.

They were faced by officers in riot gear. The arrests were the first in about a week.

The grand jury has been meeting for three months to determine whether police officer Darren Wilson broke the law when he shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in an incident that exposed long-simmering racial tensions in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Reading the Road Map to a Police State – Aaron Tao – Mises Daily

Reading the Road Map to a Police State – Aaron Tao – Mises Daily.

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, by Radley Balko, PublicAffairs, 2013

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” —Charles de Montesquieu

If there was any silver lining to the horrifying events that took place in Ferguson, Missouri which riled the month of August, it has finally brought the issue of police militarization to the forefront. As outrageous as the police shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was, the brutal law enforcement response in the form of running roughshod over the First Amendmentand resorting to quasi-martial law to mostly peaceful protests by local residents and activists was worse. To many observers, what took place in a Midwest suburb was indistinguishable from scenes out of occupied Iraq.

How did this happen? For an answer, the writings of investigative journalist Radley Balko are an invaluable resource. Perhaps more than any other person, Balko has reported substantially onpolice militarization and injustice across the country for years.

 

…click on the link above for the rest of the article…

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