Went to the movies (continued)

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror at 3:19 pm by George Smith

Urban Warrior

When and where: Hulu, free, marked as a documentary on police militarization, dated 2007. Apparently, first distributed in 2000-2001, where it went straight to video. Possibly updated much later.

Summary: A snapshot, anywhere from eight to almost fifteen years old, one useful in illustrating how much worse things are now and that, yes, this country is a police state.

A bunch of things to know:

1. Stan Goff, a staff sergeant expert in urban warfare trained Los Angeles Police and others in civilian suppression tactics, the worst of which is euphemistically called Dynamic Entry. Dynamic Entry was developed for use in killing people in house-to-house fighting, at night, in a war zone. Now it’s the common tactic in no-knock police raids. If there is something in someone’s hand when a raid is conducted, they are to be immediately neutralized. This means being shot. Twice. Goff tells the audience, years ago — remember, that this means a lot of problems when used on civilians. No kidding. There is a segment, now dreadfully familiar, in which an African-American was riddled by gun-fire in such a raid, while he was in the process of calling 911 because he heard the SWAT team outside.

2. MRAPs have gotten a lot bigger and more ubiquitous. In Urban Warrior they’re about half the size you see now.

3. Posse comitatus was essentially dead, the public just didn’t realize it, when Urban Warrior was shot.

4. Non-lethal and less-than-lethal weapons have strict envelopes for usage. For example, many are not to be used on children, the disabled, the mentally ill or the elderly. Chemicals are not to be used in barrages. People are not to be shot in the eyes, head, face or other soft parts. All that has been out the window for ten to fifteen years. Non-lethal weapons are used to start fires, asphyxiate, knock people unconscious through concussion, or blind them.

5. Steve Aftergood, someone we all know, is in it, giving him a listing at IMDb. At the end, a short discussion about 9/11 is tacked on. How the military can be used at home after terrorism is becoming “fluid,” he says. Now, we might say, it is a swirling toilet in which we, but especially African Americans and the poor, can be flushed down the hole by paramilitary action that comes in the dead of night.

6. The Battle in Seattle, or the protests against the World Trade Organization, which had already gone very poorly, was escalated by authorities and police because the President, Bill Clinton, was coming to town and the city center needed clearing.

7. If the people who made Urban Warrior had had the time to add a segment on what the future might hold if Americans continued to choose illusions of security over civil liberties and fairness, videotape from the riots and police responses in Ferguson and Baltimore would have fit perfectly.

8. Then as now, the brunt of police paramilitary operations has been born by the African-American population, the poor and the easily stigmatized.

That alleged slow down on police militarization has certainly gone well.

Here, an MRAP — much larger than any shown in Urban Warrior, for a county with a population a little over a third of Pasadena.

Another 25-ton MRAP for La Crosse, Wisconsin, population — coincidentally — again one third of Pasadena. “It is intended to keep people safe,” is the word.

The SWAT raid blotter.

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