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Comments about ‘Families of those killed by Utah cops rally against police militarization’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 29 2013 11:00 p.m. MDT

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IdahoStranger
NEWDALE, ID

Tragic indeed! My condolences to those who have been wronged. May God bless you to find peace. I commend you for trying to right the wrong and prevent future events.

Some very valid concerns are reflected here. The effort to take away local control of our police has been going on for many years. President Obama has said that he wants and needs a national police force as large as our military! Stop and think about the ramifications of that for a minute.

Google: "Support your local police and keep them independent" to find out more and what you can do to keep our police forces under local control.

And perhaps we should bring our military home to defend our own borders as well. All the spillover from loose borders is placing enormous pressure on our local police to deal with problems that should be stopped at the borders.

At the same time I would like to commend and thank all the police officers who sincerely try to perform their jobs in a manner consistent with our constitution and who are trying sincerely to "Protect and Serve". That is not an easy job. I salute you!

Beverly
Eden, UT

If the 9/11 terrorist attack destoryed anything in America, it destroyed Community Policing. As funding flowed from the federal government to local law enforcement, most of the funds were earmarked for equipment that is better suited for war than helping communities. Equipment designed for war creates training designed for war like tactics. In the process officers view the community as the enemy and the only trustworthy people are other police officers. It is a national shame.

oldschooler
USA, TX

If people just do what an officer asks you to do as soon as they tell, there would be a LOT less incidents and deaths, but keep resisting and arguing and these are the results. Just obey the law and carry out officer' orders, is that simple.

higv
Dietrich, ID

No police wants to take a life and it is split 2nd decision. As for military even the Us military is were it is for mostly unselfish reasons. Taking a human life is the last thing any police officer wants to do and try to avoid it at all costs. IF people cooperated there would be no police slayings. Besides many police put there lives on the line to protect us. When a fatality occurs it is either the individual or the police.

Beverly
Eden, UT

Dear Oldschooler:
If only life was that simple. Police officers are human beings. Like all of us, they make mistakes. If you work in a non-threatening job, your mistakes will not hurt anyone. When you work in an environment filled with risk and threats, and you have the legal power to arrest, use force, and so forth, when mistakes are made, the can destroy lives. Just following the directions of a police officer is not sufficient advice to prevent the current problems facing Utah law enforcement.

DesignerGenes
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think it's telling that many police cars in the valley have changed their stenciled slogan from "To Protect and Serve," to "Solve the Problem." If you're not a cop, you're a 'perp' according to police logic. And you know exactly how the militarized police go about solving the problem.

JayTee
Sandy, UT

It's a sad day when we're actually paying and funding our enemies in this country. Unfortunately, the functional intelligence and ethical standards and requirements for someone hired in law enforcement are often amazingly low. Whenever there's a monopoly on power and/or resources, there are a number of individuals who display their character weaknesses by being "large and in-charge" and quick to lord it over others. Almost as astounding is the number of naive people who are quick to jump to the defense of the aggressors, and claim that "If you just comply completely and do as you're asked, all will be well and there will be no problem." The exact same phenomenon was seen in Germany with Hitler, and in Russia with Stalin. People will continue to put their pictures of food on Facebook, and in effect say, "Well, if it doesn't affect me personally, then I don't want to think about it." Sad days for America.

Crossfire5
Salt Lake City, UT

On January 4, 2012, Officer Mared Francom, 30, of ogden PD was shot and killed from ambush in the home of Matthew David Stewart. Five other officers were wouded in the ambush. This occurred during the service of a legal warrant on Stewart's home where he was growing marijuana. Francom left behind a wife, Erin, and two little girls, Samantha and Hailey. Was he remembered by the crowd at the library last night?

Danielle Wars may have been slight of build, but she was evidently using her very heavy Subaru vehicle as a weapon when she backed toward Officer Cowley at a high rate of speed. it seems that officers like Cowley, Francom, and others must join the statistics of Utah peace officers killed in the line of duty before certain groups of citizens are satisfied.

Nosea
Forest Grove, OR

The German Gestapo would murder German citizens over petty issues also, just because they would not comply with everything the officer demanded for instance -- is that really the kind of police state we want to live in in the US? That is where we are headed with way too many citizens being killed by police officers in any encounter they have over most often trifling matters. Do we want to give that kind of authority to often the least intelligent among us who go into law enforcement -- giving the most fire power to those often the least educated (certainly judging by some of the officers I have ran into)? I am sympathetic to this cause, and certainly do not want a police state for my children to grow up in.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

This article really rings home. West Valley and Ogden Police departments are great examples of what we DO NOT want. We don't want warriors patrolling our streets. Warriors know how to wage war. We need Peace officers, something that is missing entirely.

JBQ
Saint Louis, MO

It is wrong to paint the entire profession of dedicated officers with a broad brush. To do so, only reveals the painters as left wing.

DEW
Sandy, UT

@ oldschooler
USA, TX

True to some people but those who are mentally ill, hearing or visually (or both) impaired or some form of addiction may not think or be aware. Lets see those cops can figure that out. What happened to those Andy Griffith days in small town. I freaked out (mid 70's) when a cop in Novato, Calif grab his gun at me when I was taking a short cut entering the wrong way freeway toward the trail head to work. There is no need to wear those army stuff as a Normal Cop Stuff.

JayTee
Sandy, UT

I don't think we're painting with any kind of "broad brush" here. I think most of us would like to believe that there are still good people out there in uniform, just as there are good Muslims in the world who decry terrorism of every kind. But unfortunately, when the good ones are silent, they're partially endorsing the cause of the bad ones. The good police officers, of all people on the planet, should be working aggressively to police their own. Those who support the foolishness, run to the protection of a union, or also just pretend that it isn't happening are doing themselves and the rest of us a monumental disservice. Also, I don't think all people who adhere to the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are "left wing." There will always be those who categorize all law enforcement as "pigs" because they strongly resent any enforcement of laws, but there are also those of us who consider ourselves conservative who will never rationalize the abuse of power and authority.

Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

Anyone who thinks that law enforcement militarization is NOT getting out of hand needs a reality check.

Exhibit A:

Just a few weeks ago -- at the end of July -- the Society of St. Francis animal shelter in Kenosha, WI, was raided by thirteen heavily armed law officers.

These agents of the "law" had already surveilled the shelter, going so far as to take aerial photos before the raid.

Agents corralled all the workers, then seized the perp and carried it out in a body bag.

One shelter employee had her phone seized because she was taking pictures of the raid. Nobody was allowed to make any phone calls.

The official in charge compared it to a drug raid.

The perp?

A baby fawn.

Yes, one baby fawn.

And that's what our "law enforcement" is coming to, folks.

MapleDon
Springville, UT

There is no question that our local police have become militarized. They LOVE to send the SWAT team whenever possible. But not only our police, but many government agencies have also become militarized, from Homeland Security, the IRS, the Forest Service, etc.

They've convinced everyone to look the other way. And like sheep, they oblige.

And for those of you who think it's great, consider this, at what point would you say "That's enough"? If it's all about protecting these fine men and women, why not provide them tanks? (Some communities are actually doing this.)

And for those of you who say it's all about protecting our borders and keeping our nation secure, then why have our borders been left open and our border patrol told to stand down?

Further, where's the left that bemoaned police brutality in the 1960s and 1970s? Why are they silent today?

The unfortunate truth is that we have quickly become a police-state. The militarization of our police and government agencies has nothing to do with protecting the people or our borders. The unlawful monitoring of our phone calls and internet activity is further proof of this.

midvale guy
MIDVALE, UT

I believe police militarization of the definitely valid issue. The police are supposed to be a civilian organization. viewing it through who was killed by the police is probably not a valid perspective. I'm sure most of the people killed by the police are justified. The West Valley City police have been mismanaged and are out-of-control, the truth is they have been since the inception of the city. Like all organizations even cities have to mature. But having the police turn into paramilitary organization is wrong. It is going to continue because the whole federal government is doing the same thing. We now have TSA agents that will be assigned at public events, football games etc. as we all know, the Homeland security act is to keep other people out as much of it is to keep us in.

fredsgirl1
usa, MA

I have not lost anyone, but I too am concerned by the change in law enforcement. Too many times the suspects are shot before their side of the conflict can be heard. In the case of the Marathon bomber, the police accidently shot one of their own and blamed the terrorist. The trouble was the kid was unarmed. The boat he was hiding in looked like swiss cheese by the time to police had finished. Several people in nearby houses had shots go through their walls. It all seemed to be over the top to me.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

It’s distressing to hear of tragic results when a police officer uses poor judgment. I can’t imagine how it must be for the victim’s family.

Nor can I imagine what it’s like for the family of a police officer who is killed in the line of duty. Dedicated police officers put their lives on the line every day when they go to work. Their job is to protect the public safety from an element of society most of us do not want to have to deal with. That’s why we pay them. Their daily efforts often go unreported.

My sympathy goes out to the families of all victims of violence. But let's stop refracting broad and wild generalizations.

Elaine Douglass
Grand, UT

I was electrified when I heard about Radly Balko's book Rise of the Warrier Cop yesterday on NPR & I ordered it immediately from Amazon. Now I see he was in SL giving a talk & a lot of people showed up. The militarization of the police is a matter I am highly concerned about, along with mass surveillance of US citizens, persecution of whistle blowers, ammunition purchases by federal agencies, license plate surveillance, facial recognition surveillance, etc, the whole ball of wax. I am up in arms about all of it & I will NOT vote for any elected official who tries to justify any of it. Craig Clarks comment, "Let's stop refracting broad & wild generalizations"--he's asleep, he's one of the sheeples. He needs to read Balko's book.

DN Subscriber 2
SLC, UT

Too broad a brush. Most cop shooting are lawful and necessary. They deserve our support and sympathy for those.

In some cases it is a tragic error in judgment, but with only split seconds to decide, sometimes mistakes are made. They deserve our support and sympathy for these, and they DO try to figure out how to avoid such incidents.

In a few cases, rogue or bad cops unlawfully kill someone, and the law has provisions to deal with them.

The issue of "militarization" is a separate issue, and subject to debate. In many jurisdictions it has gone too far, involved folks with undesirable attitudes and should be stopped. In others, it is a valuable tool in their toolbox, and prudence demands it be called out just in case it is needed. It is a tough balancing act.

Support our cops- the good ones, not the bad ones
Condemn the criminals, even if their families consider them to be saints.
Protect the innocent.

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