Snow shoes should work well on Mississippi mud flats
The disturbing events in Ferguson have focused attention on the militarization of America’s police forces. God knows, it’s worrying enough that the police begin to seem more like an army of occupation than agents of law enforcement.
New Orleans and Gulf Coast news site The Lens decided to have a look at just what kind of military kit Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish aquired.
Each county has received from the Defense Department’s 1033 Program since 2007:
Orleans Parish received:
Eight night-vision sniper scopes
20 snow camouflage parkas
A “rough terrain” forklift
40 “laser modules”
14 thermal sights
21 7.62 mm rifles and two 5.56 mm rifles
30 survival axes
Some of the equipment is more mundane, such as:
360 men’s scarves
Four data-entry computer mice
Nine folding chairs
One garbage can
A pair of pliers
Law enforcement in Jefferson Parish received:
Two 5.56 mm rifles and seven 7.62 mm rifles
A utility helicopter
A mine-resistant vehicle
Three bridge erection boats
A utility truck
A personnel carrier
Setting aside the questionable utility of a ‘mine-resistant vehicle’ in police work (how many mines and IEDs does a patrol officer encounter?), and the flat-out weirdness of ‘four data-entry computer mice’, ‘a pair of pliers’ and ‘one garbage can’, what really provokes that ‘what the fuck?’ moment is the ’20 snow camouflage parkas’.
Unless the police are planning to hide in the middle of a crowd of blindingly white people, these parkas aren’t going to be of much use in New Orleans. Between 1853 and 2008 it snowed in New Orleans on 55 days.
I can tell you from personal experience, most of those so-called snow days ended up melting on contact with funky pavement.
So, if you’re in New Orleans and are approached by a group of men dressed in snow camouflage parkas and carrying data-entry computer mice, folding chairs, a garbage can and a pair of pliers: get on your knees and put your hands behind your head, because they’re cops and cops are dangerous.
Mike also suggested you can see the military weapons, vehicles, and other equipment police in your area have acquired from the military. Searchable by state and county.