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Police state

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Is a Nationwide Local Government Backlash Against Police Militarization Beginning?

KCRA TV is reporting that the Davis, California City Council voted Tuesday evening, after hearing from concerned people at the city council’s meeting, to get rid of the police department’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected military vehicle. The police department had obtained the MRAP, which is valued at nearly $700,000, for free recently from the US government.

Will Davis, California one day be seen as the beginning of a nationwide local government backlash against police militarization in the US?
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Ron Paul: Legal Pot, Not SWAT

Ron Paul addresses Monday on the Ron Paul Channel the menacing militarization of police in the United States. Paul, the chairman and founder of RPI, explains the problem extends from small towns obtaining military combat vehicles to United States government agencies buying up vast amounts of weapons and ammunition to police employing over 40,000 SWAT team raids each year.

Paul also notes in the commentary that crime in Denver has decreased following the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Paul wonders if Colorado may be on to something—less laws are a better means than militarized police to reduce crime.
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Toothless USA FREEDOM Act Losing Support

The USA FREEDOM Act (HR 3361), which is supposedly designed to thwart the US government’s mass spying program, appears to be confirming RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams’ warning from September: “beware NSA spying and beware the PATRIOT Act and beware FISA reauthorizations. But most of all...keep your eyes on the reformers!”

The stench from the USA FREEDOM Act has grown so obvious that privacy-related interest groups are renouncing their support of the bill after the bill, which had already passed through the committee approval process, was revised Tuesday to gain the Obama administration’s support. It is becoming harder by the day to have faith the legislation is even a small step toward greater respect for freedom.
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Cop in Tank: Freeze, Drop that Steak!

In the continuing rise of SWAT, police in Napoleon Dynamite's hometown now have a tank. William N. Grigg, in his latest article at Pro Libertate, explores the small Idaho town's acquisition of the military armored vehicle at no cost and the ominous US government program that is helping militarize police departments all over the country.
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James Comey Won't Improve the FBI

Expect business as usual at the FBI after Monday’s Senate confirmation of James B. Comey, Jr. to be the Bureau's new director. Comey had previously served as George W. Bush’s Deputy Attorney General. Every indication is that Comey will lead the FBI in the same trajectory it has traveled under Director Robert S. Mueller's leadership since September 2001—a trajectory the American Civil Liberties Union outlines as dangerous to liberty in the succinct report "The Ten Most Disturbing Things You Should Know About the FBI Since 9/11."
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The Rise of SWAT

In a KERA Radio interview this week, investigative reporter Radley Balko provides an informative overview of the the history of police SWAT teams in the United States. Balko addresses factors that have contributed to the rise of SWAT including the war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture, joint task forces, and the providing of US government grants and surplus military equipment to state and local police.
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Are Internal Passports Next?

J.D. Tuccille relates at the sad history of dramatic deterioration in the United States government's respect for the freedom to travel.

Tucille begins:
Last week, my vacationing family was stopped at not one, but two, internal checkpoints along Interstate 8 in Arizona and California and questioned about our citizenship.

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