EPA Water Police in Full Body Armor Raid Gold Mine in Alaska Wilderness

Alaska Dispatch:  “When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.  Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? . . . [The water police were there] to check for violations of section 404 of the Clean Water Act

How To Roll Back Police Militarization In America

Huffington Post:  “When the FBI finally located Whitey Bulger in 2010 after searching for 16 years, the reputed mobster was suspected of involvement in 19 murders in the 1970s and ’80s, and was thought to be armed with a massive arsenal of weapons. He was also 81 at the time, in poor physical health . . . . he was arrested without incident. There was no battering ram, there were no flash grenades, there was no midnight assault on his home. . . . That peaceful apprehension of a known violent fugitive, found guilty this week of participating in 11 murders and a raft of other crimes, stands in stark contrast to the way tens of thousands of Americans are confronted each year by SWAT teams battering down their doors to serve warrants for nonviolent crimes, mostly involving drugs. . . . Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year — a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today’s deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. But the use of SWAT tactics to enforce regulatory law also appears to be rising”

Texas Farm Police Raid Organic Farm

Huffington Post: “A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search. . . . the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours”