After the police-involved shooting in the St. Louis suburb of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, discord has gripped the city of Ferguson as protesters and police have clashed for two straight days. Arrests have occurred due to the looting and violence, but a stronger police force is being implemented.
The newest photos out of Ferguson look more like a military in a war zone than a suburban community.
The officers seen here are in military vehicles and are responding to the violence wearing full-camo riot gear combat boots and armed with assault rifles.
Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra, who served as a U.S. Marine on patrol in Afghanistan, brings a peculiar point to question for the situation in Ferguson:
“While serving as a U.S. Marine on patrol in Afghanistan, we wore desert camouflage to blend in with our surroundings, carried rifles to shoot back when under enemy attack, and drove around in armored vehicles to ward off roadside bombs.
We looked intimidating, but all of our vehicles and equipment had a clear purpose for combat against enemy forces. So why is this same gear being used on our city streets?
Their uniform would be mistaken for a soldier’s if it weren’t for their “Police” patches. They wear green tops, and pants fashioned after the U.S. Marine Corps MARPAT camouflage pattern. And they stand in front of a massive uparmored truck called a Bearcat, similar in look to a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, or as the troops who rode in them call them, the MRAP.
‘Why do these cops need MARPAT camo pants again,’ I asked on Twitter this morning. One of the most interesting responses came from a follower who says he served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division: ‘We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone.’
Is the situation truly that dangerous in Ferguson? Do they need to be militarized? Let us know.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom