Watertown Group Joins Organization Opposing Militarization of Police

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A group from Watertown has joined a coalition of organizations opposing what they call militarization of law enforcement in the Boston area.

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment has become part of STop Oppressive Militarized Police – STOMP. The group seeks to stop the “Police militarization” and “increased federal funding to state and local law enforcement for surveillance and repression” according to the STOMP Facebook page (click here to see the page). The group points to the lockdown in Watertown during the hunt for the Boston Marathon Bombing suspect is as one of the examples of militarization.

STOMP will hold a community speak out and teach-in on May 4 in Boston. The event coincides with Urban Shield – a joint training that will bring together members of law enforcement from around the Boston area.

The community speak out will be sponsored by the ACLU of Massachusetts, along with groups including Watertown Citizens. The event will be at 197A Humbolt Ave. in Boston from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 4. See more information by clicking here.

One thought on “Watertown Group Joins Organization Opposing Militarization of Police

  1. Please see excerpts from a Nov 6, 2013n Cop Block article detailing why the police should not be armed with military equipment.

    “Four years after Mayor Thomas M. Menino expressed concerns about arming more Boston police with military-style rifles, the department is quietly preparing to train 99 patrol officers to use such semiautomatic rifles, a dramatic boost in firepower that some officials say is excessive.

    It’s interesting that Davis would choose the Boston Marathon bombing to justify increasing the firepower of the Boston police because that incident actually shows precisely why the police shouldn’t be trusted with more powerful weapons.

    During the manhunt for Marathon Bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, police became involved in a gun fight with the Tsarnaevs on Laurel Street. During the fight, police recklessly fired countless rounds in an attempt to hit the Tsarnaevs, perforating nearby homes with bullets and putting residents in mortal danger.

    Witness report: “The whole shoot out was pretty wild,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere. Every one of these houses was hit by something. I mean, they could have had more control over what they were shooting at, maybe.” … One bullet came within 12 inches of his toddler’s bed.

    Police didn’t just endanger members of the public with their wild, reckless shootout. The police were a danger to themselves as well. Two police officers were hit by “friendly fire” during the shootout, one of whom almost died. Police also mistakenly shot up one of their own vehicles. Officer Richard H. Donohue Jr. was shot and nearly killed by a fellow officer.

    Giving police greater access to weapons does not automatically translate into greater public safety. If police had access to even more powerful weaponry during the manhunt, they would have caused even more property damage and the chances of them injuring or even killing Watertown residents with their weapons would have increased.

    Full article: http://masscopblock.org/boston-police-hope-acquire-semiautomatic-weapons/

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