Senator Rand Paul, poised to announce a presidential campaign for 2016, blasted the ongoing militarization of police in America as “stupid” and “ridiculous”, saying Monday that using the threat of terrorism as a reason is a tired excuse.
Asked if the US should decrease the authority of the government expressed via law enforcement, Paul said “I think we could start out with no longer dispensing bayonets to police forces.”
“FEMA gave out 12,000 bayonets last year. That’s just stupid.” The Senator urged. “We are giving out mine-resistant ambush protection vehicles — 20-ton vehicles. Dundee, Michigan, a town of 3,000, has a 20-ton mine-resistant ambush protection vehicle. That’s ridiculous,” he added.
Paul, appearing in Mississippi for the state Republican party, gave specific examples of excessive use of force by police.
“We have no-knock raids, and a little baby had a concussion grenade thrown in her face at one in the morning without a knock near Atlanta about two months ago,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a mistake of police being too aggressive, but sometimes it’s putting police in an untenable position to enforce laws that really we should not be enforcing with that degree of force.”
“It’s supposed to be for terrorism, but try to explain to me when terrorists are going to attack Dundee, Michigan, or Fargo, North Dakota.” Paul added.
Shifting to the Eric Garner case, Paul reiterated comments he made last week, noting that politicians must also take some blame for the actions of police.
“When I’ve watched the video [of Garner’s death] I’ve been horrified by it,” the Senator said. “Some on the left have criticized me for saying that the law and politicians are partly responsible, but I believe that.”
“You’ve taken cigarettes and put a $5.85 tax on cigarettes. Over half the price of cigarettes in New York City is taxes, so you’ve criminalized behavior that really the police shouldn’t be involved with to begin with.” Paul stated.
“While the grand jury has made its decision, whether or not a policeman who accidentally kills someone while stopping them from distributing cigarettes, that’s probably a lack of discretion and you probably shouldn’t have the power to be a policeman any more, at the very least,” Paul declared.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.