Letter to the Editor: Lessons for Bainbridge from Ferguson, MO

Posted by on August 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

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Reading about the militarization of the police in Ferguson, MO, it is clear that the surplus weapons and armored vehicles made for our wars abroad have come home, and that police in some or even many places now have force disproportionate to civil needs. We need to know if this is a potential problem here on Bainbridge Island. After all, the wrongful death verdict in the Ostling case is just two years old, and reports by outside experts indicates training lapses in the use of equipment the police carry day to day.

I ask our city council to show leadership in asking the police department to provide an inventory of military-level equipment not used in the course of everyday policing, including helmets, rubber bullet rifles, and tear gas. The council also needs to ask specifically what level of training
the police have had in the use of this equipment.

With the war in Afghanistan winding down, the military will continue to clean out its closet. There are risks to having and not having this equipment. Our city council needs to discuss our own needs, and whether, in the name of risk management, we need to get rid of some of the materiel we may have already accepted.

—Rod Stevens, Bainbridge Island

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Photo by Julie Corsi.

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4 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Lessons for Bainbridge from Ferguson, MO”

  1. Mahakala says:

    Maybe you should complain to Obama.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt2yGzHfy7s

    “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    Barack Obama

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  2. Matt Miller says:

    The only thing Bainbridge has in common with Fergson, MO is that both are cities are in the U.S. and led by Democrats. There is absolutely nothing the lily white "Mayberry" of Bainbridge can learn from Ferguson.

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  3. This letter was the best laugh of my day. :D

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