Paramilitary police training spooks residents Feb 9, 2012 16:19:28 GMT -5
Post by Police Moderator on Feb 9, 2012 16:19:28 GMT -5
Paramilitary police training spooks Rutherford County resident
by Jonathan Meador
by Jonathan Meador
Although there are no attack dogs present, Marvin is nervous. In the years since men with guns have been utilizing this stretch of private property as a dedicated firing range, he's never seen them this close. But each time a shot is fired, he mutters a plea to the divine. Like others of his neighbors who spoke to the Scene, he's scared by the prospect of military-grade weaponry — including reports of large-caliber weaponry powerful enough to stop a tank — being fired so close to his home.
But after sustained inquiry, Marvin discovered that the gun-toting men were members of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department's Felony Arrest Search Tactical (FAST) squad — one of hundreds of SWAT-like paramilitary law enforcement units across the nation that have become increasingly visible in the wake of the police brutality that marked the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
"SWAT teams are a perfectly legitimate use of force when you're using violence to defuse an already violent situation," says Balko, who in a 2006 research paper argued that botched police raids are the rule, not the exception, putting both civilians' and officers' lives at unnecessary risk. "But that's not how they're used; they're overwhelmingly used to create a violent situation where there wasn't one before."
"It's insane," Balko counters. "No terrorists are going to attack rural Tennessee. It's just not going to happen."
Read more: nashville scene
In reading the article, after the misleading headline, a CMF reader will find it spooked just one resident, and Radley Balko. The only other 'resident' found to comment was pissed about the noise.
I'm afraid I am not willing to take Mr. Balko's guarantee that there never will be a terrorist attack in rural Tennessee.