I'm just pointing out that this perception is false. This is the gear that police would use regardless of the situation
It's not. It's recent. Here's police during the Rodney King riots
. Even the armored guys
were clearly police, no jungle camo, no military fatigues. You want to know who was dressed like this
? The National Guard -- i.e. the military. Not the police, the military.
Yeah. Want to know when that started to change? In 1997 after the police found themselves woefully outgunned by some bank robbers in LA (which is 5 years after the King riots). From that point on, all police departments in all major metro areas have endeavored to obtain body armor and equipment for dealing with those sorts of situations. Not just to have them, but to be able to rapidly deploy police units outfitted with such gear.
We can debate how they got the equipment
There is no debate.
Ok. Bad wording on my part. My point is that arguing about how they got the gear isn't the point. It's not like the military just sold police departments a bunch of surplus stuff and the police said "well golly gee. We don't know what to do with this stuff, but it's really cool, so we'll use it". The police were actively working to obtain such gear all along, and the availability of a bunch of it as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars wound down just provided an opportunity to do so.
Look at the one photo with the heavily armed and armored cop. Care to guess what conflict that was surplus from? This is not new. He's wearing Vietnam era gear. The National Guard units were wearing more modern gear for the time period. Nothing new there. So guess what? The armored cops of today are wearing gear appropriate to the surplus gear available today. And in 15 years, if we don't have any more major conflicts, they'll still be wearing that same gear. And the people then will point to the old outdated stuff the cops are wearing and contrast it to the armored waldo's the military and NG units are wearing, just like you did in the King photos.
The question is whether it's fair to blame the police for using that equipment in this case, and I honestly don't think it is.
That may be but making specious comparisons to Sandy Hook doesn't help your argument.
It was just the first thing that popped in my mind of a scene where there were tons of cops in similar gear, yet at the time they were walking around where we could see them on TV, there was no armed threat of any kind at all. The lone gunman had taken his own life hours earlier, yet we still saw armored police vehicles and cops running around in full tactical gear. Yet in that case, the images were interpreted as reassurances to the public that the police where there to protect them, while in this case it's somehow about the cops being too geared up?
Objectively, it makes no sense to complain about the level of gear worn by police forces actively involved in a situation where they could be shot at any moment (and will almost certainly have things thrown at them), but no one blinks when they're walking around doing nothing more than securing an area hours after any possibility of violence has ended. It just seems backwards to me. I get that this is about inflaming the "violent cop" aspect to this. But I really do feel like it's a contrived thing. If you want to get involved in violence with the cops, you can always do so. They aren't the ones choosing to be out there. The rioters are. They'd gladly put their gear up and stay at home if the consequence wasn't people being injured or killed, store windows being smashed, buildings being burned, cars being damaged, etc. The police have no choice but to be there. The people rioting (peacefully protesting!) do.
Want the violence to stop? Everyone stay home. Don't march around town at night. Don't throw bricks and bottles at the cops. Heck. If the protesters don't protest, then there wont be any cops there at all. One side is creating and sustaining this conflict, and it's not the Ferguson police department.