Monitoring Americans

Monitoring Americans

By Dennis Behreandt

Published: 2007-05-14 05:00

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In New York City they show up out of the blue, unannounced and unexpected. Dressed all in black, gloved hands clutching menacing assault rifles or short-barreled shotguns, heads covered with storm-trooper helmets, they clamber out onto the crowded streets where stunned New Yorkers look on in awe and fearful silence. “No one sees them coming,” wrote Popular Mechanics contributing editor Brad Reagan in a special story on the NYPD in June 2006. “There are no flashing lights, no sirens. The black suburban simply glides out of Fifth Avenue traffic and pulls into a no-parking zone in …

When a Hercules team is deployed, a detective from the NYPD’s Intelligence Division monitors its actions remotely via video camera. One of these detectives, Abad Nieves, spoke to Popular Mechanics about the purpose of Hercules team deployments. “The response we usually get is, ‘Holy s***!’” Nieves told Popular Mechanics. “That’s the reaction we want. We are in the business of scaring people …

And the police, rather than being a representative body of and within society, could be converted into agents of oppression and arbitrary force.

During a transition to a militarized society, government, jealous of its special position and prerogatives, begins to fear the people it was originally intended to protect. Like a frightened animal, it can respond with aggression, and the agency through which that aggression propagates is often the police…


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