Revisiting excessive force and police militarization

Printed in the Herald-Times, August 17, 2020

To the Editor:

The Black Lives Matter organization is wrong on several things, but we should not be distracted from real concerns about policing in America. Too often, overwhelming force is used against non-violent crimes, especially in the “War on Drugs.”

As I said in my August 5, 2010 letter to the editor, we must severely curtail paramilitary raids on nonviolent drug users. These unnecessarily confrontational raids endanger and end lives. Even “non-lethal” tactics used in these raids are dangerous. As I said in my October 19, 2011 letter, flash bang grenades can and do kill people.

I pointed out in my July 23, 2016 letter that the problem is not just excessive force: It is government greed. Excessive fines to raise revenue for local government contributed to the despair and anger in Ferguson. That practice crushed many poor blacks trapped in a cycle of penalties and jail time for non-payment. Eric Garner died while being arrested for selling loose cigarettes without collecting taxes.

Conservatives who believe in limited government and individual liberty should stand against excessive force and violations of civil liberties. That is why I have been writing letters to the editor about excessive force and police militarization for ten years.