Go a step further—ask cops to leave guns, batons, shields and bulletproof vests at home, and lighten up—all that heavy clothing and gear in this heat isn’t good for their mental and physical health, increases dehydration, which can increase mood swings and aggression in cops.
2. The more heavily militarized and intimidating the local police presence is the more it is likely to be perceived as an occupying force and more likely to incite a violent response from the public—we know this from our Iraq and Afghanistan military occupations.
3. People don’t like to be reminded of the gulf (in terms of weaponry) between them and the police that is mean to serve them — ever since US police began arming up like the military, violent incidents by the police (many are ex-military) have gone up in numerous jurisdictions.
4. Many US cops are ex-military (from Afghanistan and Iraq tours) and some likely have PTSD and mental health issues that could be influencing policing. US military presence in Middle East created many insurgents and rebels (there was no ISIS before US deployed forces in Iraq).
5. How many ex-military cops suffering from PTSD are in heavily militarized US police departments now? No reliable data exists on this — but it’s important to understand, before we give veterans suffering from PTSD military grade weapons and vehicles to patrol US cities.
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