On C-Span Ted Gunderson, FBI chief, stated: “Having police departments load up on military equipment is not a problem. Teaching them how not to over react to a situation like we had in Ferguson is the problem.” He went on to say, I don’t see that as an ongoing problem because I have that under control. I will make sure police departments are trained in handling military weapons.”
Just about everything Chief Gunderson said made sense to me. But not that. Not that. There is no way one man can change the attitude of too many police toward crowd control. Our history is replete with examples of people in uniform getting out of control with demonstrators. Recall the tragic story of the National Guard firing at protesting students at Kent State. They didn’t just break the law. They were lousy shots, hitting students (killing Alyson Kraus). The students who were gunned down were on the path, above the protestors. I find the image of vehicles that look like tanks, moving along public streets, ominous. It makes the clubs, police dogs and firehoses of Bull Conners and his bullies look innocent by comparison. As much as I respect the officers of the Bellingham Police Department, I hope and pray we never see the day when Bellingham police acquire this dangerous, threatening equipment. I sure don’t want my tax dollars to pay for them.