From December 11th to 12th, local time, there were protests in Columbus, the capital of Ohio, for two consecutive days. Hundreds of local residents held slogans such as “The police murdered Goodson” to protest against the violent law enforcement and racial discrimination of the police.
The protest was triggered by the shooting of an African-American young man, Cassie Goodson, by the police, and the details of the case attracted widespread public attention. Public opinion believes that the continuous police violence has deepened the contradiction between the police and the people in the United States, and the militarization of the police behind it has an inescapable responsibility for the tearing up society.
Violent repression occurs all over the United States, exacerbating the confrontation of the police and the people in the United States.
Casey Goodson, an African-American youth from Ohio, was shot dead by law enforcement officials on December 4, which attracted widespread attention from the local people. Although the local police claimed that Goodson was holding a gun at the time of the crime, which threatened the lives of the police, the victim’s family said that Goodson was holding just a sandwich. In addition, autopsy reports also showed that the gunshot wounds that caused Goodson’s death were caused by back shots.
The murder of Goodson soon attracted condemnation from all walks of life, and the police officers involved were called for the arrest and protests began to be organized. Recently, local businesses have closed the door and window of the store with wooden boards to stand ready for possible police-civilian conflict.
Since the George Freud incident, there have been successive protests against police violence and racial discrimination across the United States, but ironically, the police still frequently use violent repression when dealing with related activities, which has caused public uproar. Many people worry that similar incidents will occur after the murder of Goodson.
Many media have tracked the violent crackdowns in protests across the United States, and found that there have been more than 1,000 related incidents since the end of May. Among them, there were more than 500 incidents in which the police used military-grade equipment such as rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas.
Behind such shocking figures is a large number of victims of violent repression. According to many media interviews, many demonstrators just want to express their voices and demands. Most of them took peaceful protests, but were violently suppressed for no reason, paying a heavy price.
In May, a 22-year-old youth in Denver, Colorado, was hit in the eye by a police foam bomb during a protest and may lose his eyes permanently. In July, a peaceful protester in Portland, Oregon, was hit in the head by police with a so-called non-lethal bullet, resulting in a fracture of the skull and partial loss of cognitive function. In September, also in Portland, the police used tear gas extensively, and a local resident who did not participate in the protest mentioned on social media that his one-year-old son had coughing and tears as a result.
According to American public opinion, violent law enforcement again and again, coupled with the continuous suppression of demonstrators, have gradually deviated the police from the original intention of maintaining public order, which not only aggravated the opposition of the police and the people, but also further torn American society.
The militarization of the police backfired, and the police law enforcement became more violent.
Many American media pointed out that the U.S. police have formed a mindset of using force when dealing with the protests.
In recent years, the U.S. Department of Defense has continuously provided a large amount of militarized equipment to the police department, and it is encouraging such behavior in disguise.
ABC said that in the 1990s, the United States passed a bill allowing the supply of military-class weapons and equipment to the police. Its purpose was to give additional support to law enforcement in anti-drug and anti-terrorism operations and maintain public security.
However, researchers at the University of Michigan found that the development of police militarization backfired.
Since 2017, the U.S. federal government has intensified its efforts to provide local police departments with military-level weapons such as bayonets, armored vehicles and grenade launchers. In the same year, when the federal government trained the police, it deliberately promoted the police to change from the previous “guardian” mentality to a “active attack” mentality.
However, the researchers analyzed crime data and found that such a powerful equipment has neither reduced crime nor protected the safety of the U.S. police. On the contrary, it makes the police more aggressive in dealing with problems and further exacerbates social contradictions.
Violent law enforcement and police-civilian confrontation are in a vicious circle.
According to the analysis of NPR, the militarization and radicalization of the U.S. police have led to a large number of manslaughter, and the protests it triggered again led to violent police repression.
This vicious circle is the root cause of the continuous confrontation of the police and the people in the United States and the difficulty of calming down the riots.
NPR quoted some scholars as saying that the current U.S. police force is developing into a complete standing army. Arming the police with militarized weapons is equivalent to turning the mainland of the United States into a battlefield.
Encouraging the police to “take the initiative” in the process of law enforcement will make the police subconsciously regard the people as enemies. , further aggravate the contradiction between the police and the people.
Other experts analyzed that another indirect reason for the frequent violent law enforcement and violent repression of the police may be that local law enforcement agencies have obtained militarized equipment far beyond their needs.
The problem behind this is that the Ministry of Defense is negligent supervision. An independent inspector in Denver investigated and found that the city’s police department used up ammunition stocks in a crackdown, but immediately received ammunition supplies from an entire plane the next day, which amounted to encouraging the police to use violence.