NYPD Hyper Militarization Escalates with Bratton's "SRG" for Advanced Disorder Control
NY Post. Bratton Escalates and/or Formalizes Militarization of NYPD to deal with "counter terrorism protection" and "advanced disorder control." There will be "vehicles equipped with machine guns." This unit will be "operational by summer" (how conveninent!) and will be housed in NYPD's very own Counterterrorism Bureau. I had not known that one existed.
Bratton's new paramilitary creature is called the "Strategic Response Group." That sounds very Homelandy. It is appropriately vague in re exactly who requires strategic responses - which is another way of saying that it leaves that wide open. (1) The "Terrorists" (for whatever definition of "terrorist," but let's assume that for Israel-Trained NYPD the term still means "brown people from mostly arab countries") are only one category of SRG's targets. (2) The other threats requiring "strategic response" by NYPD's SRG are - reading the few tea leaves in the story - citizens protesting things like unwarranted police killings of black people and (in the same basket) brown arab people shooting white journalists.
How then is SRG any different than NYPD's Paramilitary Crackdown on Occupy Wall Street? According to Bratton, it's that he's got a squad of 350 that will be exclusively trained and detailed to this function. No more plucking cops from their normal beats for "beefed-up presence at certain hot spots in “critical incident” vehicles." Bratton is scarce on details regarding SRG's tactics, materiel and vision, but the few details he leaks for our general benefit (Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid), he manages to lay it on thick with creepy nonchalance:
“It [SRG] will be equipped and trained in ways that our normal patrol officers are not, [does that mean they won't whack guys selling loosies? something else? hard to tell]” Commissioner Bill Bratton said Thursday.
“It will be equipped with all the extra heavy protective gear, with the long rifles and the machine guns that are unfortunately sometimes necessary in these instances.”
I guess long rifles and machine guns will be in addition to the military toys NYPD already has and which it deployed against OWS and other peaceful protests in NYC: tanks, LRADs, water guns, pepper spray, the cherry picker with the roving panoptical "EYE" capturing biometric information as it roves over the streets of Manhattan.
I don't like Bratton's "unfortunately sometimes necessary" and "in these instances." I don't recall New Yorkers being consulted on their views about this rather extraordinary re-furbishing of a local police department into an paramilitary anti-dissent army.
"Advanced disorder control" makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. So does that mean that Bloomberg's paramilitary crackdown on OWS was "beginner or intermediate disorder control"? Plus "Strategic Response Center" sounds a bit a lot like a derivative of those "fusion centers" where Bloomberg, Wall Street, NYPD and Obama's Army co-ordinated the relentless and violent crackdown on OWS. If so, God help us.
Interesting input from DeBlasio on all this: crickets.
My take on SRG and why now is this: the elites in New York are getting increasingly nervous about pitchfork brigades.