Friday letters: Joint exercises cause for alarm

January 31, 2014 

— The secret joint exercises between Richland County deputies and unidentified units from Fort Bragg, N.C., alone should cause alarm, but not allowing the press to attend should cause outrage (“Richland deputies, Army plan noisy exercises,” Jan. 20).

What we are witnessing is the militarization of local law enforcement organizations nationwide. Can you give me one reason that local police need military-war-zone vehicles and equipment?

Local law enforcement agencies have been corrupted by the power of federal money. This money always comes with strings attached, from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies.

Local police are being trained and formed into quasi-military groups. Why? Could it be to be used against its own citizenry? Remember how the sheep people of Boston allowed their constitutional rights to be trampled by unwarranted searches of their property by the police after the marathon bombing.

Our liberties are under assault daily, with the Department of Homeland Security considering people to be right-wing terrorists if they believe in God, are anti-abortion, own a gun, believe in the Constitution, favor personal liberties and don’t like a large centralized government.

This should send a very cold chill down your spine.

Sheriff Leon Lott should tell the citizens that he no longer will accept federal grants and that he never will allow the force to violate any of our constitutional rights. We will be waiting anxiously to hear from him.

Rodney Beard

Columbia

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