"Meeting nonviolent protests with a militarized response is really a bad idea."

#Opinion

Sat, Aug 16th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With protests for the killing of Mike Brown spreading across 90 U.S. cities, New York Magazine's Jesse Singal cites the "weapons effect", which suggests that "the more you fill the environment with stimuli that are associated with violence, the more likely violence is to occur."

“Military equipment is used against an enemy,” said Haberfeld. “So if you give the same equipment to local police, by default you create an environment in which the public is perceived as an enemy.” On the other side of these confrontations, this could have a negative effect on protesters. “We live in a democratic country, and we believe that this is our right to go out and exercise the right to [free speech],” she said. “And when you go out there and exercise that right and suddenly you are faced with soldiers — even though these are not soldiers, but police officers looking like soldiers — then something is triggered, definitely.”

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