Police officers are supposed to be pillars of order and honor in society, but at times there are cops that do things that are either out of line or over-the-top. The Inquisitr reported on such situations before. One of the most current examples includes a cop who was pulled over by a citizen, Gavin Seim, for driving an unmarked vehicle. That, however, may just be a case of ignorance but there are are times when the police do something that deserves questioning.
Reports are coming in of a police officer on patrol at a Pumpkin Festival doing something that was considered by one patron who said it was “shameless” and “dehumanizing.” What could a cop be doing at an Autumn event where partygoers are just trying to have a good time? What would you do if you were starring down the barrel of an officer’s gun which happens to be a sniper?
According to Vocativ, police in the sleepy town of Keene, New Hampshire apparently see terrorist threats everywhere — including a town’s annual autumn festival. To most people, such an event in a small college town is seen to be a bit of harmless, seasonal fun. For the police however, they see it as an event with such a high threat level that they need to have officers armed with military snipers monitoring it.
Photos and videos were taken by patrons at last weekend’s event — some with privately owned drones — of officers stationed on top of rooftops scanning the crowds below with binoculars and the scopes of military-grade sniper rifles. The Keene Police Department refused to confirm whether they had dispatched snipers on that day or explain why tactical units were even necessary in the first place.
The Blaze also followed-up on the original report with details explained by eyewitnesses. Garret Ean actually uploaded photos of the snipers on his Facebook page in which the captions read the following.
“Is one of these men pointing a firearm at myself? It appears that one of the items may not just be a spotting scope pointed down from the roof of the Colonial building. If this is true, it is not only a supposed violation of their own rules on safe firearm handling, but is also a mean and dehumanizing thing to do. Shameful snipers, I’m holding you responsible for making the drunken children riot all day and night.”
Apparently, the Keene Police Department received a $285,933 grant in 2011 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in which they purchased a lot of tactical gear, weaponry, and an eight-ton armored vehicle designed for military use called a Bearcat. They claim it is for counter-terrorism operations and that terrorism is far-reaching and unforeseen.
Unfortunately, the community is not agreeing with the Keene Police Department as explained by David Sklansky, a professor at Stanford Law School who specializes in law enforcement.
“A lot of what the police do requires good community relations and interpersonal skills. Those are things that military equipment and tactics don’t necessarily help with. [When students] are getting out of control and throwing things at the police, then snipers aren’t necessarily helpful, and neither are armed vehicles.”
What are your opinions about a small, sleepy college town’s police department having high-grade military vehicles and tactical equipment? What is your view about snipers stationed on top of a festival?
[Image via Bing]