The Peacemaker: Armored Personnel Carrier.
A county sheriff’s department in South Carolina has an armored personnel carrier they dubbed “The Peacemaker,” which can shoot weapons that the U.S. military specifically refrains from using on people. Complete with a belt-fed .50-caliber turreted machine gun, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s “Peacemaker” is equipped with the type of heavy-duty artillery that even the U.S. military is reluctant to use against human targets (it is generally reserved for armored vehicles). Despite the fact that many of the crimes in Richland County relate to drug use or gambling, Sheriff Leon Lott insists that the “Peacemaker” will save lives, but can’t name one instance of when it would have previously saved a life.
American is increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war. Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods.