Warning signs

Last week, while looking up information for the police department in Paris, Texas, I came across the website for the police in Paris, Kentucky. On this site, I found a list of “warning signs” that “may indicate possible gang involvement.” This list includes such behaviors as “[s]howing no interest in school,” “[d]isrespect toward authority, family, and school,” “[d]esire for excessive privacy,” “[s]taying out later than usual (or staying out all night),” “[i]dentifying with martial arts,” “[u]sing unknown vocabulary, gang slang, speaking in fractured sentences, excessive swearing,” and more.

The website also hosts this picture of the Department’s “Special Response Team” which handles “high risk warrants, hostage situations, school shootings and other high risk cases” and is lead by a “Narcotics Detective”:

Paris, TX Special Response Team

Are these guys downright creepy, or what?

Instead of getting worked up about rebellious teenagers who enjoy their privacy or their karate lessons, I would take a look at the real “warning signs.” Over the past few decades, American police have been rapidly militarized. They increasingly rely on an “us vs. them” paradigm which reduces the general public to an “enemy” that police are at war with while enforcing policies that make the world a less safe place to live in.



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