Stephen Colbert: The militarization of police forces proves that ‘the system is working’
On last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert addressed the militarization of United States police departments in light of the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.
Colbert began by noting that “the cops don’t need armored personnel carriers because there’s no violence — there’s no violence because the cops have armored personnel carriers. Same reason I don’t need to have sex — because I’m carrying a condom.”
“9/11 showed us just how vulnerable we are to violent attacks,” he continued. “That’s why today I live in a gated community with a fence no terrorist could possibly breach — unless they acquire stool technology. So it’s no surprise that the same state-of-the-art security cameras that protect Times Square also protects Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska, population 15,039.”
“Of course, cameras alone won’t defend our shores,” Colbert said, “which is why Congress passed The Department of Defense Excess Property Program, which ‘distributes surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement.’ It’s all part of the Defense Department’s ongoing ‘Take-a-Tank, Leave-a-Tank’ program.”
This program has “done wonders for little towns like Keene, New Hampshire, which obtained a surplus $286,000 BearCat armored vehicle, which they said is needed because the ‘threat is far reaching and often unforeseen…Keene currently hosts several large public functions to include…an annual pumpkin festival.'”
“That’s definitely a target,” Colbert said. “We’re talking about America’s premier pumpkin festival. Need proof? Name another one.”
During an interview with a former Seattle police chief, Colbert noted that “what I like about the Pentagon program is that you get the equipment, but if you don’t use it in one year, you have to give the equipment back. So the police say they need it for something, and then they use it to prove they needed it, proving that they did. Doesn’t that mean,” he asked sarcastically, “that the system is working?”
Watch the entire September 2, 2014 episode of The Colbert Report via Hulu below.