"In New York City, the police now maintain an unknown number of military-grade vans outfitted with X-ray radiation, enabling cops to look through the walls of buildings or the sides of trucks ... The NYPD will not reveal when, where, or how often they are used."
Activist Deray McKesson took this photo of an armored vehicle parked at the Waller County, TX jail. JPat Brown at Muckrock asked the Waller County Police Department for "[a]ny documentation (receipts, work orders, emails ) regarding customization of armored vehicles in the office's possession, specifically the application of the 'Batman/Dark Knight' logo. They were not amused. However, it's likely that the Chief Deputy is telling the truth, since companies like The Armored Group makes vehicles that are similar to the one spotted at the Waller County jail. This same company was mentioned in a October 2014 Mother Jones article about militarization of police forces across the country.
Keene, New Hampshire tried to set a new world record for most pumpkins carved at their 2014 Pumpkin Festival, but failed to reach their goal. Instead, the news coverage of the Pumpkin Festival is for the vaguely related mayhem that erupted in neighborhoods near Keene State campus. It has been reported that the chaos was due to an influx of young people, up to 2,000 congregated in some areas, who threw billiard balls, rocks, debris and bottles full of liquor, and overturned at least one car. Police used tear gas and pepper balls to quell the crowds, and arrested 84 individuals. There were dozens of injuries, but no fatalities. In the larger discussion of various group gatherings and actions and the police response to such events, comparisons have been made between the Keene "pumpkin riot" and Ferguson. To which Luke O’Neil wrote Keene Is Not Ferguson—Despite the Police, Fires, and Tear Gas. Jordan Lebeau responded with a piece titled Actually, Comparing Keene to Ferguson Is Precisely What You Should Do (last two articles on Boston.com). [more inside]
In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war. A look at the redistribution of surplus tools of combat to state and local law enforcement. (SL NYT)
"The American homeland is the planet" Not content with a militarized southern border, the U.S. is now militarizing borders around the world (slsa)
Why Did You Shoot Me? I was reading a book. - A look at America's warrior cops.
The Korean DMZ (pdf) / PLZ has been a hot tourist attraction for years, featuring must-see sites like the Third Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, the Dora Mountain Train Station, the Freedom Bridge and the Imjingak Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth, -- will be patrolled by killer robots. [more inside]
Newsfilter: China successfully knocks one of its satellites out of orbit. This brings the race to militarize space to the public eye again. The Chinese central government has been working for years to keep up with the Americans.