Police violence vs. military rules of engagement

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Mona Pereth

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,506
Location: New York City (Queens)

29 Nov 2022, 6:12 am

I just now watched a very interesting video, which was made on back on July 2, 2020: The Quartering of Troops | Police Militarization:

The maker of this video is a U.S. military veteran who fought in Iraq. Near the end of the video, he compares the behavior of today's "militarized police" with the rules of engagement for actual soldiers:

I'm not going to show any of the numerous videos of police violence here, but as a veteran, I am horrified by what I'm seeing.

A few days ago, I was reading a Reddit thread talking about recent events and a discussion between veterans really stuck with me. "It suggests to me that police officers, too often, want the power and prestige of military members without any of the requisite training or responsibilities."

If I, as an American convoy security gunner in Iraq, were to shoot someone who was running away, even if they were armed and might pose a threat later, I would be in prison. If I were lucky, it would be an American prison. While we were deployed, we had to memorize the Rules of Engagement and a series of steps known as Escalation of Force.

Escalation of Force Step 1: Visual. This can be flashing lights, a sign, hand waving, any visual method of getting someone's attention.
Step 2: Sound. Whether it's a siren or a verbal command, any auditory way of getting someone's attention.
Step 3: Non-lethal. As a gunner in Iraq, this meant a flare or tracer rounds shot off to the side, but this can also be a taser or mace. All of these can be lethal, but that's not their intended effect.
Step 4: Warning shot. One shot down at the ground, not into the air, gravity still works on bullets, don't be stupid.
Step 5: Kill shot. Again: one shot, you don't empty your whole magazine into someone, that's a literal war crime. It's against the Geneva Convention.

Now, looking at this list and thinking of all the police shootings you've seen, how many of these steps do they even attempt?

As a soldier in an active war zone, if you couldn't demonstrate that you went through this list, step by step, you went to jail.


Unlike the police, there is no qualified immunity or soldier's union to protect your job if you mess up and kill someone. And no generous severance package, either. If you're kicked out of the military, you're done, you have to check that box on every job application for the rest of your life. You even lose your Second Amendment rights.

If you want to dress up and play army and have the same prestige and respect as the military, you apparently need real stakes.

I would be interested in the comments of any military veterans here.

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Joined: 6 May 2016
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,637
Location: Missouri

24 Dec 2022, 11:00 pm

Hmm, almost a month now and no comments from anyone, veteran or not.

I am not a veteran, defective body would not allow that career path.
(or a number of others as it turned out)

My brother is a retired veteran.
2 of his boys are veterans and now out of the Army.
1 of his boys remains in the Army.
Dad is a veteran.
His Dad, grandfather W was a veteran.
Great grandfather W was in the Secret Service.
Both of my mother's brothers were veterans.
Her father went to join during WW2 and was told to go continue his farming so as to feed the troops.
Other family members on paternal and maternal sides were veterans back through the ACW and AWI.

I've not watched the video, am not in the mood for the noise.
Have read a large number of the comments.


Quite interesting.

"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011