Should Anonymous Reveal the Identity of Homicidal Ferguson Cop?
The online hacktivist group Anonymous says they have the name of the Ferguson, MO police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. As you'd expect, the Ferguson police department is claiming Anonymous has the wrong name (what else would they say?).
Should Anonymous release this name to the public, and take a chance on having an innocent person suffer from possible retaliation? Online hacktivist groups shouldn't act as judge, jury and executioner any more than police officers should.
Then again, why should the name of this Ferguson cop be withheld from the public? The names of accused criminals — unless they're under 18 — are routinely made public. Why should an inept trigger-happy police officer be held to a different standard?
And this article — The fiasco in Ferguson shows why you don't give military equipment to cops — makes an excellent point: The constant refrain about the “militarization of police departments” is NOT accurate. As the author says:
“The great irony of this story is that the military itself would never behave so crudely. And that is precisely why it is beyond reckless to let a bunch of local cops get their hands on a high-grade military arsenal.”
Exactly. Military personnel have been trained in conducting precise high-risk operations and in the use of advanced weapons; most local police officers have not. Giving a high-grade military arsenal to a local police department is like giving a cigarette lighter to a 4-year-old and saying “Here, go play in the barn.”