Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

So did the Ferguson PD get military surplus gear from that Pentagon program which has handed out various heavily armored ambush protection vehicles to local police departments around the country? Well, indeed they did!

As the situation in Ferguson has escalated, we and others have been talking more and more about the militarization of police work in the US - something we're seeing to a wild degree in Ferguson but is actually pervasive across the United States. We have several pieces in the works you'll probably see over the course of the day delving into various aspects of that part of the story. But there's one part of this, one caveat, worth noting. A substantial amount of what we're seeing might be better termed the "Hollywoodization" rather than the "militarization" of police work.

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As the situation in Ferguson has unfolded over recent days, one question I keep having is, is there a way the aftermath of this shooting could be handled anymore poorly? Zero transparency, over-the-top escalation. And is this really all being left in the hands of this small, close to all white police department which is at best deeply compromised by the original shooting of the unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown?

This editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (the home town newspaper I remember from when i was a little kid) has a good run down of facts as well as questions about just who is in charge and who should be. They come down, I think rightly, on saying that the Governor of the state, Jay Nixon, has to step in and take some charge of the situation - both in terms of deescalating the situation and in organizational a credible investigation into all aspects of what happened. It's a good, important piece. Take a look.

There are conflicting reports out of eastern Ukraine about whether Igor Strelkov (a nom de guerre), the guy who got caught boasting about shooting down that Malaysian jet before they realized it was a civilian jet, was severely wounded in fighting in eastern Ukraine.

In this post from yesterday, I flagged what appears to be the eerily and disturbingly militarized nature of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, a small agency just outside St. Louis. We have a few issues here potentially: the militarization of police work, counter-terror pork and finally the way that the military is passing off its surplus to small town police departments - with results that manage to be both Guffmanesque and terrifying. When I saw that picture out of Ferguson I immediately thought of this bizarre story out of Johnson County, Indiana.

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