Hands up

Avantika Vivek, Sports Editor

In response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson, the police have injured many residents, applying excessive force to control an unarmed crowd.

According to Time Magazine, witnesses have reported being shot at with rubber bullets from assault rifles and law enforcement using tear gas to dissuade protesters, a tactic soldiers use in dealing with hostile forces. This militarization of the police against civilians demonstrates a callous disregard of life. The death threats made by officers Ray Albers, Dan Page and Matthew Pappert towards the protestors especially shows this, with Albers threatening to “f***ing kill [the crowd]” if they did not back up, according to the Huffington Post.

When compared to Irvine, Ferguson has 58 police officers for a town of around 21,000, whereas Irvine has 271 for a town of around 200,000, according to both towns’ census statistics. Although it may seem that Irvine has less need to militarize like the Ferguson police, the amount of police officers per 1000 residents is 1.3 in Irvine, as compared to Ferguson’s 2.8 officers per 1000 residents. Irvine and Ferguson have a similar small officer to citizen ratio, which means that if similar protests broke out in Irvine, the same type of militarization as Ferguson could happen.