Philly cops attend controversial police militarization conference

Urban Shield is an annual police conference touting the newest weapons of war available to cops, including unmanned flying aircraft (or drones), combat knives, mechanized armored vehicles and sniper rifles. It’s also a highly controversial, ill-timed conference coming right after 2014′s summer riots in Ferguson, Mo., during which police militarization became an issue in the American conscience. The conference’s host city, Oakland, Cali., has said it doesn’t want them back again. This didn’t stop the Philadelphia Police Department from sending a delegation and enjoying the conference’s tactical training exercises, which occurred simultaneous to the gun show. Nor did it stop the PPD’s Joe Sullivan, who specializes in military-style response units like counterterrorism and SWAT, from tweeting about Philly’s participation in the event.

Philly Police at Urban Shield [Image: PPD’s Joe Sullivan via Twitter]

By Josh Kruger (Philly Weekly)

Urban Shield is an annual police conference touting the newest weapons of war available to cops, including unmanned flying aircraft (or drones), combat knives, mechanized armored vehicles and sniper rifles.

It’s also a highly controversial, ill-timed conference coming right after 2014′s summer riots in Ferguson, Mo., during which police militarization became an issue in the American conscience. The conference’s host city, Oakland, Cali., has said it doesn’t want them back again.

This didn’t stop the Philadelphia Police Department from sending a delegation and enjoying the conference’s tactical training exercises, which occurred simultaneous to the gun show. Nor did it stop the PPD’s Joe Sullivan, who specializes in military-style response units like counterterrorism and SWAT, from tweeting about Philly’s participation in the event.

Full Story at Philadelphia Weekly:  Philly cops attend controversial police militarization conference

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About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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