December 16, 2012
In a supposed response to increased crime rates in Paragould, Arkansas, Police Chief Todd Stovall and Mayor Mike Gaskill have teamed up to back a horrific plan with the aim of creating a new force of a walking militarized police unit virtually declaring martial law over the city.
According to an article in the paragoulddailypress, beginning in early 2013 armed police officers dressed in protective gear will routinely walk the streets of Paragould in an effort to lower the high crime rates. Their plan includes stopping everyone they see, asking for their ID, and interrogating the population in hopes of collecting information and leads to 'snuff' out crime.
"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."
"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."
Going even further, Mayor Gaskill backed up the Chiefs ideology by saying, "They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."
Legally though, an officer cannot ask for ID without probable cause. So what probable cause is given to justify police marching through the streets with assault rifles? Stovall justifies the idea as follows:
"To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason. Well, I've got statistical reasons that say I've got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you're doing out. Then when I add that people are scared...then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area."
Going on to say against those who refuse to produce identification, "…we have a right to be doing what we're doing. We have a zero-tolerance. We are prepared to throw your hind-end in jail, OK? We're not going to take a lot of flack." "Anyone that's out walking, because of the crime and the fear factor, [could be stopped]," he said.
According to the article, Stovall apparently wasn't bothered by the mention of his plan sounding like martial law where he proclaims, "I don't know that there's ever been a difference" between his proposals and martial law. Individuals who refuse to produce identification will be charged with obstructing a governmental operation.
In a time where so many events are happening across the united states that signal the beginning of a push to take away our second amendment right to bare arms, it's a scary thing to see police upgrading their power and arms against the population. Using fear to generate fear so power and control are simply given.
"This fear is what's given us the reason to do this. Once I have stats and people saying they're scared, we can do this," Stovall said. "It allows us to do what we're fixing to do."
The idea will be discussed with residents Tuesday at Center Hill Church of Christ and Thursday at the Paragould Community Center. Both meetings start at 7 p.m.
If you live anywhere close to Paragould, Arkansas, it would be ideal to go to these town meetings. Fight for your rights, protest and raise awareness.