The ABC7 I-Team is uncovering thousands of pieces of military equipment meant for the battlefield that are instead now in the hands of local police forces statewide.
From high powered military grade rifles to combat helicopters, law enforcement agencies statewide are cashing in on a federal program that provides battle-ready equipment to agencies in your backyard. For the past two decades, Illinois officials have used the Federal Law Enforcement Support Office or LESO 1033 program to outfit law enforcement departments with the latest in military grade equipment and technology. Distribution of weapons as part of the program has come under new scrutiny after the widespread utilization of military grade equipment this week to counter protests in Ferguson, Missouri after a police officer shot and killed teenager Michael Brown there this past weekend.
As the I-Team first reported in 2013, the LESO 1033 program has given away at least $2.6 billion dollars in surplus military equipment nationwide, with at least $37 million ending up here in Illinois.
Now, the I-Team has uncovered a county by county breakdown of exactly what military equipment is here in Illinois. Federal officials refused to release what specific department possesses the equipment, citing homeland security concerns. But, a federal spreadsheet obtained by the I-Team following our initial reporting does detail the kinds of equipment local departments have received as of May 2013.
According to federal records, Illinois law enforcement agencies have received roughly 5,500 rifles and pistols,16 military helicopters and more than 12,000 pieces of assorted military equipment as part of the program. Knox County, west of Peoria, received the most non-weapon military equipment statewide. Knox County agencies’ inventories include more than 1,900 pieces of equipment, from Kevlar combat gloves to paintball guns to combat knives. Cook County is in second place statewide with 1,700 pieces of military equipment registered with the feds.
Weapons distributed are counted separately in federal LESO 1033 program inventories provided to the I-Team. Cook County leads the state with 1,336 weapons assigned to county law enforcement agencies. Downstate Sangamon county has 794 weapons assigned to agencies headquartered there. Interestingly, Knox County, the leader in equipment statewide, only has 15 weapons assigned to their countywide agencies.
"You can’t arm police departments with military-grade equipment and expect them not to behave like an occupying force," says local watchdog Rey Lopez-Calderon with Common Cause Illinois. He continues, “the Ferguson madness can happen anywhere in the USA including Illinois.”
Now that Missouri Highway Patrol are policing Ferguson, things are a lot different.
This is what happens when you remove racist, belligerent cops from a non-violent protest.
it is very good news that the citizens are no longer living under militarized attackbut please don’t forget that this sudden surge of friendliness is a deliberate tactic to placate unrest and maintain order, not to bring justice or to truly answer to the problem of police brutality
it is a move to shift the narrative to “a couple cops are bad apples, but look how good the rest of them are”
This stuff still doesn’t make sense. I’m hopeful that this change of authority will cause results, but we CAN’T let this die down just because the ‘good cops’ have taken over. We still need to make sure laws are put in place to stop things like this from happening ever again, and we can’t get complacent. It’s not over yet.
The problem is, there are laws that are already in place — they’re not being enforced.
This is where the courts and civil lawsuits come in. Laws need to be enforced. A good lawyer will know how to put on a good “intimidating a police force” lawsuit against the county police, research it so that it can’t be dismissed as frivolous, and force the enforcement under penalty of monetary damages.
It takes time, yes, but while the wheels of justice grind slowly, the grind to a fine powder.
The first thing I thought was Samurai Groo?
please make this image famous
Commission for coyote-only
If you’re wondering why I may be unfollowing you, it’s because I want to have a clean Tumblr and a dirty Tumblr. The dirty one is redwolf3wide, just like my twitter, and you probably will be subscribed there.
Who would have thought Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen would be most watchable simply as friends?
The two knights pull off “Not grumpy old men” so well (although they could pull grumpy old men off just as well).
I’m splitting up my Tumblr’s followers, keeping a regular and a NSFW version on seperate accounts (the other one being redwolf3wide). I’ll also pop some of the NSFW stuff there as well. I blame Tumblr.
Some odd notes after folks have gone in and deep-dived into the code. The bug isn’t just one bug, but a series of bugs.
First, is OpenSSL’s memory management. OpenSSL thought allocating memory from the OS was too slow, so it built in it’s own memory reuse management. For speed at the time, it was good… but the reuse didn’t clear out old information. Ooops. That hid a second bug which would of been found by testing without the reuse of memory (a simple “use after release” bug).
And then, there’s no bounds checking on the heartbeat request of OpenSSL… which really isn’t needed in TCP connections (it was added for UDP connections) but if you connect to a vulnerable server, you can activate the heartbeat… and make it bleed.
Texas’ anti-same sex marriage law was struck down by a Federal Court yesterday. Texas says they’ll appeal.
The Supreme Court says same sex marriage is legal, and any bans violate the 14th amendment.
This will only end with someone getting shot.