Society

Concord, New Hampshire Police Want Tank to Use Against Non-Violent Protesters

| by Michael Allen
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Police in Concord, New Hampshire claim that they need an armored vehicle, which some call a "tank," to use against non-violent political groups.

The militarized "Lenco BearCat G3" (pictured) has become a favorite among police departments over the past couple of years.

NBCNews.com reports:

America's most in-demand police vehicle is a 10-officer 16,000-pound armored tank that takes bullets like Superman and drives 80 mph. The federal government buys dozens each year for local police departments.

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According to Mother Jones, Concord Police Chief John Duval mentioned non-violent political groups on his grant application (for the tank) to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

The State of New Hampshire's experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges.

The application was obtained by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union via a public records request.

"I wish I would have worded things different in retrospect. I understand why their eyebrows are raised about that," said Chief Duval.

He blamed his wording on the DHS' limitation of only three pages. Chief Duval claims he was actually referring to the "unpredictable nature of unpredictable people who attach themselves to otherwise lawful situations."

Concord's population is about 40,000, but Chief Duval claims he needs a Lenco BearCat G3 to respond to terrorist acts that use "chemical, biological, and radiological materials as well as explosive gases."

"I think that law enforcement doesn't necessarily understand where we're coming from. I think they think we're anti-police, but really what we are is pro-freedom and pro-accountability," said Carla Gericke, president of the Free State Project.

The DHS has approved Concord's request for the Lenco BearCat G3.

Sources: Mother Jones and NBCNews.com