Senator Graham bird dogged on Police Militarization
Today I went to Senator Lindsey Graham’s Town Hall meeting at the Sheraton hotel in West Des Moines. I got there early with the Iowa GUI team and other volunteers, and went inside for the event, with Hector. We sat at the front and waited for Senator Graham to arrive, and during that time, the room slowly filled up.
Before Senator Graham arrived, we all stood up and were asked to recite the pledge of allegiance, and watched a video over Senator Graham’s background. Upon arriving, he delivered a speech focused on “security through strength”, discussing his role on immigration, military, and healthcare.
His speech was very brief and he began to accept questions shortly after. I was one of the first to raise a hand, but Senator Graham skipped me multiple times, until he decided to take my question, and in doing so apologizing for the delay.
Being my turn, I stood up and asked “In recent years local police forces have been acquiring military weapons and vehicles. This harms our communities, but is good for the bottom lines of the companies that sell these goods to the government. What will you do to limit the influence from the companies that profit from the militarization of our local police?”
As I was sitting down, he began by rephrasing my question stating “the question is what would I do to limit the companies who profit from the militarization of the police? That’s the question?” This being my first bird dog experience, I said yes to his question. He looked and gestured at me and stated “I would not deny our police forces the equipment they need to keep law and order.”
He continued “…To those who think that cops are the problem, we got bad cops but I’m more worried about the crooks than I am the cops and you don’t know what’s coming our way. So I will provide equipment to law enforcement communities based on their abilities to use it. I am not in the camp of being more afraid of the cops than the crooks.”
He finished by stating “…please understand who you are voting for.”