Serve and Protect

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The paramilitary approach to law enforcement flies in the face of the idea that the police and the citizens are on the same side, writes A. Barton Hinkle. Officer Friendly, strolling the block in a blue uniform and playing a paradiddle with his baton on a white picket fence, looks like he is ready to help carry groceries for the little old lady who lives on the corner. A cop in combat gear with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder looks like he is ready to go to war. And in war, Hinkle notes, there is no presumption of innocence-and the opposing side is not a fellow citizen with constitutional rights. He is the enemy.

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