Green Party leaders and candidates are calling for the demilitarization of civilian U.S. police departments, asserting that military police tactics have created an "occupation mentality" in many communities.
Greens said that abuses of police power and disregard for the lives of young black people were on display in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, threats against reporters, and a display of force that turned peaceful protest into a violent confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri. Greens expressed support for the protesters.
"The murder of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson must be investigated and prosecuted aggressively, but the crisis won't end with the punishment of an individual police officer," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for governor of New York. "Out-of-control police who respond to minor violations with overwhelming force, toleration of racist cops, siege-like conditions in some cities and city neighborhoods, and record-high incarceration - all of these are evidence of a growing police state."