We’ve seen some pretty powerful newspaper front pages during coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, but the New Yorker’s September cover perfectly captures the sinister nature of police militarization in a way that a photo couldn’t.
Artist Eric Drooker noted that he feels a personal connection to Ferguson because a black friend of his was killed by a cop in Manhattan in 1991 and he witnessed police militarization on the Lower East Side as he was growing up.
Here’s the cover:
What resonates so well here is the approaching tank that’s towering over shadowy figures in a tear-gas-like haze with their hands raised (and a middle finger from the figure on the right, perhaps?).
Drooker said of the cover:
“Of course, rubber bullets, tear gas, and Tasers have been used for a while — on nonviolent anti-war protests at the dawn of the Iraq invasion, not to mention Occupy — but the U.S. media has often chosen to ignore these images. Now that billions have been spent and the equipment is in place throughout the country, the intensive militarization of America’s police forces is finally being acknowledged after the horrors of Ferguson.”
Police militarization has been a major focus of the Ferguson protest coverage. Local police departments have been armed with tanks and military-grade rifles through government programs, and the necessity of this equipment has been called into question by those who are concerned that it could escalate tense situations instead of diffuse them.
The protests in Ferguson followed the police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was stopped by police for walking in the middle of the street with a friend.
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