by WeAreChange Ohio
WeAreChange Ohio traveled to Newport, Kentucky to investigate the military checkpoints that appeared around the downtown area on September 6, 2009. Officially, this was done for traffic control purposes during the annual Riverfest celebration that is held on both sides of the Ohio River.
Military Police from the U.S. Army National Guard performed a series of tasks throughout the day, which included aiding the local police to close bridges across the river, and to reverse traffic along Monmouth Street in Newport.
Two Military Police officers were located at each corner of Monmouth from the Ohio River to 11th Street, while two Humvees were strategically placed to block traffic onto the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. One of the National Guard members indicated that there were also Marines in the area.
WeAreChange Ohio spoke with a thirty-year veteran of the Newport Police Department, who wished to remain anonymous. He stated that the local municipalities were desperately strapped for funds and that the city had been cutting back his division at the department.
While he welcomed the help from the National Guard, he recognized that funding was being systematically shifted away from local governments in favor of Washington.
A Question of Propriety
The soldiers from the National Guard were willing to talk to WeAreChange Ohio, and were very down-to-earth. They could fit into any suburban family setting. Their all-American demeanor made some of their statements even more chilling.
When asked if they would confiscate guns, shoot resisters in the back of the head, or throw people into ovens to incinerate bodies, the officers said that they were on duty to help the local police. Not once did they state “no.”
Sam Logulo of WeAreChange Ohio felt that the soldiers did not belong in this type of situation. “Police traditionally work with the citizenry,” said Logulo. “The military, their job is to kill and destroy.”
This is a clear violation of The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.