Department of Homeland Security Theater: Super Bowl Edition

On Feb­ru­ary 4, dur­ing Super­bowl LII at U.S. Bank Sta­di­um in Min­neapo­lis, MN, the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty showed up ready for war. These would-be sol­diers arrived wear­ing green for­est fatigues in down­town Min­neapo­lis in win­ter.

One func­tion­al dif­fer­ence between “police” and “mil­i­tary” is the realm in which each oper­ates. Police are the State’s enforce­ment arm, enact­ing force and vio­lence on peo­ple with­in its ter­ri­to­r­i­al bound­aries. For a place like the Unit­ed States, which has not fought a tra­di­tion­al land-based war at “home” in decades, the dif­fer­ence is stark. The police focus­es its force on peo­ple with­in the bor­ders, the mil­i­tary focus­es its atten­tion on peo­ple out­side the bor­ders. This is an over­sim­pli­fi­ca­tion, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing the military’s involve­ment in cyber sur­veil­lance and the internet’s inher­ent­ly bor­der­less nature.

This was the state of “secu­ri­ty” at the Super­bowl:

If the mil­i­tary exists to pro­tect the State from exter­nal threats, and if the mil­i­tary turns its focus inward towards peo­ple with­in the bound­aries of the State, then the assump­tion to be drawn is this: the peo­ple who act in oppo­si­tion to the State are “exter­nal threats.”

As a result of a Pub­lic Records Act request to the City of Sacra­men­to, FOIA Horse obtained sev­er­al law enforce­ment guides to event plan­ning and man­age­ment.

Cur­rent Secu­ri­ty Sit­u­a­tion, Sta­dia Mag­a­zine

DHS is espe­cial­ly focused on the Super Bowl, as seen from this excerpt from the arti­cle from Sta­dia Mag­a­zine, above.

Man­ag­ing Major Events: Best Prac­tices from the Field, Crit­i­cal Issues in Polic­ing

Sport Venue Secu­ri­ty: Plan­ning and Pre­pared­ness for Ter­ror­ist-Relat­ed Inci­dents, The SMART Jour­nal (Spring/Summer 2008)

Plan­ning & Man­ag­ing Secu­ri­ty for Major Spe­cial Events, U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice, Office of Com­mu­ni­ty Ori­ent­ed Polic­ing Ser­vices

DHS’s offi­cial Flickr account.

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