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:
There are tanks parked outside of the Super Bowl stadium right now, with cops standing guard in front of them dressed in apparent paramilitary gear & armed with automatic weapons. Your Department of Homeland Security dollars at work, folks: the Police are the new Army.
— Lucius (@luciusringwald) February 4, 2018
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)
DHS’s official Flickr account.