Glenn Beck on Thursday responded to critics of his upcoming "Root" special, which airs on Thursday and tackles police militarization.
"I am by no means anti-cop, never have been and never will be," Beck remarked. "I very much understand and respect the men and women in blue. Blue lives matter. But that does not mean that I have to agree with the policies they are being forced to abide by. I actually think those policies are very harmful to the officers."
Beck said Thursday's program will challenge the direction in which local police are heading and the skyrocketing number of SWAT raids on non-violent offenders, while making it clear that "officers cannot be blamed for doing the job they are asked to do as long as it is within the lines of the Constitution."
"We have to think strategically, and somebody with $300 worth of pot and no criminal history and no weapons, for them to have their door knocked down by a SWAT team in the middle of the night [may not be the best solution]," Beck remarked. "The policy is what we're challenging, not the police officers."
Beck added that if the subject of the raid is armed, is suspected of being armed or has a violent history, he is "all for taking the SWAT team and going armed to the teeth."
"The problem is, [that] is not what is actually happening the majority of the time," Beck remarked. "Many of the SWAT raids conducted now are for standard drug warrants involving misdemeanor-level criminals who have no violent history."
Beck said police officers are being "set up," and if they continue down the road of increased militarization, many Americans will lose faith in them.
"This is orchestrated, and we must know what's going on and what the end of the road is," Beck said. "[President Barack Obama] is creating the impression that you're out of control and you have too much stuff, when in reality he is not taking any of that stuff away. His people are holding you back while they are calling for the Justice Department to take over local policing. Don't you see the game that is being played, and the cops are being set up? By God man, I'm your best friend because no one else will talk about this!"
"These policies of increased force ... present the police as occupying military, not a partner in the community. That is not the fault of the officer," Beck reiterated. "When they come rolling in in an MRAP to serve a warrant on your neighbor, what the hell is that? That's not part of the community. That's an occupying force to many Americans, and unfortunately our cops will suffer the consequences of these policies."
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