Super Bowl Security Has Turned Minneapolis Into A Military Police State
4 February, 2018
SEAR-I is an event “of such magnitude and significant national and/or international importance that may require the full support of the United States Government (USG). The scale and scope of these events requires significant coordination among federal, state, and local authorities and warrants pre-deployment of federal assets as well as consultation, technical advice, and support to specific functional areas in which the state and local agencies may lack expertise or key resources.”
Though the Minneapolis Police Department is the agency in charge of security operations during Super Bowl LII, more than 60 additional police departments from across the state of Minnesota have sent officers. There are also over 400 National Guard members, United States Secret Service, ICE and FBI agents, several hundred security contractors, county Sheriff’s Reserves, and over 10,000 civilian volunteers. Representatives from Minnesota police departments, FBI, DHS, and the Secret Service, have been stationed at multiple command centers around Minneapolis to watch hundreds of surveillance cameras, track social media, and monitor communications on the ground during Super Bowl events.
Mobile phone signal boosters, surveillance gear, and other unknown electronics began popping up throughout the Twin Cities in preparation for the Super Bowl. Some of the surveillance technology, as well as the general culture of surveillance, will remain in Minneapolis long after the Super Bowl leaves.
Some are worried that the intense security for large sporting events like the Super Bowl is normalizing the use of military forces and surveillance in the everyday life of Americans. With numerous event attendees stopping to take photos next to military humvees and with Minnesota National Guard, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies, and military police outfitted in camouflage military gear, it isn’t hard to see why people are concerned.
Is the presence of military personnel and militarized police at Super Bowl LII keeping Minneapolis safe, or is it simply an excuse for a police state and the installation of citywide гsurveillance?