The issue of police using military-grade weapons and vehicles rose to national attention during the Ferguson protests. Getty Images Share U.
The culprit is the militarization of the police. Through laws and regulations like a provision in defense budgets that authorize the Pentagon to transfer surplus military gear to police forces, local law enforcement are using weapons found on the battlefields of South Asia and the Middle East.
And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80, such raids last year.
The Excessive Militarization of American Policing. From the killing of innocent people to the lack of debate on the issue, police militarization has turned into a key issue for Americans. Here are 11 important--and horrifying--things you should know about the militarization of police.
It harms, and sometimes kills, innocent people. When you have heavily armed police officers using flash-bang grenades and armored personnel carriers, innocent people are bound to be hurt.
The likelihood of people being killed is raised by the practice of SWAT teams busting down doors with no warning, which leads some people to think it may be a burglary, who could in turn try to defend themselves. The ACLU documented seven cases of civilians dying, and 46 people being injured.
The year-old biracial mother lived in Lima, Ohio. Her boyfriend, Anthony Terry, was wanted by the police on suspicion of drug dealing.
The killing sparked rage in Lima and accusations of a racist police department, but the officer who shot Wilson, Sgt. Joe Chavalia, was found not guilty on all charges. Another case profiled by the ACLU shows how children are caught up the crossfire--with devastating consequences. In May, after their Wisconsin home had burned down, the Phonesavanh family was staying with relatives in Georgia.
But a month-old named Bou Bou was--and the grenade landed in his crib. Bou Bou was wounded in the chest and had third-degree burns. He was put in a medically induced coma. Another high-profile instance of a child being killed by paramilitary police tactics occurred inwhen seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed in Detroit.
Officers raided the home, threw a flash-bang grenade, and fired one shot that struck Jones in the head.
The police agent who fired the fatal shot, Joseph Weekley, has so far gotten off easy: Part of what it means to be black in America now is watching your neighborhood become the training ground for our increasingly militarized police units.
The use of SWAT teams is unnecessary.In monitoring social media, most local police forces lag U.S. intelligence agencies, which despite their vast surveillance networks still struggle to prevent attacks such as the Boston Marathon bombing, reported Reuters. The National Security Agency had raw intercepts pointing to a person matching the "underwear bomber's" description, but failed to stop him from boarding a plane.
Will the Growing Militarization of Our Police Doom Community Policing? The growing militarization of U.S.
policing may be threatening community policing. After a police officer killed year-old Michael Brown in , Ferguson erupted. One image from the unrest shows the silhouette of a solitary man standing with his hands up in front of a row of.
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Aug 28, · President Trump rolled back Obama-era rules that limited the transfer of surplus military equipment to local police departments. In August , many looked on in horror as law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri, responded to ongoing protests about police conduct with military-grade weapons and vehicles.
The police involved.