Militarization Of Urban Police Forces


A lot has changed in the Obama administration in the field of security. In one of the newspaper article, a reporter highlighted how the police have been armed with heavy machinery such as guns, silencers, cars and ammunition. According to Matt Apuzzo who wrote in the New York Times, the government has decided to make the police to be mini armed forces. It is very important to note that the role of the police is simply to protect law and order. On the other hand, the role of the army is to protect its citizens and all Americans. However, in America today, police stations resemble a military barrack. Police raids and operations today have a very close resemblance with the way the military operates. In one raid, more than 80,000 officers were used.

In a 100 page report, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote about how the American police were being militarized. The report was called, “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing’. The report was carried out extensively. The instruments that were used in data collection involved interviews and questionnaires. Also the report analyzed the records of more than 260 policemen (and women) in 26 states. In their conclusion, the organization stated that the American police have become very militarized. They attributed this to the supply of weapons and techniques which they are using to carry out their operations. They also concluded that this process has very unfair impacts on black people.

The information contained in this report is staggering. It defeats human thinking. Many Americans have been killed while others have been held hostage by the government. Let us look at the 11 important impacts to the militarization of the police.

It leads to harming and killing of innocent people. Of course, when you have armed the police with sophisticated weapons, people are bound to be hurt. For instance, it is now very common for SWAT teams to go unannounced to people’s homes to conduct searches. When attached, people might think that it is a burglary and go ahead to defend themselves. The result will be death or injuries. According to the report, so far, more than 7 people have perished while more than 50 have been injured. A good example is what happened to Tarika Wilson who lived in Lima. Since her boyfriend was wanted by the police, they decided to attack her home. The police ended up killing him and injuring her 1 year old son. The fact is that such cases will continue to be reported if this trend continues. Ironically, the policemen who short her boyfriend were released for no wrongdoing.

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