By JG Vibes
March 7, 2013
While they do definitely have their shortcomings and their roots in the state, the ACLU is many times one of the only mainstream organizations to recognize police brutality and the horrors of war. Now in a new report they are calling attention to a problem that involves both of these realms, and that is the militarization of American police forces. They posted the following statement to their website along with a graphic that said “Towns Don’t Need Tanks”:
American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war. Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods. On March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 23 states filed over 255 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments. Stay tuned as this project develops.
This report will likely just be scratching the surface, but since police brutality is such an out in the open, everyday occurrence they may be able to gather enough evidence to change some minds.