“War against Civilians” the Militarization of Modern Police Since the creation of the Constitution of the United States, Americans have been promised many rights. Most importantly, civilians were promised protection by modern day police officers. The 14th amendment states, "no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." In the last couple of years there has been an increase in violence presented by our police officers in the line of duty. The government decided that our police forces need military training to keep up with the increase of criminal acts in America. This started the creation of many special task forces. Many Americans believe that this is great and feel much safer, but other …show more content…
Our federal governments are financially supporting these raids, but are they necessary? Do we have the money to support over-time and equipment for all of these raids? Since S.W.A.T. started this “drug war”, they have begun no knock raids into criminal’s homes with low misdemeanor charges. (Balko) The S.W.A.T. team’s intent was to secure any drugs Civilians might possibly have. The fact is that we are supposed to use them in high level and dangerous drug apprehensions, not walking into someone’s home hoping they find something. In some of these cases, there were incidents that affected the lives of innocent civilians. In 2006, Atlanta Georgia’s S.W.A.T. team raided the home of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston where she was shot and killed. After the shooting occurred, investigators discovered they, in fact, invaded the wrong home and she died for no particular reason except the mistake of a low criminal raid. This would go on to be only one of a dozen cases like it in one year. (Balko)
Post 9/11 created a noticeable change from what we consider normal police, to what is considered militarized. The White House 's National Strategy for Combating Terrorism confidently announced that the United States had "broken old orthodoxies that once confined our counterterrorism efforts primarily to the criminal justice domain." (Rizer) This shift appears to be permanent in 2006. Since then, there has been mixed
Methods and styles of American policing has been changing and evolving ever since policing became organized. Sometimes it would focus on the harsh, unwavering punishment of crime. Then it would focus on the prevention of crime. One thing, prior to September 11, 2001, that it did not focus on was the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil. A terrorist leader by the name of Osama bin Laden had been warring against the United States since 1990. His terrorist group, Al Qaeda, was responsible for many suicide bombings and other killings of American soldiers throughout Asia and Africa. As the
The militarization of the police is becoming more and more prevalent issue in our society. There are positives and negatives to this issue, but in my opinion it is a negative occurrence. Excessive use of force further divides police and community, which eventually may lead to severe consequences that may be irreparable.
In the film, Do Not Resist, Craig Atkinson illustrates the use of military weapons being issued to police; in addition, the differences of “Warrior” and “Guardian” mentalities in law enforcement. A warrior mentality, as described in Atkinson’s film, is referred to the mental tendencies of soldiers, focusing more on protection. Warrior mentality in officers is used to combat extreme situations, like terrorists attacks or hostage situations. On the other hand, guardian mentalities are focused more on serving the community more than protecting. Law enforcement officers have both the warrior and guardian concepts, some officers have more warrior than guardian while others have guardian more than warrior. It is important to understand the difference between the mentalities. To understand we see which communities have higher crime rates than others and see the kind of funds spent on weaponizing police. With those factors one can deduce what law enforcement stations have the ‘warrior’ persona. At what point do we say “enough is enough”, and take away big brother’s toys? As a nation, we’re only strong united. As the great JFK so powerfully said during the Civil War, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Our division of law enforcers, people of color, political affiliation, and other factors will be this society's inevitable downfall. Today’s society’s annihilation is inevitable because we do not have the proper leaders to guide this nation into prosperity.
The role of police officers is very significant to American history. Police work toward protecting citizens’ rights and helping America become the land of the free. The United States of America is built from the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights and police play a major role in making sure American rights are met. Evolution has changed many of American history for the better; policing is part of those changes. As new issues in society arise, police must change and adapt to protect and serve the public.
When local police departments receive the new military gear, the tendency of them relying on it even in situations that do not have any real threat to the officer or their safety increases. This has been called "the rise of the warrior cop" (Balko). Social psychological research and anecdotal evidence from law enforcement specialists suggest that militarized policing can escalate situations that could have ended peacefully (Singal). There are already a lot of cases of police violence all around the country and not all of the country’s police forces have received military weaponry. There would be more cases like Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, and Ronald Johnson, where it could have ended peacefully with the person in custody. Instead, they are dead and their deaths have fueled riots and protests all across the nation. These events bring with a lot of negative media for police departments and for the ones in charge of them. If officers were to carry more advanced and deadly weaponry, it will lead to more cases as these. This would be due to the "weapons effect" which states that the presence of weapons fuel more aggressive behavior (Singal). By having the local police carrying these heavy duty weapons, they will be more prone to exhibiting aggressive behavior and lead to more cases like the ones previously mentioned. Bruce Bartholow, a social psychologist at the
During the twentieth century there was a serious change with the police. These changes came due to investigative commissions, political reform, civil rights movement, modern technologies, and reform by police
Rise of the Warrior Cop, by Radley Balko, centers around police in the United States and how it has gone through militarization throughout the years. Militarization is a process in which the police departments take on tactics that are similar to the tactics used by the military. Police forces were initially made to make our environment a safer place to live in. In this book, Balko explains how that has changed. Practices of policing first began when people would get hired, unofficially, to keep slaves under control and catch them if they try to run away. These people were sometimes known as slave catchers. Soon it evolved into formal policing, allowing police to catch criminals and make the neighborhood safe. However, today it is not so much about catching criminals; it involves a lot of violence and Balko questions whether this is even constitutional. In his writing, Balko brings awareness to the horrible tactics police are using in today’s society and how we could fix it.
Each year citizens die in encounters with law enforcement officers. It is reported that “Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist” (Rucke, 2013). Although there is no official data base tracking these occurrences it is estimated that between 500 and a 1,000 people are killed by police officers each year. To put this in greater perspective this number equals approximately 5,000 since the 9/11 terror attack which is roughly the same number as U.S. soldiers who have been killed in the line of duty in Iraq (Rucke, 2013). This statistic is justifiably concerning. The cause of police related killings are multifold and cannot be attributed to only one factor. Many deaths may be unavoidable and perhaps, dependent on the situation, necessary. I contend, however, that many of these deaths may very well be preventable.
Law enforcement response to counter-terrorism fundamentally changed as a result of the unprecedented events of September 11th 2001 in New York and Washington (Kaldas, 2002, p61-62). This essay will examine how law enforcement has evolved in response to the changing nature of terrorism, with an emphasis on how this has impacted Australia. An analysis of arrests and subsequent
President Barrack Obama in a Huffington Post article back in 2014 said, “I think it 's probably useful for us to review how the funding has gone, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars, to make sure that what they are purchasing is stuff they actually need. Because there’s a big difference between our military and local law enforcement and we don 't want those lines blurred. That would be contrary to our traditions.” This is all too familiar nowadays. Police Militarization has appeared to have gone too far in local and state police officers. To combat the war on drugs in 1971 President Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs causing a dramatic increase in federal agencies both in size and presence. It wasn’t until 1997 when the 1033 program launched causing billions of dollars of military surplus equipment to be available to local and state law enforcement. Now in 2015 some lawmakers are attempting to stop the program, such as Democratic Florida representative Alan Grayson. Grayson failed in his attempts in June to stop the 1033 program by a 3 to 1 margin by his own Democratic Party. It is unclear how our reliance on high duty weaponry and the latest technology can help police officers who only see the equipment as toys. For example, in August 9th the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri caused unrest when a police officer shot an unarmed man. Putting race aside this is a direct violation of the 4th amendment. Justice Byron R. White stated that, “The
Before 9/11, law enforcement possessed the primary responsibility for combating terrorism in the United States. Law enforcement relationships and responsibilities have continued to be evaluated and redefined at all levels of government. They will evolve because of the continuous changing nature of terrorist threats, prevention needs and transforming operations and strategies. Terrorist groups continue to advance and pose threats in new ways each day. In the fourteen years since the worst terrorist attack on United States territory, citizens have undoubtedly become more cautious and accustomed to the inconveniences that result from the precautions and added security law enforcement agencies are now having to provide.
Patrol and criminal investigation used to dominate policing. Uniformed officers would roam the streets interrupting crime and trying to prevent them from happening. There are different strategies to policing. These strategies include patrol, special operations, and investigations. There are changes that can be made in laws to impact the
The militarization of police, with shockingly clear threats to our God-given rights, is unconstitutional and needs to be stopped immediately. It is even acknowledged by our forefathers that “there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations, as warned by James Madison. That is what is happening, a slow and silent progression of the taking our freedom, via the militarization of the police. The founding fathers would be absolutely terrified of our current law enforcers. Before the Revolution, it was England’s use of soldiers for
Police Agencies in modern society are a part of the American fabric to serve and protect the American public. The United States currently have more than 15,000 police agencies, (Walker & Katz, 2011). Police Departments across the United States face similar critical issues policing. All police officers face dangers in the job of policing the dangers can emanate from internal and external origins. Police officers have continued to evolve to serve communities by finding better less than lethal alternatives to weapons used. In addition, police departments have continued to keep up with
“Things will never be the same.” (Miller, Stone & Mitchell, 2002, p. 3) Law enforcement has undergone dramatic changes as a result of the devastating events in the United States on 11 September 2001 (9/11). This essay will examine how law enforcement, specifically within Australia, has shifted its policies and strategies to fight the post-9/11 terrorist threat. An analysis of police actions towards terrorist related incidents since 9/11, displays how law enforcement agencies have demonstrated their