One of the most frequent images we saw in the summer of 2020 was police deployed in full riot gear, confronting peaceful protesters demanding racial justice.
If you noticed, the police often looked like soldiers of an occupying force, not like the community guardians they are supposed to be. That’s because many local police departments across the country have the benefit of a federal program that hands out surplus military hardware for free. Tiny rural towns can get armored personnel carriers, assault rifles and other gear that has no place on American streets. More than one scholar believes that this “militarization” of police has led to an escalation of violence as well as adversarial attitudes by police toward the people they are committed to protect.
I wrote about an easy way to demilitarize the police: By ending the program providing weapons of war to local police.
Read it here.