Monday, June 30, 2014

ACLU Report: US Government’s Role In Creating “Paramilitary Police”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released an extensive report Monday on the militarization of the police in the US, showing that the “federal government has justified and encouraged the militarization of local law enforcement.” The report, entitled War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing, shows that the federal government has spent billions of dollars arming local police forces with military-grade weapons and encouraged their use in day-to-day policing. The report focuses on the increasing use of so-called Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) forces to take over the role of ordinary police forces. These units are, in the words of their creator, former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, “quasi-militaristic” outfits. SWAT teams have been deployed throughout the US to carry out such tasks as serving search warrants related to non-violent crimes. These raids proceed like the house-to-house searches made infamous during the US invasion of Iraq, involving police in military battledress throwing stun grenades, pointing automatic rifles at people, wantonly damaging property, killing animals, and gunning down anyone who actively resists.


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