The increasing use of military-style tactics and weapons by police forces across the United States puts civilians at needless risk of death and injury, according to a strongly-worded ACLU report slamming the development.
The study, called “War Comes Home:The Excessive Militarization of American Policing,” warns that police departments across the country have been offered incentives by the federal government to arm up, and now risk alienating communities as a result of heavy-handed raids.
Federal policies that allow the military to distribute unwanted military hardware to local jurisdictions are a big part of the problem, the ACLU found.
Employed primarily to search for drugs, military-style SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) raids happen far more often in poor and minority communities.
“It is widely known that policing tactics across the country often unfairly target communities of color,” the ACLU says. “According to our investigation, the use of paramilitary weapons and tactics appears to be no different.”