Militarization of Police


While anger and organizing are justified, they are also used to paint Black communities as a danger to the White majority and to justify the further militarization of local police that began with the War on Drugs.

In 1997, the so-called ‘1033 program’ allowed billions in Pentagon funding to be shifted to local law enforcement as surplus military equipment. In 2014, protests in Ferguson, MO, thrust militarization into national view. Still, an amendment to stop the program failed 62 to 355, with Democrats opposing it by a 3-to-1 margin. In 2015, President Obama placed limitations on the type of equipment that could be given to local LE units. A 2017 study showed significant correlation between militarized police and fatalities from officer-involved shootings. Nonetheless, in August 2017, the Trump administration announced its intention to restore provision of military surplus weapons to local law enforcement.