Across the country, police are using aggressive, military-style policing tactics to enforce the law. These aggressive tactics disproportionately affect minorities and residents of lower-income communities. Recent protests by the Black Lives Matter movement have taken place in response to the deaths of individuals such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Aggressive police presence at these demonstrations has been prominent, despite protesters’ peaceful intent. The police are not only present at rallies and protests but also at celebratory events like major cities' sports celebrations. This paper examines militarization as a result of the War on Drugs, the 1033 program, racial politics, and police anxieties, as well as how it relates to present-day policing tactics and police legitimacy. The United States should do all that it can to prevent police from becoming too militarized. This can be achieved through policy adaptations such as repealing the 1033 program to limit access to new military-grade weapons, decriminalizing drugs, and increasing penalties on officers who abuse their power.
"The Rise of Police Militarization and Impact on Civilians,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 9
, Article 1.