Michael Shank and Elizabeth Beavers
Oct. 7, 2013
America’s streets are looking more and more like a war zone. Last
week, in a small county in upstate New York with a population of roughly
120,000 people, county legislators approved the receipt of a 20-ton
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, donated by the US
Defense Department to the county sheriff.
Between the Armored Personnel Carriers locking down main streets in
major American cities – mimicking our MRAPs in Afghanistan – or Special
Weapons and Tactics (Swat) and Special Forces units canvassing our
country, if we’re not careful, this militarization of our domestic
policing will make-over America, and fast.
Here’s how it all happened. A little-known Pentagon program has been
quietly militarizing American police forces for years. A total of $4.2bn
worth of equipment has been distributed by the Defense Department to
municipal law enforcement agencies, with a record $546m in 2012 alone.