War Comes Home: Militarization of American Police



GUEST: Frank Knaack, Director of Public Policy and Communications for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.


TOPIC: Frank discusses a ground-breaking study just released from the ACLU regarding the troubling use of SWAT teams by local law enforcement around the country. From the ACLU:

“All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.

“Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

“As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.”

Click here to read the report.


ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Wednesday, June 25, 2014.