Militarization of U.S. police forces in Ferguson and beyond – LINKS

Understanding Empire: Technology, Power, Politics

Amongst the ongoing riots in Ferguson after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer, a number of news outlets have covered the militarization of U.S. police forces in Missouri and beyond. Since the 1990s, the Pentagon has funneled surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies to the tune of more than $4.3 billion. This cache, administered under the “1033 Program” by the Defense Department’s Law Enforcement Support Office, includes everything from assault weapons to tactical armored vehicles. According to the original piece of legislation, contained in the 1990 National Defense Authorization Act, the goal was to combat drug barons and cartels in counter-narcotic operations. This was later updated in 1997 to allow weapons to be transferred to all law enforcement agencies, not just those involved in counter-narcotics. Going well beyond the parameters of either a “war on drugs” or “crowd control”, such violent implements lend credence to…

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4 Responses to Militarization of U.S. police forces in Ferguson and beyond – LINKS

  1. Keith Harris says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been reading about war machines mainly as a way to think about ‘conscious capitalism’ but this aspect has been in the back of my mind over the last two weeks.

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