Does Military Equipment Lead Police Officers to be more Violent?
"When law enforcement agencies are increasingly militarized, do officers become more violent?
...The 1996 National Defense Authorization Act allows the defense secretary
to give local law enforcement the Defense Department’s excess military
equipment at no cost under the 1033 Program created by the act — and
the department increasingly made such transfers over the subsequent two
In 1998, about $9.4 million in equipment was transferred to 290 law
enforcement agencies. That amount began to jump dramatically after the
9/11 terrorist attacks....
Even controlling for other possible factors in police violence (such as
household income, overall and black population, violent-crime levels and
drug use), more-militarized law enforcement agencies were associated
with more civilians killed each year by police. When a county goes from
receiving no military equipment to $2,539,767 worth (the largest figure
that went to one agency in our data), more than twice as many civilians
are likely to die in that county the following year."
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