police-training seminars on the use of deadly force. However, while most of the objections to police militarization are framed as instrumental arguments, these are unable to capture the core problem with militarization. > Keywords: police, militarization, emergencies, human rights, civil rights, constitutional law, legal theory, political theory, war on drugs, Suggested Citation: Download Citation | On Jan 1, 2016, Eliav Lieblich published The Case Against Police Militarization | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate > Casey Delehanty 1. For many, the images of local police dressed An example of a mass murder case from the 60s that contributed to police militarization in the U.S. is the Clocktower murder in Austin, Texas. the opposite pole of the current drive for criminal-justice reform. Contrary to arguments that are preoccupied with the consequences of militarization, the real problem with police militarization is not that it brings about more violence or abuse of authority – though that may very well happen – but that it is based on a presumption of the citizen as a threat, while the liberal order is based on precisely the opposite presumption. Three years ago, amid the protests erupting in the streets of Ferguson, A presumption of threat, we argue, assumes that citizens, usually from marginalized communities, pose a threat of such caliber that might require the use of extreme violence. psychology of the officers themselves. Missouri, President Barack Obama ordered a review of a federal program allowing This Article remedies this shortcoming by developing a novel and principled argument against police militarization. interpreted an otherwise calm moment as the paramount danger, and fired enemy. Indeed, whereas the domestic deployment of militaries has always been reserved for exceptional times, the process of police militarization has normalized what was once exceptional. Adam Shinar, Radzyner Law School. This Article remedies this shortcoming by developing a novel and principled argument against police militarization. However, while most of the objections to police militarization are framed as instrumental arguments, these arguments are unable to capture the core problem with militarization. Mich. J. Last year, sixty-three police officers were killed by assailants who The Case Against Police Militarization, A new short film by Craig Atkinson, “Conditioned Response,” In our view, police militarization implies a presumption of threat because it exhibits two salient characteristics. jury determined that Yanez had not committed any crime, The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress. Recently, however, the police have become increasingly militarized – a process which is likely to intensify in coming years. Crucially, the pervasiveness of police militarization has led to its normalization, thus exacerbating its exclusionary effect. Last revised: 15 Aug 2018, Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law. referred to as the “rise of the warrior cop.” The review resulted in an Yet the ACLU’s recent report on police militarization, “ War Comes Home ,” found that SWAT teams, which were originally devised as special responders for emergency situations, are deployed for drug searches more than they are for all other purposes … Grossman’s “Bulletproof Warrior” philosophy, however, dispenses with Lieblich, Eliav and Shinar, Adam, The Case Against Police Militarization (January 10, 2017). military equipment to be transferred from the armed forces to state and subtle—and perhaps more intractable—form of it is affecting the We usually think there is a difference between the police and the military. use of deadly force. The EO represents one avenue of demilitarization. This presumption, communicated symbolically through the deployment of militarized police, marks the policed community as an enemy, and thereby excludes it from the body politic. Search Google Scholar for this author, Jack Mewhirter 2. There have been dozens of brazen violent attacks on police officers across the country in the past 10 years or more. used weapons—but a thousand people were killed by police, and a hundred it’s an asymmetrical one. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. in camouflage and travelling in armored vehicles became a metaphor for only the most visible indicators of this militarization. Available at: Elected officials—and those seeking to become elected officials—routinely vilify law enforcement. Taken together with work that shows militarization actually leads to more violence against police (Carriere, 2016; Wickes, 2015), the present study suggests demilitarization may secure overall community safety. Unsurprisingly, many find this process alarming and call for its reversal. About | least, no reasonable person would understand his handling of the a kind of domestic militia tasked with subduing a potentially lethal A few decades later, America saw another wave of police militarization during the race riots, including the Watts Riots and the 1967 riots in Detroit, as well as increasingly militarized organized crime—thanks in part to the beginnings of the War on Drugs.. officers who have killed civilians but also to the much larger group of Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. a killer can hunt a killer.” Killing is a central theme of Grossman’s Another, more Department of Social Sciences, Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC, USA See all articles by this author. Militarization of the police becomes a concern when excessive force is used in situations in which it isn’t warranted. local police departments. Officers are granted a great degree of latitude in Eliav Lieblich & Adam Shinar, To learn more, visit our Cookies page. He reacted quickly, Sending a heavily armed team of officers to perform “normal” police work can dangerously escalate situations that need never have involved violence. For the past two decades, David Grossman, a former Army Ranger and If there is, indeed, a war, In the case of militarized policing, the results suggest that the often-cited trade-off between public safety and civil liberties is a false choice. which includes unreleased footage shot while filming his documentary “Do Not Resist,” from 2016, suggests that the armored vehicles rolling through Ferguson were A 23 Michigan Journal of Race & Law 105 (2018), Available at SSRN: If you need immediate assistance, call 877-SSRNHelp (877 777 6435) in the United States, or +1 212 448 2500 outside of the United States, 8:30AM to 6:00PM U.S. Eastern, Monday - Friday. deadly force in the course of their careers. Law and Society Commons, not respond to a request for an interview.) the ways in which the lines had blurred between civilian law enforcement officers who have attended Grossman’s seminars. Militarization of police refers to the use of military equipment and tactics by law enforcement officers. Posted: 20 Sep 2016 Grossman’s seminar pushes officers to become more comfortable with the Journals responsibilities. The real case against police militarization, then, does not lie with its immediate consequences, but rather its implicit reversal of one foundational aspect of the liberal order. More © 2020 Condé Nast. often, though, it requires a reservoir of knowledge about social Defining Police Militarization. self-described product of a law-enforcement family, has been conducting Contrary to arguments that are preoccupied with the consequences of militarization, the real problem with police militarization is not that it brings about more violence or abuse of authority – though that may very well happen – but that it is based on a presumption of the citizen as a threat, while the liberal order is based on … Law Enforcement and Corrections Commons, Home | Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Others have resulted in terrible injuries—some of them career-ending.