The problem that the police of the United States is more and more militarized arouse anxiety in the American society. The matter is discussed in the article “Cops or soldiers”, published on March 22, 2014 in The Economist. The author describes a raid of a group of heavy armed policemen into a house of ordinary American family supporting their action with “ battering ram” and looking for $1000worth of electronic devices and clothes bought with stolen credit cards. They found nothing of the sort and arrested two persons for unrelated charges. All that cost stress and fear among the members of the family and there was a real risk one of them to be shot if he had taken out his gun legally processed considering that intruders break in the house. The statistic shows that “only a fraction of SWAT-style raids result in actual charges of any kind, they often provoke fear, hurt individuals and families, and result in damages to personal property” ( Kara Dansky and Sarah Solon, ACLU, June 6, 2013).
We ask the question why all that happens and why the police “should be about the community protection and not about the combat” (Kara Dansky and Sarah Solon, ACLU, June 6, 2013). The answer is related to the little-known program of Pentagon to distribute weapons to municipal law enforcement agencies and that in 2014 the amount of the distributed quantity is $4.2 bn worth in comparison of $546m for 2013. This propounds another question of what happens to the constitutional rights of people designated in the Fourth Amendment which states:
“The right of the people to be secured in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”. (Constitution of the United States)
Another issue is the enormous price the citizens have to pay to be disturbed. Many authors like David Lindorff explain that the Pentagon has 1000 heavily equipped vehicles after the end of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan “that it has no use for called MRAP’s”. (WhoWhatWhy, February 17, 2014)
We may conclude that the tendency of militarizing the law enforcement units is not acceptable and it results in more uneasiness for the American citizens instead of being protected.
Constitution of the Unoted States, Web
Dansky, Kara and Solon, Sarah, Local Police Armed with Weapons of War, Too Often Mistakenly Shoot and Kill, ACLU, June 3, 2013
Lindorff, David, Police State gears Up: The Militarization in Law Enforcement in America, WhoWhatWhy, February 17, 2014