Should police be demilitarized?


“The convergence of the progressive left and libertarian right over police demilitarization is yielding a liberal-tarian moment—and it’s brought to you by the Koch brothers,” writes The Daily Beast’s Tim Mok.

Kara Dansky, the author of a report on the militarization of police and a senior counsel at the ACLU, also said the time is ripe for potential cooperation between libertarians and progressives.

The right and left see the militarization of police differently, she said, with libertarians focusing on Pentagon equipment and federal grants for local law enforcement, and progressives taking issue with the “militarization of policing in communities of color.”

But regardless of their different lenses, she said, “there seems to be a convergence of interests” between the two sides.

Former LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing traces the roots of a more militarized police force in Huffington Post, “The militarization of local law enforcement was seeded by the Nixon administration’s declaration of the war on drugs in the early 1970s, and took root in the 1980s as result of President Reagan’s escalation that poured millions into the drug war, shifting the focus of local law enforcement away from violent and property crimes to mostly small-time drug offenders.”

Today’s Question: Should police be demilitarized?