The American Civil Liberties Union reported yesterday that almost half of its state chapters have filed requests under the Open Records laws of their respective states for information concerning the increased militarization of local law enforcement agencies in their states. Reports of these requests have begun surfacing in the media. See here
The ACLU seems particularly interested in the role of the federal government and the US military departments, including their active duty, Reserve and National Guard forces in providing assistance, training and equipment, including GPS tracking systems, drones and other weapons systems to the local law enforcement units. “Equipping state and local law enforcement with military weapons and vehicles, military tactical training, and actual military assistance to conduct traditional law enforcement erodes civil liberties and encourages increasingly aggressive policing, particularly in poor neighborhoods and communities of color,” ACLU Center for Justice attorney Kara Dansky added. “We’ve seen examples of this in several localities, but we don’t know the dimensions of the problem.”
Read more: here.
What do you think? What is the role of the military services, including its active duty, Reserve and National Guard forces in providing assistance, training and equipment to local law enforcement agencies?
Gordon O. Tanner
Principal Deputy General Counsel
United States Air Force