n. The increase in the use and militarization of police SWAT teams.
SWAT team raids in the US have gone up 25-fold since 1980. Time's recent article about the militarization of the police reports that "the federal government has funneled $4.3 billion of military property to law enforcement agencies since the late 1990s."
A striking recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union indicates that, as in Bergen County, policing is being militarized nationwide in all sorts of unsettling ways. It is, more precisely, being SWATified (a word that doesn't yet exist, but certainly should).
The shocking images of combat-ready officers battering their way into a private home are routine in America's cities today thanks to the war on drugs, as well as the war on illegal immigration. All across the country, the SWATification of policing has led to a proliferation of special units trained to rely on aggressive tactics, barging into homes and swooping down on citizens with impunity
Two hundred marksmen have been assigned to a squad named S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Tactics), designed to pick off snipers and to eliminate, presumably, the need for indiscriminate police gunfire, which took innocent victims in Newark and Detroit last year.