Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H3'ed 3/20/14

Making the whole US a war zone: Crime’s Down, So Why is Police Aggression Increasing?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 63
Message Dave Lindorff
Become a Fan
  (87 fans)
- Advertisement -

By Dave Lindorff


(Image by ThisCantBeHappening!))   Details   DMCA

You might not know it from watching TV news, but FBI statistics show that crime in the U.S.--including violent crime--has been trending steadily downward for years, falling 19% between 1987 and 2011. The job of being a police officer has become safer too, as the number of police killed by gunfire plunged to 33 last year, down 50% from 2012, to its lowest level since, wait for it,1887, a time when the population was 75% lower than it is today.

- Advertisement -

So why are we seeing an ever increasing militarization of policing across the country?

Given the good news on crime, what are we to make of a report by the Justice Polivcy Institute, a not-for-profit justice reform group, showing that state and local spending on police has soared from $40 billion in 1982 to more than $100 billion in 2012. Adding in federal spending on law enforcement, including the FBI, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Agency and much of the Homeland Security Department budget, as well as federal grants to state and local law enforcement more than doubles that total. A lot of that money is simply pay and benefits. The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that the ranks of state and local law enforcement personnel alone swelled from 603,000 to 794,000 between 1992 and 2010. That's about two-thirds as many men and women as the entire active-duty US military.

What these statistics make clear is that policing in America is ramping up even as the crime rate is falling.

- Advertisement -

For example, SWAT team actions have soared from hundreds annually in the 1970s to thousands a year in the "80s to 40,000 a year by 2005, according to a report by the libertarian CATO institute. The author of that report, and academic experts studying the issue , now estimate there may have been as many as 70,000-80,000 such raids in 2013 alone. Hard figures are not available: the Justice Department does not keep records on SWAT-team usage...


For the rest of this article, please go to www.thiscantbehappening.net

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Dave Lindorff Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Looming climate catastrophe?: A Rapidly Warming Arctic Could Loose a Methane Climate Bomb Causing Extinction in 9 Years

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0