The Economist and the Militarization of Law Enforcement

It’s been a while since I last talked about the militarization of law enforcement, but I wanted to post again because now The Economist is highlighting the topic in two recent articles.

Go ahead and read them. It’s similar material to what I’ve posted about previously: the rise in SWAT-style raids, the frequency with with small towns get surplus military equipment for free, and the sometimes tragic results. However, The Economist does cover one angle that I haven’t yet: the asset forfeiture laws which allow cops to seize property that they can claim were the proceeds of a crime. This has led to arresting suspects in their home to seize the home or raiding stash houses only after drugs have been sold in order to seize the cash. This is now a billion dollar industry that funds police departments, thereby incentivizing more of these sorts of raids.

It’s a great summary, and worth talking about. I’m glad The Economist put these out. What do you think?