Several new articles that, read together, link many of the themes of the last few weeks of “Principles” and offer myriad examples of ways in which the breakdown of legal control over police power is something that potentially affects everyone (and, sadly, their dogs).
Dress cops up as soldiers, give them military equipment, train them in military tactics, tell them they’re fighting a “war,” and the consequences are predictable. These policies have taken a toll. Among the victims of increasingly aggressive and militaristic police tactics: Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Md., whose dogs were killed when Prince George’s County police mistakenly raided his home; 92-year-old Katherine Johnston, who was gunned down by narcotics cops in Atlanta in 2006; 11-year-old Alberto Sepulveda, who was killed by Modesto, Calif., police during a drug raid in September 2000; 80-year-old Isaac Singletary, who was shot by undercover narcotics police in 2007 who were attempting to sell drugs from his yard; Jonathan Ayers, a Georgia pastor shot as he tried to flee a gang of narcotics cops who jumped him at a gas station in 2009; Clayton Helriggle, a 23-year-old college student killed during a marijuana raid in Ohio in 2002; and Alberta Spruill, who died of a heart attack after police deployed a flash grenade during a mistaken raid on her Harlem apartment in 2003. Most recently, voting rights activist Barbara Arnwine was raided by a SWAT team in Prince George’s County, Md., on Nov. 21. The police appear to have raided the wrong house.
Eli Lake on the marketing of military technology to local police departments.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report on traffic stops in Milwaukee.
A black Milwaukee driver is seven times as likely to be stopped by city police as a white resident driver, a Journal Sentinel analysis of nearly 46,000 traffic stops has found.
Similarly, Milwaukee police pulled over Hispanic city motorists nearly five times as often as white drivers, according to the review, which took into account the number of licensed drivers by race.
Police also searched black drivers at twice the rate of whites, but those searches didn’t lead to higher rates of seized weapons, drugs or stolen property.