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03.06.13 – 10:59 AM

Towns Don’t Need Tanks: The ACLU Vs. Swat Teams, Shock Cuffs, Flashbangs, BearCats and Drones

by Abby Zimet


With American neighborhoods increasingly policed by local law enforcement using the weapons and tactics of war, the ACLU has launched a nationwide effort to collect information on just what the police are doing – who has SWAT teams, when they’re used, what weapons they have, how often citizens are injured by them, when they use drones or GPS tracking, and to what extent available federal funding and support is fueling the trend. With chilling stories of local excess – from a South Carolina sheriff’s department “Peacemaker”  armored personnel carrier complete with belt-fed 50-caliber turreted machine gun to a $154 million MQ-9 Predator drone used by North Dakota police to arrest a family who stole six cows – and a brief history of how we got here.


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