University of Miami Law Review


Anta Plowden


The current trend in the militarization of police can be traced back to the earliest times in our country. We are soon approaching a tipping point in which the combination of aggressive military tactics, wrongful deaths and injuries, and a lack of accountability will lead to an increase in civil unrest and animosity towards those who have sworn to uphold the law. In an ironic twist of fate, the military force, which law enforcement is trying to emulate, has made sharp adjustments in the way it operates due to the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has adopted more police-like behavior in order to afford civilians the protections that, in many cases, are not given to American citizens.

This Comment will discuss the history of American policing and how it gradually became more militarized. It will then discuss the consequences of this hyper-militarization and how it affects not only civilians, but officers as well. Then the focus will shift to the problems with the military being used to handle domestic disturbances and how the military has adapted to its new role in a post-9/11 world. Finally, it will make recommendations to restore trust in the police force and allow them to safely and effectively accomplish their mission of upholding the law.