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You might have heard about police militarization lately. In the summer of 2014, the ACLU put out a report on the subject—our Massachusetts affiliate did, too. Not long after that, the police in Ferguson, Missouri brought out their sniper rifles and military trucks to crush protests in response to the police shooting that ended in Mike Brown's death.
While the issue of police militarization has become more and more pressing a public policy matter since 9/11, in the wake of billions of dollars in federal funding to state and local cops, it's not actually a new problem. The New York Times put together a pretty excellent video documentary on the history of this transformation. It's well worth watching. The key phrase here? Mission creep.