The Militarization of U.S. Police Forces

ProPublica Staff

Washington, DC, United States (ProPublica) – by Amanda Zamora

The militarization of police in Ferguson, Mo., is part of a national trend. The war on terror has helped transform local police forces around the country, flooding them with tactical military equipment designed for combat. The Center for Investigative Reporting first explored the trend in 2011, and the New York Times’ Matt Apuzzo checked its growth this summer. For an overview, listen to ProPublica’s Justin Elliott discuss the military stockpiling of U.S. police forces with CIR’s G.W. Schulz.

Veterans are being targeted for high-cost IRAs. Service members are being lured to convert federal retirement plans into “no-fee” IRAs, “language that the financial industry’s own self-regulatory group has called misleading,” Bloomberg reports. — via @KYWeise

The convention comp — “everybody does it.” Taxpayer subsidies for Chicago conventions and trade shows raise questions about how public funds are spent to attract convention groups. “This is a far more generous — and far more outrageous — use of general revenue funds than I have seen in other places, but everybody does it,” said scholar Heywood T. Sanders. — Chicago Sun-Times via @elbertchu

28 people have died in confrontations with U.S. Border Patrol. But not one single agent has faced criminal charges or public reprimand, even though several cases were considered “highly suspect,” according to the agency’s ousted head of internal affairs. — Center for Investigative Reporting via @joannalin

The LAPD reported nearly 1,200 violent crimes as minor offenses. Stabbings. Beatings. Robberies. If they had been properly classified, the number of aggravated assaults for the year ending in September 2013 would have been almost 14 percent higher than what the department reported. — Los AngelesTimes via @LizDDay

Use of force on Rikers’ inmates jumped 90 percent in Mayor Bloomberg’s last term. Advocates and city officials pointed to a dramatic reduction in corrections staffing as contributing to the violence. — The New York Times via @justinelliott

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