You’ve probably seen it by now, on B-roll if not in real life: Police and sheriff’s deputies spraying protesters with a water cannon mounted on a mine resistant vehicle. Combat vehicles rolling down American streets. Police — some with combat helmets and night vision goggles — touting military-grade rifles. These are America’s militarized police forces, brought to your community, in no small part, by billions of dollars in federal spending. No federal program is more emblematic of America’s police militarization problem than 1033, named for a section of law that allows the U.S. military to directly distribute weapons of war to police and sheriff’s departments.
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