John Stossel: Beware militarizing the police
In the 1970s, there were about 300 SWAT raids per year. "As of 2005," says Balko, "100 to 150 per day."
What began as a few specialized groups of police trained to address genuine threats to safety has degenerated into small armies descending on organic farms where farmers sell unpasteurized milk and legal medical marijuana dispensaries getting raided as if they were heavily armed threats.
Despite laws clearly saying that soldiers may not be used for domestic policing except in very special circumstances, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security now offer armored vehicles — tanks and troop transports, body armor and stun grenades — to police departments, large or small.
Most libertarians argue that police, courts and military are legitimate functions of government. We focus our skepticism on completely illegitimate government actions, like corporate welfare.
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed."
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