RadioWhoWhatWhy: Police Becoming Sixth Branch of US Military?

Is President Obama’s recently announced order seeking to reverse the dramatic over-arming of police forces nationwide too little, too late? We all saw—in Baltimore, in Ferguson, in Boston—how civilian law enforcement has turned into a virtual sixth branch of the military. Where is this going? Our guest, author of a new book on the topic, shares his research.

Classic WhoWhatWhy: Police State Gears Up

On May 18, 2015, President Obama made a surprising announcement: he ordered the federal government to reverse its standing practice of providing American police departments with surplus weapons and vehicles from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. Given declining confidence in police after a seemingly constant recent stream of fatalities involving black suspects, this newfound caution with heavy provisioning is understandable. But questions about the wisdom of militarizing police are not new. WhoWhatWhy first wrote about the issue in February, 2014.

RadioWhoWhatWhy: Civil Unrest and the Violation of Civil Liberties

While covering the Baltimore riots, journalist Shawn Carrie was shot in the head by a police pepperball and held without being charged. These, however, are just two of the very many violations of civil liberties taking place in the wake of civil unrest.

Police Bring Used Weapons of War onto Main Street, U.S.A.

WhoWhatWhy first brought you the story of the disturbing trend of police departments arming themselves with surplus weapons from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq to patrol Main Street, U.S.A. Others are finally picking up on this explosion of police firepower.

Police State Gears Up

Does your local police department really need an armored vehicle capable of surviving explosive devices like those buried in the roads of Afghanistan or Iraq? A Republican legislator in New Hampshire, troubled by the increasingly militarized police force in his town, is trying to do something about it.