The exceptional state of America: militarization, police ones, and the special case of security in the United States

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Sine, Alexis Bronte
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The militarization of law enforcement agencies in the United States is an obvious and indisputable reality. It has been criticized for its contribution to increasing rates of police violence, deteriorating relationships between civilians and law enforcement, and a threat to democracy itself. In order to justify this militarization, proponents highlight the importance of such weaponry in an era characterized by global terror threats, civil unrest, and other high risk activities that put officers lives at risk, blurring the lines between police and military functions. More recently, the addition of drones to the law enforcement equipment cache may be seen as an expansion of the concept of militarization, and while current legislation forbids domestic drones to be outfitted with weapons systems, it is a growing concern on the home front. This thesis aims to evaluate whether police militarization in the United States is a proportional response to the current state of security in the country with a special focus on how this militarization is justified despite the numerous negative effects associated with it. Additionally, this thesis will also explore the relationship between militarization and the recent adoption of drones by law enforcement agencies, and will attempt to determine whether police drones represent an expansion of militarization or whether they might be capable of curbing some of the adverse effects of militarized police forces. Following the development of this thesis, this research asserts that police in the United States have become excessively militarized due to the presence of an armament culture deeply rooted in the principles of militarism, and while the introduction of drones into law enforcement may offset certain negative effects of militarization, it is imperative that drones remain unarmed in the domestic sphere to avoid exacerbating the issues that stem from police militarization. Keywords: Militarization, Militarism, Security, Armament Culture, Drones, Civil Rights, United States, law enforcement.
Second semester University: University of Hamburg
United States of America, police, weapons, security, civilian population, militarism, law enforcement, civil rights