Since the 1980s the federal government has prompted the militarization of federal, state, and local law enforcement. That militarization has led not only to well-publicized disasters, but to a widespread increase in violent law enforcement, which has played a major role in alienating Americans from their government. Such baleful consequences are the result of another dangerous trend, the expansion of the power of federal criminal justice far beyond its legitimate constitutional limits. Law and order begin at the top; the most important criminal justice reforms are those that return federal law enforcement to its constitutional role.

More on Police Tactics and Misconduct

Commentary

Just Wait Until Ferguson Police Get Federally Funded Drones

By Gene Healy. DC Examiner. August 18, 2014.

Ferguson, a War Zone or U.S. City?

By Tim Lynch. CNN.com. August 14, 2014.

What Should You Do if You’re Threatened by a Mass Murderer?

By Jim Powell. Forbes.com. September 4, 2013.

Cato Studies

Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America

By Radley Balko. White Paper. July 17, 2006.

Deployed in the U.S.A.: The Creeping Militarization of the Home Front

By Gene Healy. Policy Analysis No. 503. December 17, 2003.

Public Filings

Heien v. North Carolina

By Noah A. Levine, Jonathan D. Hacker, Jamie S. Dycus, Stephen R. Shapiro, Ilya Shapiro & Gabriel Latner. Legal Briefs. June 16, 2014.

United States v. Wurie

By Jim Harper and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. April 9, 2014.

Pottawattamie County v. McGhee

By Tim Lynch and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. September 18, 2009.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Radley Balko. Cato's Letter. Fall 2013.

Events

The Ongoing Events in Ferguson, Missouri

Featuring Tim Lynch. August 22, 2014. Special Event.

Police Misconduct: The Assault on Civil Liberties

Featuring Tim Lynch and Caleb O. Brown. May 8, 2014. Sponsor E-Briefing.

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Featuring Radley Balko and Laura Odato. July 24, 2013. Capitol Hill Briefing.