Steven Greenhut Asks, Can Police Resist Using New Military 'Toys'?



After reporting a few years ago on some troubling jail incidents, Steven Greenhut writes, I decided to tour various Southern California jails to glean some insight. One tour jumped out. It was at an alternative-style jail, where unarmed guards patrolled a facility reminiscent of a community college. The top jailer explained why his guards did not have riot gear and military-style equipment. As soon as an agency buys new "toys," he said, someone finds a reason to use them. Greenhut writes that this trend of police militarization recently hit new levels when the San Diego Unified School District acquired a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, and Los Angeles schools got grenade launchers.