The new urban militarism of local law enforcement in Western society

March 13, 2012

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(AP/Mary Altaffer)
Occupy Wall Street protesters participate in a rally against police brutality in New York City.

Many observers were surprised and even shocked by police methods used to subdue various "Occupy" demonstrations across the U.S. and Europe. There seems to be increasing dependence on methods of local policing that is eerily similar to how western militaries behave in the battlefield.

We took a look yesterday at the city of Chicago’s exploding surveillance camera systems. Today, we broaden the discussion with a look at increased militarization of local law enforcement in Western-societies. Stephen Graham is professor of Cities and Society at Newcastle University in the U.K. He examines the increasing influence of military technology on domestic police forces in his book Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism.

 

Stephen Graham's interview comes ahead of a panel discussion tonight called "Chicago's Spy in the Sky." The panel is part of the Chicago History Museum’s “In the Know" series. It begins at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at the Chicago History Museum. Rajiv Shah, who was on Worldview yesterday to talk about Chicago’s thousands of surveillance and smart cameras, will be on tonight's panel.