The militarization of local law enforcement: is race a factor?
Applied Economics Letters, 2015, vol. 22, issue 13, 1089-1093
Recent events have placed a spotlight on the increasing militarization of local law enforcement. While ample anecdotal evidence suggests a link between race and the militarization of police, empirical analysis has yet to be performed. In this study, I find that, conditional on crime rate, the presence of a large African-American population is negatively correlated to police acquisition of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles. Conversely, greater residential segregation is positively correlated to MRAP procurement. This result highlights the problem with growing segregation, in suburbs as well as urban centres, in the United States.
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