Policing

Race and Police Militarization

Olugbenga Ajilore
Associated Professor of Economics, University of Toledo

Key Findings

  • Counties with a greater segregation are more likely to request military equipment.
  • Counties with African American population have an increased probability to acquire military equipment.
  • Counties with a higher portion of Asian Americans have an increased probability to acquire military equipment.

Description

In the article, “The Militarization of Local Law Enforcement: Is Race a Factor?,” Ajilore examined the impact race can have on police militarization. The federal government has programs set to relay surplus military supplies to law enforcement including assault rifles, grenade launchers, and even mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles. Ajilore used the military surplus acquisition data to determine if there was a connection between the countries that requested the materials and race. The results showed that countries with greater segregation were more likely to request surplus military equipment. Counties with a higher African American population had a greater chance of acquiring military equipment. Also if a county had a higher portion of Asian Americans they also increases the chances of military equipment acquisition.

View Full Research