The militarization of our police forces has turned a vital public-safety institution against its own people.

Our country’s police forces have undergone a startlingly rapid militarization in the past decade, a fact that has manifested itself graphically in law enforcement responses to peaceful demonstrations of the Occupy Movement in many cities across the US. Norm Stamper, Seattle’s former Chief of Police, witnessed the beginnings of this militarization first-hand when he authorized his forces to use tear gas on peaceful protesters during 1999’s WTO protests in Seattle.

In this episode of Nation Conversations, Stamper sits down with associate editor Liliana Segura to explain why his recent Nation article on the increasing distance between police forces and the communities they serve has struck such a nerve with occupiers and the general public alike.

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Jin Zhao