The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 limits the use and participation of the military in policing the civilian population. As with any law, this act has both supporters and opponents. Those who support this legislation argue it’s essential in helping limit potential federal abuses of power. Opponents believe this act has fully outlived its usefulness in the post-9/11 world and should be abolished. Here's why this act needs to be updated.
Tragic events such as the 2014 Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo. and the police-involved death of Eric Garner in New York City has spurred debate about whether or not police departments within the U.S. are becoming more militarized. The emphasis seems to be on the word “more,” implying that militarization is somehow a foregone conclusion and the question is how much more militarized they will become. Are these incidents evidence that police are increasingly militarized?