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4 Shocking Examples of Police Militarization in America's Small Towns

Police departments are militarizing even far from urban centers.

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"To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” said police chief Todd Stovall at a town hall meeting in December 2012. "Well, I've got statistical reasons that say I've got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you're doing out.”

The mayor stood by his police chief. "They may not be doing anything but walking their dog, but they're going to have to prove it,” he added to Stovall’s remarks.

The policy of de-facto martial law captured national attention and inspired an immediate response from the Arkansas ACLU. Stovall  issued a statement justifying police-state tactics as features of “proactive police philosophy dedicated to managing problems before they become unmanageable,” and gave limited lip service to the Constitution and rule of law in general.

The public outrage forced city officials to back away from the Orwellian initiative.

 
Aaron Cantú is an investigator for the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and an independent journalist based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @aaronmiguel_
 
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