On Blavity, I did a piece about how September 11, 2001 and the War on Terror kicked police militarization into high gear. From the article:
The targeting of Black folks was perhaps an inevitable consequence of the War on Terror. Every time the U.S. launches an open-ended “war” against an abstract enemy, it ends up targeting Black people sooner or later.
In the 1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration went from battling a “War on Poverty” through social programs to fighting a “War on Crime” through programs to expand police presence in urban neighborhoods. In the 1970s, Richard Nixon declared a “War on Drugs,” a policy priority that was greatly expanded under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and continued by Bill Clinton through the ’90s, creating the era of mass incarceration in the United States. In the 21st century, the War on Terror quickly morphed into a war in Black neighborhoods and communities.