‘In the early 2000s, particularly after 9/11, we saw a paradigm shift from community policing and problem-oriented principles to the war on terror, and we became Homeland Security police,’ said Nolan, who has worked in the federal agency’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
He said this shift toward ‘homeland security’ had quickly destroyed the relationships police had worked nearly two decades to build.
‘I think what has happened as a direct result of that, is that those relationships that we forged, and worked so hard to attain and to maintain in the late 1980s and early 1990s, began to erode because the police were seen, particularly in communities of color, as an army of occupation,’ Nolan said.
‘If you dress police officers up as soldiers and you put them in military vehicles and you give them military weapons, they adopt a warrior mentality,’ he continued. ‘We fight wars against enemies, and the enemies are the people who live in our cities – particularly in communities of color.’