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Panel – The Drug War and the Militarization and Bastardization of Police Practices:
Traditionally explained as the result of a few bad apples, police abuses are increasingly recognized as systemic failures that actually undermine public order. Police forces became militarized largely due to the drug war and benefit from seemingly unconditional support from lawmakers and the judiciary. How have the politics of the drug war and the often-sensationalized violence of the drug trade helped to create this phenomenon? What incentives are there for police to serve as community-based peace officers instead of soldiers on the front lines of mass incarceration?