Khaki and Blue: A Killer Combination

U. S. police brutality abroad

An Iraqi woman in her 70s had been harnessed and ridden like a donkey by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib after being arrested without charge in July 2003.

Law enforcement violence is not limited to brutality by state and local police. Systemic violence against women and trans people of color takes place at the hands of the U.S. military and private military forces, both in the context of both National Guard occupation of local neighborhoods (such as post-Katrina New Orleans), and war and occupation abroad.

Hundreds of innocent Iraqi girls and women (some as young as 9, others in their 60s) have been arrested, detained, abused, raped and tortured by US-trained Iraqi police, in some cases to pressure them to collaborate with the Occupation, and to inform against the resistance. 

Gendered military violence is rampant in U.S. occupied territories such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Native American reservations. In Iraq and other locations in which the U.S. is waging war, there is systematic abuse and torture perpetrated by U.S. guards against women held in detention without charge.

Further, women of color enlist in the U.S. military at disproportionately high rates because of poverty, where 75% of all women are sexual harassed and at least 30% are sexually assaulted by other soldiers.

Militarized police violence in the U. S.

Since SWAT teams, modeled on the U.S. Military’s Special Forces, were introduced in the 1970s, police departments of major US cities such as Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles have increasingly been trained in aggressive military philosophy, strategy, tactics, and weaponry, and to perceive entire groups of people and neighborhoods as "threats." In fact, most police units in the U.S. have trained with active duty military experts in special operations or police officers with military special operations experience. Police officers’ training in “counter-terrorism” is often conducted through videos produced by the Israeli Army, which is known for its discriminatory policies and its brutality against Palestinian women and children.

Over the past two decades, policing of the border between the U.S. and Mexico has become increasingly militarized, as evidenced by the introduction and integration of military units in the border region and changes to Border Patrol to make it more like the US military in equipment, structure, and tactics. These military tactics include the use of rape as a weapon to literally enforce the border on women’s bodies.

Download fact sheet on connection between police brutality & militarization (PDF)

Also, for more info and resources, visit our page on anti-militarism.

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