Mavridis C., Troumpounis O., Zanardi, M. (2022).
Protests and Police Militarization (No. 0122). School of Economics, University of Surrey.
What is the role of the militarization of law enforcement agencies in the US in the 2020 wave of protests? This paper shows that aggregate transfers of military equipment up to 2019 increased both the incidence and number of protests in a given county in 2020. However, militarization is not a significant determinant neither of violent protests nor of COVID-related protests. Hence, with our results mostly driven by protests related to the BLM movement, we argue that the 2020 wave of protests is directly linked to the hotly debated 1033 program, largely responsible for the excessive militarization of local law enforcement agencies in the past decades.