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104 Calif. L. Rev. 979 (2016)
The Racial Politics of Protection: A Critical Race Examination of Police Militarization

handle is hein.journals/calr104 and id is 1011 raw text is: The Racial Politics of Protection:
A Critical Race Examination of Police
Militarization
Fanna Gamal*
ABSTRACT
Across the country, police departments are using aggressive,
military-style tactics and weapons to enforce the law. More recently,
the state of police militarization displayed in cities like Ferguson and
Baltimore raises deep questions about the ethics of paramilitary
policing and its consequences for minority citizenship and inclusion.
This Note examines police militarization as the result of concerted
political decisions that often trade on racial fear and anxiety.
Beginning in the Reconstruction Era and continuing through to
racial uprisings in the 1960s, the War on Drugs, and present
movements for police accountability and racial justice, this Note
argues that police militarization is, and has always been, a deeply
racialized issue. Specifically, the trend ofpolice militarization can be
viewed as a race-making process-that is, patterns of police
militarization have constructed and reinforced race and racial
hierarchies in America. The racial politics of protection refers to a
process ofpolice militarization that allows the State to construct race
by selectively assembling two groupings-those who will be
marginalized through heightened surveillance and control and those
who will be advantaged by their access to state protection.
Ultimately, this Note stresses a more nuanced conversation about the
critical intersections of race, militarization, and policing.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15779/Z385P1R
Copyright © 2016 California Law Review, Inc. California Law Review, Inc. (CLR) is a
California nonprofit corporation. CLR and the authors are solely responsible for the content of their
publications.
*  J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 2016; B.A. Tufts University,
2010. Special thanks to Professor Ian Haney L6pez, Asad Rahim, Evelyn Rangel-Medina, Nabanita
Pal, and the editors and members of the California Law Review. Thanks also to the members of the
Berkeley Law Critical Race Theory seminar and the Racial Justice Writing Workshop for their
valuable feedback. Finally, I am grateful for my friends and family, particularly Kyle Halle-Erby, for
their love and support.

979

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