Mummolo Quoted in LA Times on SWAT Teams in Black Communities

Dec. 9, 2019

An opinion piece in the LA Times quotes Jonathan Mummolo extensively in its discussion of the deployment of SWAT teams in black communities over the past 50 years. "Opinion: 50 years ago, LAPD raided the Black Panthers. SWAT teams have been targeting black communities ever since" quotes Mummolo on the effects of SWAT raids, and links to his recent study of militarized policing in the U.S. published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Jonathan Mummolo is Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and a CSDP faculty associate.

[Mummolo] found that less than 5% of SWAT raids involved the kind of high-risk scenarios they were intended for, such as terrorist attacks, hostage situations or active shooters.

“These are really rare events in the day-to-day scenarios of police departments,” says Mummolo. “So these teams have been adapted to handle more mundane situations.”

In Maryland, where Mummolo conducted most of his research, more than 90% of SWAT deployments were in service of a search warrant, and black communities were overwhelmingly on the receiving end of these non-emergency militarized raids.

Mummolo further found that these types of raids neither reduced crime nor made police officers safer. But they did erode public trust in police.