Michael Brown is not special. In all its specificity, the 18-year olds death remains just the most recent example of police officers killing unarmed black men.Part of the reason were seeing so many black men killed is that police officers are now best understood less as members of communities, dedicated to keeping peace within them, than as domestic soldiers. The drug war has long functioned as a full-employment act for arms dealers looking to sell every town and village in the country on the need for military-grade hardware, and 9/11 made things vastly worse, with local police departments throughout America grabbing for cash to better defend against any and all terrorist threats. War had reached our shores, we were told, and police officers needed weaponry to fight it.Officers have tanks now. They have drones. They have automatic rifles, and planes, and helicopters, and they go through military-style boot camp training. Its a constant complaint from what remains of this countrys civil liberties caucus. Just this last June, the ACLU issued a report on how police departments now possess arsenals in need of a use. Few paid attention, as usually happens.The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and hell reasonably think that his job isnt simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.