Nowhere has this fact become more obvious than in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the shooting of a young black man.
Now, Democrat Hank Johnson is calling for a demilitarization of law enforcement.
A Democratic congressman plans to introduce a bill to restrict a Defense Department program that provides machine guns and other surplus military equipment for free to local law enforcement agencies across the country.
Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson said Thursday that the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb highlights the need for the legislation, which has been in the works for months. The bill comes as members of Congress have called for the Justice Department to investigate the shooting of a black teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Police in riot gear and military garb have clashed nightly with protesters since Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown and at times have trained weapons on them from armored trucks.
A spokesman for the Defense Logistics Agency, the government's combat logistics support agency, said the Ferguson Police Department has been part of the surplus equipment program. It received two tactical vehicles — both Humvees — as well as a generator and a trailer and may have received other equipment, DLA spokesman Joe Yoswa said.
Johnson said city streets should be a place for businesses and families, "not tanks and M16s." He said a Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement has led to police agencies resembling paramilitary forces.
Dear President Obama: American citizens are not ISIS. Save the impressive displays of force for the Islamonazis, okay?
Hat tip: BadBlue Gun News.