"Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s," Johnson says in his letter. "Our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces. This bill will end the free transfers of certain aggressive military equipment to local law enforcement and ensure that all equipment can be accounted for."The militarization of local police has become one of the central issues in this ordeal, after two reporters from the Washington Post and one reporter from HuffPo were arrested, and video emerged of an Al Jazeera film crew getting tear gassed. Even Sen. Rand Paul (R., KY) penned an op-ed in Time arguing that America must demilitarize its police.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Stop Militarizing America's Cops
In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the ongoing protests in Ferguson, MO, Rep. Hank Johnson (D., GA) has announced that he plans to file the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which would "rein in a Defense Department program that provides Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, M16 assault rifles and other surplus military equipment to local law enforcement, free of charge." The Huffington Post noted that Johnson said,