N O V 2 0 1 4 D E C


John Cira

In recent months there has been substantial media coverage on the militarization of the nation’s police departments. The subject matter was not focused on until the events unfolded in the City of Ferguson, Missouri. The amount of media coverage by major news organizations on a twenty-four seven time period gave the nation a view on how the proliferation of military weapons andmilitary type training has progressed among America’s police agencies.

T he response by law enforcement to the protesters in Ferguson began to be criticized by not only by the national media organizations but also by local, state and fed- eral politicians, as well as national civil rights leaders. The level of force and the use of mili- tary-style equipment were labeled almost im- mediately as a problem instead of a solution. The President, responding to these criticisms, immediately ordered a review of federal programs that supplied billions of dollars in military equipment to municipal police departments. The order comes amid criticism from various members of Congress, civil rights groups and national news pundits over the heavy militarization of police de- partments in Ferguson and across the coun-

try. The police dressed in riot gear employed armored vehicles, noise-based crowd-control devices, shotguns, rubber-coated metal pel- lets, and tear gas and assault rifles like the military in an attempt to control the crowds of individuals protesting. On Capitol Hill, a Missouri Senator be- gan leading the charge with a demand to hold congressional hearings to examine whether local police have become too militarized. The Senator has stated during the hearings that the law enforcement response in Ferguson turned a mostly peaceful demonstration into a “war zone.”

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