The article originally ran last October. It has been updated by the authors.
There is a growing bipartisan public outrage about the local police force’s fiercely militarized response to protestors in Ferguson, Missouri.
From Democrats to Republicans, progressive to libertarian, citizens across the political spectrum are denouncing the efforts to stop demonstrations over the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed, African-American teenager.
Legislators are also speaking out against this militarization of police. Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) described the situation as “frightening.” Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) a moderate, called the police tactics “the problem instead of the solution.” Meanwhile, libertarian Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stated flatly in an op-ed, “We must de-militarize the police.”
But this is nothing new. In October 2013, Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAPs) were regularly finding their way from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Main Streets of America. They were the latest acquisitions in a growing Pentagon practice that’s militarizing America’s municipal police forces.