Rand Paul: We Must Demilitarize the Police
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote on op-ed in Time yesterday discussing the situation in Ferguson, Missouri and the need to stop the militarization of local and state police departments. From the article:
There is a systemic problem with today’s law enforcement.
Not surprisingly, big government has been at the heart of the problem. Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies—where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement.
This is usually done in the name of fighting the war on drugs or terrorism. The Heritage Foundation’s Evan Bernick wrote in 2013 that, “the Department of Homeland Security has handed out anti-terrorism grants to cities and towns across the country, enabling them to buy armored vehicles, guns, armor, aircraft, and other equipment.”
Yesterday I noted that a House amendment to prohibit federal funds from being used to provide military equipment to state and local police departments failed 62-355 this past June. Find out how your Representative voted here.