A House Democrat is pushing for Congress to crack down on police militarization when lawmakers return to Washington after the elections.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) says the Pentagon program that provides surplus military equipment to local law enforcers – dubbed the 1033 program – is out of control and needs reining in.
The obscure program generated countless headlines in August after the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb. The shooting sparked violent protests and a consequent police crackdown featuring riot gear, assault weapons, tear gas and rubber bullets.
Video footage of the clash went viral on the Internet and prompted President Obama to order a multi-agency review. Almost three months later, the protests against both the shooting and the police response are ongoing in Ferguson, Mo.