No, it’s not the start of a riddle.

But ever since events in Ferguson thrust the apparent over-militarisation of police in the US into the global limelight, a little-publicised law allowing law enforcement agencies to buy surplus military grade weaponry and equipment has been scrutinised.

The New York Times collated information from the ominously-named Programme 1033 and posted it online.

New Orleans’s the Lens subsequently found that police in two counties in the city – known for its mild winters and hot, humid summers – had spent almost $3million on equipment, including:

  • Night-vision sniper scopes
  • A mine-resistant vehicle
  • 30 survival axes
  • 20 snow camouflage parkas

Uh, say again?

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