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Sen. Paul Discusses Over Militarization of State Law Enforcement

September 9, 2014 in Politics & Elections

Sen. Rand Paul today attended the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing regarding the oversight of federal programs for equipping state and local law enforcement agencies. A video and transcript of Sen. Paul’s statements can be found below.
SENATOR RAND PAUL: I think many of us were horrified by some of the images that came out of Ferguson. We were horrified by seeing an unarmed man with his hands over his head being confronted by an armored personnel carrier. We’re horrified by seeing an unarmed man with his hands over his head being confronted by a man with a drawn assault weapon. We’re horrified by images of tear gas being shot into the yards of people’s personal homes who were protesting. One of the fundamental things about America is dissent, and the ability to have dissent. It needs to be peaceful. There needs to be repercussions for those who do not act in a peaceful way. But confronting those with armored personnel carriers is thoroughly un-American and for 150 years, we’ve had rules separating the military, keeping the military out of policing affairs. But you sort of obscure that separation if you allow the police to become the military. In FEMA’s authorized equipment list there’s actually written descriptions for how the equipment should be used and it says it’s specifically not supposed to be used for riot suppression. Mr. Kamoie, is that true, that it’s not supposed to be used for riot suppression? And how do you plan on policing that since the images clearly show us large pieces of equipment that were bought with your grants used in that riot suppression, or protest suppression rather? MR. BRIAN KAMOIE: Sen. Paul, that is accurate. The categories of personal protective equipment that include helmets, ear and eye protection, ballistics, personal protective equipment. There’s a prohibition in the authorized equipment list not to be used for riot suppression. RP: What will you do about it? BK: We’re going to follow the lead of the Department of Justice’s investigation about the facts. We’re going to work with the state of Missouri to determine what pieces of equipment were grant funded. And then we have a range of remedies available to us should there be any finding of noncompliance with those requirements. Those include everything from corrective action plans to ensure it doesn’t happen again, recoupment …read more


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