Obama Calls for Review of Police Gear

Ferguson puts spotlight on use of military equipment

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 23, 2014 5:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Amid the uproar in Ferguson, President Obama is addressing concerns over military-grade equipment's availability to local police, officials tell the New York Times and CNN. Obama has ordered a review of policies surrounding the gear's use, questioning whether police are properly trained to use it as well as whether it's necessary at all, CNN notes. The review will be led by the administration with input from Congress.

Police received the equipment for counterterror purposes, but "displays of force in response to mostly peaceful demonstrations can be counterproductive," attorney general Eric Holder said in a statement today, per the New York Times. "It makes sense to take a look at whether military-style equipment is being acquired for the right purposes and whether there is proper training on when and how to deploy it."

Police arrest a man as they disperse a protest Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by police Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.
Police arrest a man as they disperse a protest Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by police Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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