Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) will lead a hearing next month on the militarization of local police departments, after recent tensions between law enforcement and protesters rocked her state, Politico reports. The hearing comes after her calls for demilitarization in Ferguson, Mo. The St. Louis suburb has witnessed unrest, at times becoming violent, since the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. “We need to demilitarize this situation — this kind of response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution,” McCaskill said.
The hearing will look into programs that have provided local police with military equipment. President Obama said this week that, “It's probably useful for us to review how the funding has gone, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars, to make sure that what they're purchasing is stuff that they actually need, because there is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement and we don't want those lines blurred.”