Jolted by images of protesters clashing with heavily armed police officers in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of the government's decade-old strategy of outfitting local police departments with military equipment, says the New York Times. The review will consider whether the government should continue providing such equipment and, if so, whether local authorities have sufficient training to use it appropriately. The government will also consider whether it is keeping a close enough watch on equipment inventories, and how the weapons and other gear are used.
The review, coupled with proposed legislation and planned congressional hearings, opens the possibility for significant changes in Washington's approach to arming local law enforcement agencies. America got a glimpse of that gear over the past two weeks in Ferguson. “The whole country and every representative and senator have seen the visuals, and at some level, it made all of us uncomfortable,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.,), who will lead a hearing in September into police use of military-style equipment. “It's a moment where we can take a timeout and look at these policies.”