Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, said on Thursday that the police need to be demilitarized in Ferguson, Mo., as law enforcement responds violently to protesters.
“This kind of response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution,” she said in a statement. “I obviously respect law enforcement’s work to provide public safety, but my constituents are allowed to have peaceful protests, and the police need to respect that right and protect that right.”
People in Ferguson are protesting the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man who was allegedly unarmed when shot by a police officer.
Ms. McCaskill is in Ferguson on Thursday speaking with constituents there and is scheduled to speak with Attorney General Eric Holder about the situation later in the day.
In recent days, police have used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters, despite them claiming that they are assembled peacefully. The police have also targeted the press.
Two reporters were arrested in Ferguson Wednesday night after they say they were just doing their jobs, and video shown on MSNBC showed police dismantling the TV equipment of an Al Jazeera crew after driving them away with tear gas.