- The Washington Times - Friday, August 15, 2014

Rep. Hank Johnson, Georgia Democrat, said Friday that the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, will make lawmakers more likely to support his bill to limit what military equipment can be acquired by local police.

“I believe that what we’re getting now with the visuals that have been displayed on TV, I believe that the American people and the legislators have seen the results of the militarization,” he said on MSNBC. “That militarization creates the type of atmosphere where it’s difficult if not impossible to do community policing.”

Police have responded to protests in Ferguson with tear gas, rubber bullets and armored vehicles after police Officer Darren Wilson allegedly killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown, on Saturday.

Mr. Johnson’s bill would prevent local police forces from acquiring automatic weapons and weapons higher than 50 caliber, armored vehicles, armored drones, silencers and stun grenades from the Defense Department as the equipment comes back from war.

“If a local law enforcement department should have it, then the citizens representatives should allocate money to pay for that equipment,” he said.

Mr. Johnson said he plans to introduce the bill in September when Congress returns to Washington.

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