From: The Stream

Taking up arms: The militarisation of US police

What effect does military-equipped law enforcement have on policing in the country?

Demonstrators are facing tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets in ongoing clashes in the US city of Ferguson, Missouri between protesters and the police. The protests started following the shooting and killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, who authorities say stole a $49 box of cigars. The clashes are raising questions about the militarisation of law enforcement in the country. According to Congressional records, since September 11, 2001, police departments have spent nearly $34 billion on military grade weaponry. But is there a need for such a police force? Join the conversation at 1930GMT.  

On this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Horace Cooper @NationalCenter
Researcher, National Center for Public Policy Research

Scriven King @scrivenlking
Security consultant

Ash-har Quraishi @ashhar_quraishi
Correspondent, Al Jazeera America

Mychal Denzel Smith @mychalsmith
Blogger, The Nation

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