WASHINGTON -- Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) announced Thursday that he plans to file legislation aimed at stemming the militarization of local police -- something on full display this week in Ferguson, Missouri, where officers in riot gear have been showering largely peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.
As a former big city mayor of a racially diverse city, Cleveland, Ohio, I can understand the cross currents sweeping through Ferguson, Missouri. We are at a moment of national crisis in the way our domestic law enforcement is being conducted. The killing of an unarmed civilian by a law enforcement officer is, sadly, not unique.
Police departments in the U.S. are increasingly considering the use of drones as a law enforcement tool, even as civil rights groups and media turn up scrutiny of police militarization in the wake of brutal crackdowns on anti-brutality protesters in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities. The Baltimore Sun reported on Sunday that agencies in several Maryland counties are considering testing drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for intelligence gathering and "high-risk tactical raids."