WASHINGTON — The only Congressional response to this summer’s brutal police crackdown in Ferguson, Missouri appears to be dead, with the House GOP leadership blocking a vote on a bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).
The legislation seeks to curb controversial transfers of military weapons and equipment to local police forces. It would ban the Pentagon from granting local police free automatic weapons, armored vehicles, weaponized drones, combat helicopters, grenades, silencers, sound cannons and other equipment, although police could still purchase such gear with local budgets or through grants from the Department of Homeland Security.
It would also impose more stringent safeguards to account for the equipment that does get transferred. Collectively, more than $4 billion in military weaponry and equipment has been distributed to police forces across the U.S. since the inception of the initiative, known as the 1033 Program.
I’m becoming more convinced every day that what the Republicans want is an apartheid state to ensure permanent white minority rule. If that isn’t what they want, they’re doing a damned good job at faking it.