The police state
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) said in an interview with Nevada Newsmakers this week that he opposes efforts to stop the transfer of military equipment and weapons to local police departments. Reid explained his reasoning thus:
The issue is this: Whether we should we allow surplus equipment the military has to go to police departments. I say yes. We have police departments all over the country, including those in Nevada, who are desperate for more resources. And the mere fact that you have the equipment doesn't mean that you have to use it. [Reid, via Politico]
Reid did, however, say local cops needed better training and oversight. "Once the equipment is given to somebody, they need to have training procedures to allow them to use it properly," he said.
Still, Reid's stance could put a serious damper on bipartisan Senate plans to review and potentially halt the military's 1033 program, which facilitates the militarization of police via that transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars of surplus equipment and weapons to police annually. The program came to national attention last week, when it was confirmed that some of the equipment used against civilian protesters in Ferguson was donated by the Pentagon.