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Rand Paul: 'There is a systemic problem with today's law enforcement'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday blamed big government for the controversial crackdown on largely peaceful protests in Ferguson, Missouri, saying Washington had "incentivized the militarization of local police precincts."

Writing in Time, Paul — an outspoken proponent of limited government and, by extension, stronger protections for civil liberties — said there "is a systemic problem with today's law enforcement" that has "allow[ed] the police to become judge and jury." Worse, he added, the system is heavily stacked against minorities.

"Given these developments, it is almost impossible for many Americans not to feel like their government is targeting them," he wrote. "Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them."

Read the whole op-ed here.