After Ferguson Violence, McCaskill to Lead Senate Hearing (in September) on Militarization of Local Police Departments
WASHINGTON – Following the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, and subsequent clashes between local police and protestors, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today announced that she will lead a Senate hearing in September to examine the militarization of local police departments.
Specifically, McCaskill—Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight— will use the hearing to examine federal programs that enable local police departments to acquire military equipment, such as the Defense Department’s 1033 program for surplus property and grants made through the Department of Homeland Security. She plans to gather stakeholders from all sides in order to hear several perspectives, including those of local law enforcement.
Details of McCaskill’s hearing will be available in the coming days.
Last week, amid confrontations between police and protestors, McCaskill called for local authorities in Ferguson to “de-militarize” the situation. She has since spoken directly to President Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Molly Moran, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice, on the status of the federal civil rights investigation.
McCaskill has also been in constant contact with dozens of local officials, law enforcement, and religious leaders, to deescalate the situation on the ground in Ferguson.