Michael Brown Shooting

Media Notes Congressional Failure to Demilitarize Police, and Reason is Proud to Lead the Way


Militarized police

Members of Congress had a recent chance to demilitarize policing—and Ferguson, Missouri's own member of Congress, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), is among the majority of both Democrats and Republicans who turned up their noses at the opportunity. That point was made by Reason's own Ed Krayewski, last week, who noted that "House leadership on both sides also voted against it, including Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)"

Media outfits including the Washington Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have now picked up on the irony of Rep. Clay's justifiable opposition to "police repression" just two months after he joined 354 of his colleagues in opposing a measure sponsored by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) intended to "prohibit the Department of Defense from gifting excess equipment, such as aircraft—including drones—armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, and bombs to local police departments," in the words of its author.

The Post-Dispatch's Chuch Raasch notes that "Five of six members of the House from the St. Louis area voted against the amendment." Raasch quotes Clay defending his vote, while still condemning police militarization.

Cognitive dissonance, thy name is…well, pretty much anybody holding government office.

To put Clay's vote in context, the Washington Post's Philip Bump points out, "In short, the amendment would have prevented the military from distributing to local police forces some of heavy weapons and vehicles that the country has seen deployed in response to unrest in Ferguson, Mo."

Special props to columnist Clarence Page for openly tweeting Krayewski's original piece.

As Krayewski made painfully clear, Clay was not along in his vote against severing the flow of military equipment to police departments. Grayson's amendment gained only 62 votes, with 355 opposed.

Supporters of the amendment include the usual civil libertarian suspects, such as Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who called attention to this vote on Twitter earlier today, John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Walter Jones (R-NC), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), John Lewis (D-Ga.), who nevertheless called for martial law in Ferguson, Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Mark Sanford (R-SC). Fourteen other Republicans and 43 other Democrats voted for the amendment.

There were a handful of members of Congress who didn't vote, including Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)

See how your representative voted here.

Realizing there's a problem is a first step. Now that horror is growing over military equipment and tactics deployed in the streets of American cities with the encouragement of the country's political class, maybe a solution will be next.


NEXT: Ira Stoll: Conservative 'Alternative' to Obamacare Misses the Market

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  1. I am confident in the ability of this nation’s elected officials to take swift action in making cosmetic changes to the law that covers their asses while not actually changing the substance of the DoD’s domestic surplus armaments programs.

  2. Maybe a solution will be next?

    Is Wannsee a suburb of St. Louis?

  3. Maybe a little over the top.

    I’d take a little off the top, but that’s just me.

  4. Credit where due: Most of the ‘aye’ votes appear to be Democrats. I’ve already written to thank my Congresscritter.

  5. Hon. Sheila Jackson-Lee, my representative: NO. I am unshocked.

  6. Anyone else feel a “Libertarian Moment” coming?


    No? Me neither…

    1. I do and anybody who can’t is pretty blind.

    2. I foresee a frantic effort by both cons and progs to try to trick the libs, again, into supporting them in an election or two.

      These efforts will be accompanied by blindingly na?ve assessments that “this time is different, because unicorns” by way too many lib pundits.

      End result: A bunch of libs with sore asses.

      The “libertarian moment”, if/when it comes, will be when the status quo has comprehensively failed and is being restructured. Libertarians will have a fleeting moment when they can bend the restructuring their way.

      1. It has failed, and we are bending America. We helped stop a war in Syria. We got people talking about police militarization. We got MJ legalized in two states with more on the way.

  7. The elite governing class is counting on these guys to protect their gated communities by any means necessary should the SHTF.

    1. Of course for the most part this stuff should be pretty easy to take away by gangs or whomever from the smaller departments and probably some of the larger ones should this actually happen.

  8. lol, it will never happen.


  9. Good column (as always) by Mark Steyn on Ferguson(should have made it into the PM thread, but I’m slow):


    “But I did get a mordant chuckle out of this line from Kathy Shaidle on the green-camouflaged officers pictured above:

    Shouldn’t a ‘Ferguson’ camo pattern be, like, 7/11 & Kool-Aid logos?”

    1. “Shouldn’t a ‘Ferguson’ camo pattern be, like, 7/11 & Kool-Aid logos?”

      What, like NASCAR drivers’ racing gear?

      Would offer excellent protection from Molotov cocktail attacks.

  10. Has the LP been out in Ferguson trying to drum up support from locals?

  11. There is an effort to implant folks with a biochip. This biochip is a Bluetooth device that can send tasers and sound to the biochip which can cause the wearers to seize, think they’re hearing voices, become emotional, become paranoid, etc. Law enforcement does not know who has them and who does not. The wearers can at any time be tased into what the National Institute of Justice calls “excited delirium” or ED. You can see if law enforcement knows the potential dangers that could impact him if he happens on an individual in this state of ED. Shoot first. The purpose is to make the wearer of the biochip appear to be a mental patient or a criminal. There is a Supreme Court Case by Justice Cardoza – Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital,105 N.E. 92 (1914 ) that says anyone of sound mind and not a criminal has a right to say what goes in their body or on their body. According to “A Note on Uberveillance” by MG & Katina Michael, it’s “like big brother on the inside looking out.

  12. It is a direct violation of our Constitutional right to privacy, freedom, our right to our faith, autonomy, and gives law enforcement unprecedented control of our nervous system. They can monitor our thoughts. The brain initiative is the great deception that is funding this. This is why judges are not willing to prosecute law enforcement for defending themselves against an unknown danger. They are responsible for all these mass shootings. The Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate Psyops manual of 2010 states they can create suicide victims and mass murderers. POTUS is the anti-Christ.

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