Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August. Protests over the shooting yielded a militarized response from police. Renewed protests continued in October and again after a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown. The Brown shooting may have been a flash point for civil rights protesters. It's also provided an opportunity for politicians to attach themselves to the highly publicized incident and score political points for themselves.
Yesterday, for example, four members of Congress raised their hands on the House Floor to "show solidarity with the protesters" in Ferugson. Those four are Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), and Al Green (D-Tex.). All four voted AGAINST an amendment in June that would've limited the transfer of military equipment from the Department of Defense to local police agencies.
It's just another reminder for protesters more interested in policy reforms than partisan agendas that elected leaders, by and large, are only interested in how they look vis a vis police issues and not what they can do to improve the situation.
President Obama's announcement on police militarization, for example, included no roll backs, just more bureaucracy, which promises more inertia. Nevertheless, the move was hailed as some kind of progress on the state of policing, including by Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson and also voted against limiting police militarization in June.
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