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Investigators: Are police departments becoming militarized?

  // Wednesday, 20 August 2014 03:09 //
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Several military tools, like high-powered rifles and Humvees, are showing up in cities across the country and many are ending up in police departments without the public's knowledge.

In Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, it looks like a war zone with police officers in combat gear on top of armored vehicles with assault rifles. Many law enforcement agencies have been responding for the past several days to hundreds of protesters after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, 18.

The scenes in Missouri are leading many to worry that America's police departments are becoming too militarized.

Many local police departments and sheriff's offices are arming their men and women with military equipment once used in Iraq and Afghanistan, much of it free from the Pentagon or bought very cheap with grant money from Congress. Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of Louisiana State Police, said his department has purchased military equipment from the Department of Defense since the program began in 2006.

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