As documented on Checkpoint yesterday, the police in Ferguson, Mo., were using a variety of military-grade equipment to subdue crowds this week. But that kind of equipment isn’t just in Ferguson.
The Pentagon’s Excess Property Program, sometimes known as the 1033 Program, has supplied police departments across the country with more than $4.3 billion in gear since 1997, including about $449 million in 2013, according to this NBC News report. Some of that equipment is no doubt helpful — search-and-rescue helicopters, for example. But civil rights advocates have raised questions about whether police across America are becoming too militarized.
The motto of the 1033 program: “From Warfighter to Crimefighter.” A look at some of what’s out there: