Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Ferguson, Mo., police chief Thomas Jackson said Thursday that his officers would work to allow for peaceful protests amid the escalating tensions between police and protesters, but added that "we need to have everybody tone it down" and defended the tactics being used to control the crowd.

Jackson said that the police would set up an area on a sidewalk for the protesters to congregate on Thursday and said that there were ongoing conversations about "the appearance" of having militarized law enforcement stand off with civilians. The authorities were "meeting to evaluate tactics," he said.

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) pledged "a different tone" and "operational shifts" in Ferguson, Mo., the site of ongoing confrontations between police and protesters after the police shooting of a black teen, though he did not offer specifics.

"You will see a different tone," Nixon said at a community event in suburban St. Louis. He plans to address the media again at 2:30 p.m. CT, adding that there would be "operational things that we're doing to make that shift today."

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Thursday in a Time magazine op-ed that the events in Ferguson, Mo., meant that it was time to "de-militarize the police."

"There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response," he wrote. "The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action."

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Ferguson, Mo., Mayor James Knowles defended local law enforcement amid growing criticism about their tactics during the protests sparked by the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teen.

Knowles said Thursday on MSNBC that there is "a lot of unlawfulness going around these peaceful protests." Two police officers have been shot at during the demonstrations, he said, which started on Sunday after the shooting of Michael Brown and have resulted in tear gas and rubber bullets being fired into the crowd.

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The images coming out of Ferguson, Mo., in the last few days have been harrowing, and one element in particular has shocked those watching the events unfold. American law enforcement decked out in military fatigues, patrolling the streets in armored vehicles that look like they were plucked out of Afghanistan or Iraq.

And the thing is, they very well might have been. The Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments have both received equipment from the U.S. military through what's known as the 1033 program, a federal program that the American Civil Liberties Union says has been a key catalyst to the broader escalation of law enforcement force in the United States.

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Reporters for the Huffington Post and Washington Post were arrested on Wednesday evening amid the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Mo., after the police shooting this weekend of a young African-American man.

Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post, reporting from the scene in Ferguson, relayed their encounters with the police via social media. It appears they were both arrested at a local McDonald's and later released without being charged.

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Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters Wednesday race relations is "a top priority" for the department amid tense confrontations between protesters and law enforcement after the police shooting of an African-American teen.

"Race relations is a top priority right now," Jackson said at a Wednesday press conference. "I'm working with the Justice Department to address that."

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