Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has set a Sept. 9 hearing to examine the federal programs that help U.S. law enforcement obtain military-grade gear, her office announced Thursday.
McCaskill will head a hearing of the full Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to look at programs like the 1033 program, which offers free refurbished military equipment to state and local authorities.
The hearing comes in the wake of this month’s protests of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which produced images of heavily armed police facing off with civilian protestors. Politicians like McCaskill and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke out against the “militarization” of U.S. law enforcement. President Barack Obama has also ordered members of his administration to reexamine the programs.
“We need to de-militarize this situation,” McCaskill said earlier this month. “This kind of response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution.”