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How Did Ferguson Police Get Military-Style Weapons?

Where Did ‘Military-Style’ Police Gear in Ferguson Come From? Hint: It’s Not Necessarily the Pentagon

Much of the weaponry and apparel on display during police action to quell riots and looting in Ferguson, Mo., doesn’t look like surplus equipment supplied by the Pentagon but rather hardware purchased elsewhere, a Heritage Foundation expert says.

“The ‘cool guy,’ load-bearing gear is frankly a lot better than we give soldiers,” Steven Bucci, director of Heritage’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, told The Daily Signal.

Media accounts focused on equipment rolled out in the St. Louis suburb by local police departments that is less likely to have originated with donations from the Defense Department’s excess-property program, known as “1033,” than with transactions with private police supply companies or through grants awarded by the Department of Homeland Security, Bucci said.

He said: Looking at the military-style gear that has raised such a furor in the Ferguson situation, there is an interesting point that many have skipped in the rush to condemn the DoD 1033 program. Little of the equipment was likely provided by DoD.

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