THE BLOG
08/16/2014 11:51 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2014

Sunday Roundup

This week, all eyes were on Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer. Further inflaming matters was the way largely peaceful protests of the shooting were met with tear gas and armored vehicles (and the arrest of journalists, including HuffPost's Ryan Reilly). This hyper-aggressive response raised bipartisan alarm about the militarization of America's police forces, which have received $4.3 billion in military hardware -- including 435 armored vehicles and 93,763 machine guns -- since 2006. This arms buildup partially grew out of the War on Drugs, which has largely become a war on young black and brown men. Though Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson temporarily helped restore calm to Ferguson by boldly replacing pointed assault rifles with hugs, handshakes and active listening, the re-eruption of anger and looting this weekend demonstrated that the simmering issues of race and how we police our communities cry out for a larger national conversation.

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