Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) on Sunday called the police response to protests following the shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., “totally unacceptable.”


"A militarized police force facing down innocent protesters with sniper rifles and machine guns is totally unacceptable in America," he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

"Some of these police departments who have received this equipment have not been properly trained in its use by the military. So, that is a question that some of my colleagues in Congress have said that they are going to try to get answers to," he said.

Clay pledged to "pursue justice" for Michael Brown, the 18-year-old victim.

"I made a commitment and a promise to Ms. McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, that I will pursue justice with the family at every avenue, be it on the federal level or at the state level," he said.

"We should not lose focus of the incident, but you had an 18-year-old person walking in the street who was eventually gunned down after he raised his arms to surrender to police," he said.

Former New York Police Chief Bernard Kerik, appearing on the same show, defended the police response and the use of military gear by local police.

"There were Molotov cocktails thrown. There was … property that was damaged. The police have to respond to that. You can't let the thugs take over the city," he said.