A liberal Democratic lawmaker has teamed up with a conservative GOP House member to move a bill aimed at demilitarizing local police forces in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Mo. riots.
Georgia Rep. Hank JohnsonHenry (Hank) C. JohnsonHillicon Valley: Senators want answers about Amazon's biometric data collection | House members release companion bill targeting app stores | Google files to dismiss Ohio lawsuit House members release companion bill targeting app stores Rep. Al Green, Texas state lawmaker arrested outside Capitol during voting rights protest MORE (D) tells The Hill that he has found support in a seemingly unlikely ally, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador (Idaho), for a measure that would restrict the types of surplus military equipment that the Pentagon can provide to police departments across the country.
Johnson is expected to introduce the measure on Tuesday, saying, "We are working now with Congressman Labrador's office to tighten up and finalize the legislation."
Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill condemned the violence that spread following the police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Some pointed fingers at the program — referred to by insiders as "1033" — that Congress created in the early 1990s to provide law enforcement officials with surplus Defense Department equipment for creating an over-militarization of local and state police forces.