President Obama is a little late, but better late than never. In a press conference on Ferguson (and Iraq) today, he spoke to DHS funding of local law enforcement after 9/11. It almost sounds like he read some of the ACLU's work on this issue.
"I think it's probably useful for us to review how the funding has gone, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars—to make sure the stuff they're purchasing is stuff they actually need," he said.
Spoiler: mostly, it's not stuff we actually need. Here in the states and cities, many of us would appreciate if congress would stop showering our police departments with money for military weapons and dragnet surveillance tools. Instead, we need jobs, healthcare, affordable housing, education, clean water, alternative energy projects, seawalls, and to rebuild our public infrastructure. Funding those things would keep us all a lot safer than giving police departments yet more surveillance and weapons, in the dark and without any public input.
The president has finally taken notice to a huge and growing problem. Why don't we take his words to our local governments, and put some muscle behind them?