Is Montana a Model for Fighting Trump’s Re-Militarization of the Police?

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

To hear civil libertarians tell it, Montana’s recent push to de-militarize the police has its roots in the Bozeman BearCat incident of 2014. The city’s police department bought a 17,000-pound armored vehicle—a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck, or “BearCat”—with money from the federal Homeland Security Grant Program. But it did so without the knowledge of the City Commission, and public outcry ensued. “Some commenters went to the police department’s Facebook page, usually known for its campy morning posts, and chastised the department for getting such a vehicle,” The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. Soon, the hashtag #senditback began to circulate. Critics in this city of 45,000 worried that souped-up gear would start to make their local police department look