D.C. police chief discusses military equipment usage

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Police Chief Cathy Lanier is urging President Obama not to cancel a program which allows local law enforcement agencies to purchase surplus military equipment at huge discounts.

President Obama is asking for a review after watching police in Ferguson Missouri use armored carriers, dogs and assault weapons on civilian protesters.

In her first extensive interview on the explosive events in Ferguson, Missouri, Lanier talked with WUSA9's Bruce Johnson about how the D.C. police and departments nationwide use that military equipment to keep the peace.

"You can use that armored vehicle to safely get people through an area where there might be a sniper, a shooter or something else going on," explained Lanier.

Lanier also commented that the usage of the equipment plays a significant role: "The other thing that's created some of the problem, is how the equipment's used. In jurisdictions where we deal with protests all the time, I wouldn't think of bringing canine dogs out to a protest, I wouldn't bring an armored personnel carrier out, you know, as a show of force for a protest."

When asked if she was waiting to take a position on what happened in Ferguson, Lanier said she was reserving judgement until after a full investigation was conducted: "one thing I've learned in 24 years of being a police officer, never ever make judgement until all the facts are in."

Watch the raw interview HERE: http://on.wusa9.com/1qg5Mu9


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