Monday, May 15, 2017

Police departments across the country are spending millions on riot gear

Austin, Denver, and San Jose among those dropping six figures on body armor, batons, and grenade launchers

We’ve all seen the lines of police at protests donning head to toe armor, batons and/or launchers at the ready, glowering down at protesters through face shields. But how much does all that gear cost? According to the early returns on riot gear budgeting requests we have been filing, quite a lot.

The Austin Police Department, for example, has spent about $1.1 million in the last five years on everything from bean bag launchers, smoke grenades, and pepper spray launchers, to plated body armor, helmets with protective visors and throat guards, and aluminum batons.

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