The local police's highly militarised response to the protests is being criticised widely as an over-equipped St Louis PD has been turning Ferguson into a Gaza-like warzone.
The situation of officers, wearing camouflage, black helmets and carrying assault rifles, patrolling the streets to tackle the protesters, instead of making people feel safe, has raised widespread concerns over the increased militarisation of the Ferguson local police.
Critics blame the federal programmes which supply small towns and cities with heavy military-grade equipment designed for battlefields, such as Gaza or Iraq.
"At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told NYT, "I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message."
According to The Christian Science Monitor, billions of dollars are being spent on militarisation of police, in the name of fighting terrorism. And the fact is that these heavily militarised police teams, such as SWAT, are increasingly being used for routine duties, such as conducting liquor inspections and serving warrants.
The report also noted that since 1990, a Pentagon programme known as "1033", whose motto is "From Warfighter to Crimefighter", has provided $4.3 billion worth of military weapons - including small tanks, night scopes, and high-powered rifles - to thousands of small towns and cities such as Ferguson to fight terrorism.
Frank J Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University, speaking to NYT noted that following the 9/11 attacks when the government started heavily arming the police 'few people asked whether the police would use the equipment against protesters'.
But Cilluffo noted that what is more alarming is in most instances, the government did not even require any specialised training for police departments which were given the military-style equipment and few, if any, limitations were put on its use.
The military warzone like atmosphere in the suburb has even made Gaza Palestinians tweet advice to Ferguson protestors, on how to deal with tear gas.
Always make sure to run against the wind /to keep calm when you're teargassed, the pain will pass, don't rub your eyes! #Ferguson Solidarity
— مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) August 14, 2014
— Rana Nazzal (@zaytouni_rana) August 14, 2014