Fox New’s “Outnumbered” split over the necessity of local police departments being equipped with armored vehicles and heavy weaponry, with Kimberly Guilfoyle arguing the police have “every right to defend themselves” and Kennedy retorting that “you don’t need tanks” for cops to be safe.
The panel reacted on Tuesday to President Obama’s suggestion that the Pentagon may have to reevaluate its program of sending high-grade military equipment left over from Iraq and Afghanistan to local police departments at home.
The issue took center stage last week after a heavy-handed police response to riots in Ferguson, Mo. (RELATED: Preliminary Report: Over A Dozen Witnesses Back Darren Wilson’s Story)
Sandra Smith and Guilfoyle sided with the the cops. “Whatever they need,” Smith said. “Whatever this town needs to defend from these protests, these violent protests continuing.”
“In terms of the police, they have every right to defend themselves and to protect themselves and be able to leave their house in the morning knowing they have the best equipment out there,” Guilfoyle agreed.
“We have asked them to do a really difficult job,” she continued. “So I’m not going to, like, second-guess. If that’s what they feel that they need — don’t go out and commit crimes!”
“You can second-guess them, that’s what we do,” Geraldo Rivera replied.
“No, in a democratic society you can second-guess!” Kennedy agreed. “Absolutely! That’s our job!”
Guilfoyle invoked “ride-alongs” she took with police in dangerous cities during her time as a prosecutor. “Imagine if they didn’t have some of these protections!”
“Crime has actually gone down in all over Los Angeles, and it’s not because of militarization,” Kennedy replied.
“What I’m saying is, imagine if they didn’t have some of these protections!” Guilfoyle persisted. “Maybe it would’ve been even worse in Ferguson.”
“You don’t need tanks!” Kennedy retorted. “Tanks are not going to diminish gang crime! They’re not!”
Guilfoyle backtracked. “Am I saying for one minute that we need tanks?” she said, claiming she only meant “proper police equipment that includes uniforms and protection, like bullet-proof vests.”
Kennedy and Rivera remained unconvinced. “When you have a cop who gets a new toy without proper instruction — I’m not talking about elite SWAT teams,” Rivera said. “When they get this grant there is no requirement . . . You should have a special training certificate when you get this sophisticated military hardware to use in urban settings.” (RELATED: Fox Reporter Confronted On-Air By Angry Ferguson Protester)