The St. Louis County Police Department has stocked up on tear gas, less-lethal ammunition and plastic handcuffs in anticipation of massive protests in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, if a grand jury doesn't indict the police officer who killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. The jury is expected to reach its decision sometime in November.
“It’s going to be a war because they’re not going to indict him,” one protester told The Huffington Post in October.
A breakdown of the $172,000 that the police department has spent since August on gear for dealing with protesters, first reported by Jon Swaine of The Guardian, shows that the St. Louis County police have purchased "650 teargas grenades, smoke-and-gas grenades, smoke canisters and 'hornets nest' CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation," at a cost of nearly $25,000. Sgt. Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, provided a breakdown of the spending in an email to The Huffington Post.
The department has also spent $7,740 on 1,500 "sock rounds," or beanbag rounds, and $10,200 on 6,000 pepper balls rounds, which sting the eyes and nose. Roughly $77,000 went toward 235 helmets, 25 new batons and 60 pairs of shin guards. The county has purchased 2,000 plastic "flex" handcuffs, which cost just over a dollar each. In addition, the department has put aside $50,000 to repair damaged police vehicles, but that work won't begin "until unrest is over," according to the summary of the spending.