Since 2006, the Department of Defense has donated 
11,959 bayonets to domestic law enforcement agencies.
The recent political crisis in Ferguson, MO put a national
spotlight on police militarization. For years, the Department
of Defense has been sending military hardware, leftover
 from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, to local police
through its 1033 program. Police departments have been
 accepting the military-grade hardware, despite its
uselessness for purposes of civilian police work, under
“what if” justifications. However, after obtaining the items,
 officials in charge of local police forces have often
expanded the scenarios in which military tools are being
put to use, resulting in militarized approaches to drug raids
 and peaceful protests.
NPR recently published an in-depth report on the Department
 of Defense’s 1033 program, cataloging every military item
 sent to law enforcement agencies from 2006 through April
 23, 2014. Vox pointed out the fact that the cache of weapons donated to local cops included 11,959 bayonets. A bayonet
 is a spear-like weapon affixed to the end of a rifle that soldiers use as a last resort to gut enemies in close range. While
 this type of weapon could prove useful on a battlefield, it
 seems highly unlikely that a police officer could find a
 justified civilian law enforcement purpose for such a brutal
offensive weapon.