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Writing for TIME, Rand Paul—who is expected to mount a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016—addressed the crisis that has erupted inFerguson, Missouri, in the wake of the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown. Paul writes that due to the convergence of the “militarization of law enforcement” and the “erosion of civil liberties,” Americans, and particularly African-Americans—feel as though they are being “targeted” by the government.

“If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But I wouldn’t have expected to be shot,” he writes. “Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them.”

Paul warns against a police state, noting that there “should be a difference between a police response and a military response,” and expressing concern that “the images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.”

Unsurprisingly, given his self-described “Libertarian-ish” limited-government leanings, Paul blames big government for the rise of militarized law enforcement.

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