Calling the M-16 a machine gun is stretching a point. The M-16 is an automatic rifle that fires 5.56 mm ammunition. It comes standard with a 20 round magazine. 30 round magazines are available as are 100 round drums.
Given that semi-autos like the AR-15 are widely available, and cops anywhere could find themselves up against criminals armed with military style rifles, I fail to see the problem with giving police forces comparable equipment.
Likewise, given the “mostly peaceful” protests of the past few years, which resulted in sections of cities being looted and burned, crowd control training and equipment for police forces also seems appropriate.
Police faced with a mass of Antifa thugs should not have to leave the scene and let the destruction proceed. They need the training and equipment to protect peaceful citizens and enforce the law.