#Obama: No More Tanks Or Grenade Launchers For Local Police Departments

Posted: May 18, 2015 in Politics

ferguson-police

In a surprise announcement Monday, the White House said, effective immediately, the federal government will no longer fund or provide to police a number of military-grade weapons: armored vehicles that run on a tracked system instead of wheels, weaponized aircraft or vehicles, firearms or ammunition of .50-caliber or higher, grenade launchers, bayonets or camouflage uniforms. A longer list of equipment will be more tightly controlled, including wheeled armored vehicles like Humvees, manned aircraft, drones, specialized firearms, explosives, battering rams and riot batons, helmets and shields. The federal government also is exploring ways to recall prohibited equipment already distributed. The move comes after police used heavy equipment to quell protests in Ferguson, Mo., last summer. President Obama will discuss the measures during a visit to Camden, N.J., one of the country’s most violent and poorest cities.

I’ll highlight steps all cities can take to maintain trust between the brave law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line, and the communities they’re sworn to serve and protect

President Barack Obama

With scrutiny on police only increasing in the ensuing months after a series of highly publicized deaths of black suspects nationwide, Obama also is unveiling the final report of a task force he created to help build confidence between police and minority communities in particular. The issue of police militarization rose to prominence last year after a white police officer in Ferguson fatally shot unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking protests.

The substantial risk of misusing or overusing these items, which are seen as militaristic in nature, could significantly undermine community trust and may encourage tactics and behaviors that are inconsistent with the premise of civilian law enforcement.

Report from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the Department of Justice

Source: [Yahoo Digest]

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