Body Cams Are Not Enough; We Need to Stop Militarizing Police Forces
In response to recent events in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama has decided that rather than stop arming cops with billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment, we just need to train them to use the supplies better.
Barack Obama has resisted calls to cancel or significantly curtail federal programs that transfer billions of dollars of military equipment to local police forces on Monday, choosing instead to focus on improving the training of officers given access to high-powered weapons and armoured vehicles previously used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The president’s decision to reform rather than terminate the controversial programs, which critics said had led to the militarisation of local law enforcement, was included among a number of proposed measures the White House released in the wake of protests across the country over the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson.
Obama plans to issue an executive order before the end of February 2015, directing federal agencies to improve the way in which local law enforcement agencies procure, audit and manage a giant stockpile loaned and purchased from the Pentagon. However, the White House said the programs would remain in place.
Obama is also separately calling for a $263m, three-year spending package to reform police departments across the country which, if approved by Congress, could lead to the purchase of an additional 50,000 lapel-mounted cameras to record police officers on the job.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi ZapataWait, before you go…
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