According to the LA Times, there will be some new rules governing the distribution of military equipment to police agencies. Below is an excerpt from the story:
“President Obama plans to stop the federal government from distributing some military equipment to law enforcement agencies across the country, trimming back a practice that drew scrutiny amid concerns about the militarization of local police forces.
The decision follows a set of recommendations from a working group Obama set up after the unrest last year in Ferguson, Mo., where police wearing body armor and riding in armored trucks subdued protesters.
Wow….how will the police ever survive without grenade launchers and weaponized aircraft? Wait, no need to answer. They never really needed them in the first place! This list is a list of the stupid shit that police never should have been provided, given that the mission of police or “peace officers” is not a military one. No one would stand for police blowing up whole city blocks in order to “take out” a suspect, even a very violent one.
The fact that these types of offensive weaponry were ever even considered as a possibility for use by the police is mind boggling, and goes to show how far the “military mindset” has infected police forces nationwide. Police officers are there to protect communities, through safeguarding life and property. Citizens, even poor and uneducated ones, are not the “enemy”. People of color, marginalized citizens, and people who live “alternative lifestyles” are not the “enemy”. Unfortunately, these are groups who are often targeted by police, and are often the ones looking down the barrel of military style weapons when they protest the abuse of their neighbors, family members, and friends.
This is a great PR stunt for President Obama, but here locally we won’t see much, if any difference. Police agencies will still be able to get armored vehicles similar to the MRAP that EPD received. Body armor, sniper rifles, and night vision devices will still be received by our local police. It’s sad, but that is the reality we now live in.