White House Moves To Reauthorize Military Equipment For Police

From teleSUR:


FBI patrol the perimeter of a crime scene in an armored vehicle in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, July 17, 2016.

The Obama White House is set to authorize police agencies to once again acquire military equipment, a move that is sure to be met with heavy criticism from activists seeking greater accountability from police in light of regular police killings of Black men.

Reuters reported Thursday that the U.S. government will revisit a 2015 ban on police forces getting riot gear, armored vehicles and other military-grade equipment from the U.S. armed forces.

The use of military gear by police agencies was criticized by supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and other critics of police impunity and brutality as being part of a broader militarization of police, which was seen as a factor in the mistreatment of demonstrators and U.S. residents.

In response to the public outcry, the White House issued a ban in May 2015 on the transfer of some equipment from the military to police.

However, in light of recent killings of police, President Barack Obama agreed to review each banned item, two police organization directors told Reuters.

Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, and Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, met with Obama along with eight other police chiefs at the White House on July 11, three days after a shooter targeted and killed five police officers in Dallas.

At that meeting, law enforcement leaders urged Obama to reinstate military equipment such as helmets, grenade launchers and tracked armored vehicles.

Pictures of police in riot gear and driving armored vehicles toward peaceful protesters sparked a national debate that drew attention to a program used by the U.S. military to unload its excess equipment on local police.

One of the demands of Black Lives Matter activists is for …

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