Obama Restricts Police Military Gear, Says It Can Alienate

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Obama restricts police military gear, says it can alienate - Yahoo News

President Barack Obama ended long-running federal transfers of some combat-style gear to local law enforcement on Monday in an attempt to ease tensions between police and minority communities, saying equipment made for the battlefield should not be a tool of American criminal justice.

Grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or higher will no longer be provided to state and local police agencies by the federal government under Obama's order.

"We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there's an occupying force, as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them," Obama said, nine months after an outcry over the use of riot gear and armored vehicles by police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

"It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message," he said.

Obama made his announcement in Camden, New Jersey, where he praised efforts by the police department to improve their relationship with a poor community struggling with violence.

With police under increased scrutiny over highly publicized deaths of black suspects nationwide, Obama also unveiled the final report of a task force he created to help build confidence between police and minority communities. And he issued a broader appeal for Americans to address racial disparities and the needs of poor communities before they erupt into disorder.

He also reiterated his call for overhauling sentencing practices for nonviolent drug crimes.

"We can't ask the police to be the ones to solve the problem when there are no able-bodied men in the community or kids are growing up without intact households," he said.

In Camden, Obama visited the police Real-Time Tactical Operational Intelligence Center and watched live video displays of city neighborhoods being monitored by officers. He also stopped by a community center where he met with young people and local police officers.

Ahead of his Camden remarks, Obama stopped briefly in nearby Philadelphia to praise its police and fire officials for their quick response to last week's deadly Amtrak wreck.

In addition to the prohibitions in his order, Obama also is placing a longer list of military equipment under tighter control, including wheeled armored vehicles like Humvees, manned aircraft, drones, specialized firearms, explosives, battering rams and riot batons, helmets and shields. Starting in October, police will have to get approval from their city council, mayor or some other local governing body to obtain such equipment, provide a persuasive explanation of why it is needed and have more training and data collection on its use.
 
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This may be good especially in communities like Fergurson and others where the residents don't trust the law and view police with these gear as the enemy and removal of these may have people not scared of the cops. I reckon it is a good choice and, may save costs as well will have to see what happens in the coming days and also weeks and also how it will work out as well. I think that, some will agree and some will be against it and hope we don't have riots that take place due to this and can get worse if it occurs.
 
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Obama restricts police military gear, says it can alienate - Yahoo News

President Barack Obama ended long-running federal transfers of some combat-style gear to local law enforcement on Monday in an attempt to ease tensions between police and minority communities, saying equipment made for the battlefield should not be a tool of American criminal justice.

Grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or higher will no longer be provided to state and local police agencies by the federal government under Obama's order.

"We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there's an occupying force, as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them," Obama said, nine months after an outcry over the use of riot gear and armored vehicles by police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

"It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message," he said.

Obama made his announcement in Camden, New Jersey, where he praised efforts by the police department to improve their relationship with a poor community struggling with violence.

With police under increased scrutiny over highly publicized deaths of black suspects nationwide, Obama also unveiled the final report of a task force he created to help build confidence between police and minority communities. And he issued a broader appeal for Americans to address racial disparities and the needs of poor communities before they erupt into disorder.

He also reiterated his call for overhauling sentencing practices for nonviolent drug crimes.

"We can't ask the police to be the ones to solve the problem when there are no able-bodied men in the community or kids are growing up without intact households," he said.

In Camden, Obama visited the police Real-Time Tactical Operational Intelligence Center and watched live video displays of city neighborhoods being monitored by officers. He also stopped by a community center where he met with young people and local police officers.

Ahead of his Camden remarks, Obama stopped briefly in nearby Philadelphia to praise its police and fire officials for their quick response to last week's deadly Amtrak wreck.

In addition to the prohibitions in his order, Obama also is placing a longer list of military equipment under tighter control, including wheeled armored vehicles like Humvees, manned aircraft, drones, specialized firearms, explosives, battering rams and riot batons, helmets and shields. Starting in October, police will have to get approval from their city council, mayor or some other local governing body to obtain such equipment, provide a persuasive explanation of why it is needed and have more training and data collection on its use.
I recently had an experience where the police responded to a minor altercation between my son and an unwanted house-guest with about 100 armed storm-troopers sporting military weapons. Instead of allowing me to simply walk my injured son out of the house so that he could receive needed medical attention, they spent 3 and a half hours, thousands of dollars, and caused several thousand dollars worth of damage to our house. But they did get to play with all their new toys. Our small town may well have a need for this equipment sometime within the next half-century, but how much damage will they do in the meantime?
Add to the proliferation of this type of armament the fact that most police forces in America have a low maximum IQ requirement, assuring that there will be few people on the police forces capable of making informed decisions on the use of these weapons and you have a recipe for disaster. We need more officers capable of understanding how to deal with people, and fewer officers not capable of critical thought.
 
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Police don't need military-grade equipment to "serve and protect." I'm sure that most police departments have anti-terror units who in case of a terrorist threat will know what to do. It would have been better to actually take back all military gear the police currently have because fact is police [still] can use the equipment they have.
 
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Well the military gear is just one aspect of it but there needs to be some more training and screening of police personnel. There seems to be a problem with the individuals and not them having the military equipment. At least Obama took some form of action and not just render lip service.
 
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The problem with most police departments having this type of equipment is that they may only have a reason to use it every few decades. That means that the equipment may be used 100+times for inappropriate occasions for every reasonable time. People will be killed or injured needlessly, homes will be damaged, and peoples will learn to hate and fear the police. Worse yet, the police will develop a stormtrooper mentality to augment their Gestapo mentality. American police should have a "protect and serve" mentality. Outlaw maximum IQ limits, recruit more intelligent police, and create a style of policing that challenges and uses those intelligent people.
 

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