Obama Scraps Some Military Equipment For Police

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:07 PM, May 18, 2015
  • 2733
Obama Scraps Some Military Equipment For Police
Ferguson Police with Machine guns, MRAPs (Photo: truth-out.org)

The US Federal government will no longer provide military equipment to local law-enforcement, President Barack Obama announced Monday.

According to the announcement, the local departments will not have 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 to local departments.

The announcement comes after an interagency group found substantial risk of misusing or overusing of items such as tracked armored vehicles, high-powered firearms and camouflage and would undermine trust in police and also to place stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement.

The announcements come as Obama is visiting 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," Obama said in his weekly address out Saturday.

From October this year, the police will have to get approval from the city council, mayor or local governing bodies to obtain equipment and should have an explanation of why it is needed. The list of equipment the government provides under tighter control include, wheeled armored vehicles like Humvees, manned aircraft, drones, specialized firearms, explosives, battering rams and riot batons, helmets and shields.

But he did not announce a ban in December with the publication of the review, which showed five federal agencies spent $18 billion on programs that provided equipment including 92,442 small arms, 44,275 night-vision devices, 5,235 Humvees, 617 mine-resistant vehicles and 616 aircraft. 

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