Camden, New Jersey
Obama restricts police military gear, says it can alienate
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.
Obamalogic: Militarized cops cause black riots. Also in the universe of Obamalogic, POW camps cause terrorism.
The EO itself and the policy change it represents, I don’t have a problem. It’s just that the timing and rationale are wrong. The Ferguson P.D. didn’t pursue and kill Michael Brown using an armored tank.
Also, this order only affects local cops, not Federal LEAs. I’ll get to that below.
“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.
Except hardly any of the gear that the multiple cooperating agencies used to squelch riots for three days after the initial riots on the night of August 10-11 were Pentagon hand-me-downs. They were things that the LEAs purchased with their own budgets, and the kind of gear traditionally used to respond to riots. So this was not an example of “militarized” cops.
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.
I remember several years ago, a SWAT team attached to the U.S. Department of Education (Why does the U.S. Department of Education have a SWAT team?) used many of those things to do a raid on a house occupied by a father and his young son, because his estranged and absent wife, the kid’s mother, was suspected of scamming the Federal student loan program, and someone thought that both she and a paper trail could be found inside the house. It was one of those early morning raids, (a tactic that we learned from the Soviet Union), and most embarrassingly, they dragged both father and son out of their beds and onto their front yard while the SWAT team searched the house for the documents and the woman, neither of which they found. Embarrassingly, I said, because father sleeps au naturel.
The issue of police militarization rose to prominence last year after a white police officer in Ferguson fatally shot unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking protests. Critics questioned why police in full body armor with armored trucks responded to dispel demonstrators, and Obama seemed to sympathize when ordering a review of the programs that provide the equipment.
The issue of police militarization rose to prominence last year because race pandering glibertarians like Rand Paul thought they had a hook to pander to blacks, to mash up a libertarian cause to race groveling. “Police in full body armor with armored trucks responded to dispel” rioters, not protesters.