Obama orders review of military equipment sales to police

Residents of Ferguson, MO protest the death of Michael Brown on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Residents of Ferguson, MO protest the death of Michael Brown on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama has ordered a review of programs allowing for state and local enforcement to buy military equipment, a senior administration official said Saturday.

The decision follows public criticism of the use of such assets recently in Ferguson, Missouri.

Such force to calm violent protests, in aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, raised questions about what some refer to as the “militarization of police.”

Acquisition of military surplus equipment by local police departments became possible through the military’s Defense Logistics Agency, a law enforcement support program established in 1999.

But, once in the hands of these departments, it’s “up to local law enforcement to determine how and when and where and under what circumstances they use excess military equipment,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said earlier this week.

Opinion: The real reason Ferguson has military weapons

On Monday, Obama signaled the program may be due a look.

“There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred,” he said. “That would be contrary to our traditions.”

The review, that has now been ordered, will explore whether such programs and funding are appropriate, whether state and local enforcement agencies have the necessary training and guidance after getting such equipment; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.

White House staff — including members of the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget — will lead the review in coordination with Congress, according to the official.

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10 comments

  • Rude Druid

    “There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred,” he said. “That would be contrary to our traditions.” ~ President Obama

    Boys will be boys and play with toys, so be careful what you give them. Especially the kind who wind up being cops.

    They have a pack mentality, don’t think for themselves, like wolves or hyenas. Young, stupid, violent.

    We must take away their military weapons. the APCs, the grenade launchers, etc. No more machine guns atop armored personnel carriers — NOT IN OUR CITIES, NOT IN OUR COUNTRY.

    The police need to learn — to be TAUGHT — how NOT to behave like an enemy, alien, invading army.

      • Rude Druid

        Nonsense. Nobody tests me. EVER. That’s for wage slaves like you.

        The difference between us is that I have a real education and you don’t. Now go worry about YOUR drug screen.

    • arthuritus

      well dey was a time when dem policemuns dont need nuthin but a sidearm and a billy club to keep da ordor bout thurty year ago but nows laws amassy! deys a diffent kinda fokes out dere

  • Nottherealissue.

    Realize that a lot of this stuff can be bought over the internet. Realize that criminals are armed with these types of weapons. Anybody remember back 10-15 years and the 2 who robbed the Bank of America. They had military weapons and military protection gear. LAPD was outgunned by 2 guys.

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