The Obama administration announced plans on Monday to restrict police use of military gear in an effort to ease tensions between officers in some communities in the aftermath of Ferguson, Missouri, according to The New York Times.
President Barack Obama announced the change Monday after a task force he created in January determined that police departments should be banned from using federal funds to acquire items that include tracked armored vehicles, the highest-caliber firearms and ammunition, and camouflage uniforms, The Times writes.
The move comes after outrage erupted over the military-style police presence in Ferguson last summer after protests broke out following the death of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown, who was shot to death by former officer Darren Wilson, exposing long simmering tensions between police and minorities.
The New York Times reports:
The ban is part of a series of steps the president has made to try to build trust between law enforcement organizations and the citizens they are charged with protecting.
Mr. Obama planned to promote the effort on Monday during a visit to Camden, N.J. The city, racked by poverty and crime, has become a national model for better relations between the police and citizens after replacing its beleaguered police force with a county-run system that prioritizes community ties.
The trip and the action on military-style equipment are to coincide with the release on Monday of a report from a policing task force that Mr. Obama formed late last year in response to the crisis in Ferguson. The 116-page report calls for law enforcement agencies to “embrace a guardian — rather than a warrior — mind-set to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public.” It contains dozens of recommendations for agencies throughout the country.
It’s good to know that the president is working hard to address long simmering tensions between police and minorities, which is a national crisis.