News / USA

Obama Orders Review of Police Use of Military Hardware

Police arrest a man as they disperse a protest in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 20, 2014.
Police arrest a man as they disperse a protest in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 20, 2014.
VOA News

President Barack Obama - responding to days of racial violence in Ferguson, Missouri - has ordered a review of the government practice of providing military hardware to state and local police.

Senior administration officials, speaking Saturday, said the White House will review whether the government should continue providing such equipment, and how some weapons, including automatic rifles and mine-resistant vehicles, are deployed by local agencies.

Security forces charge demonstrators after being hit by water bottles during a protest against the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 20, 2014.Security forces charge demonstrators after being hit by water bottles during a protest against the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 20, 2014.
x
Security forces charge demonstrators after being hit by water bottles during a protest against the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 20, 2014.
Security forces charge demonstrators after being hit by water bottles during a protest against the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 20, 2014.

Photos and video footage of police in armored vehicles wielding military equipment while facing Ferguson protesters have alarmed many U.S. citizens and some lawmakers.  The protests erupted August 9, after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer during a confrontation.  Days of rioting ensued.

Officials say the president wants to know whether federal grants allowing such hardware transfers are appropriate, and whether local police are properly trained with the equipment.

They also said the review, first mentioned by the president on Monday, will  take place in close coordination with the U.S. Congress.

The push to upgrade state and local police capabilities came in response to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

In his August 17 comments, Obama said he wanted to know that such military hardware was actually needed.  He also said he wanted to ensure that the mandates of American police agencies and the U.S. military do not become "blurred."

 

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: frank from: ny
August 23, 2014 8:19 PM
Police reported no arrests after the afternoon rally and march that drew well over 2,500 people to the streets where Eric Garner was taken to the ground on July 17 by a New York Police Department officer using a prohibited martial arts maneuver.

"This is a Birmingham, Alabama, moment!" the Rev. Herbert Daughtry announced to about 100 demonstrators at a nearby Staten Island church before the march. He asked for anyone who had been harassed, humiliated or disrespected by police to stand. Almost everyone did.

by: where in the world from: is this possible
August 23, 2014 7:43 PM
St. Louis County police officer, who was seen pushing a CNN anchor during protests in Ferguson, Mo., this week, was suspended from duty after a controversial video surfaced, in which he fashions himself as a merciless killer.
“I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I’m also a killer,” said officer Dan Page, a 35-year veteran, in the video. “I’ve killed a lot. And if I need to, I’ll kill a whole bunch more. If you don’t want to get killed, don’t show up in front of me. I have no problems with it. God did not raise me to be a coward." Page added, “I’m into diversity — I kill everybody. I don’t care."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs