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.
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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."

 

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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."

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