Nation & World News

Obama Orders Review Of Transfers Of Military Surplus To Local Police

By Steve Mullis on August 23rd, 2014

President Obama has ordered a review of federal programs that supply local law enforcement agencies with military weapons and equipment after concerns over how the police handled unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown.

A senior Obama administration official says the president “whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.”

The official also says the review would include input from the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget, as well as the departments of Defense, Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury.

Obama telegraphed the likelihood of a review on Monday when he urged a reexamination of such programs.

“There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred,” the president told reporters at the White House. “That would be contrary to our traditions.”

The issue has come to the fore since the fatal shooting of Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer. The incident has sparked several nights of violent protests.

As Jim Howard of St. Louis Public Radio writes:

“The protestors were met by heavily armored combat vehicles and officers in camouflage combat-grade body armor, some with sniper rifles. The material came via the 1033 program, under which surplus military hardware is made available from the Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

“The images of what appeared to be combat-ready forces arrayed against protestors flashed around the world in news and social media reports and quickly added to the tension on the streets.”

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a report that warned of the excessive militarization of American law enforcement.

As we reported at the time, the report highlighted, among other things, the growing use of SWAT teams for such seemingly mundane tasks as serving drug warrants.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Huge Crowd In El Salvador For Beatifcation Of Slain Archbishop

The ceremony for Oscar Romero — who was gunned down during mass in the capital, San Salvador, in 1980 — is the last step before being declared a saint by the Vatican.


Huge Crowd In El Salvador For Beatifcation Of Slain Archbishop

The ceremony for Oscar Romero — who was gunned down during mass in the capital, San Salvador, in 1980 — is the last step before being declared a saint by the Vatican.


The Bank of England in London in a photograph taken in March. The central bank inadvertently revealed that it was planning for a possible withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union.

Email Slip Reportedly Reveals United Kingdom Plan For Possible EU Exit

In the communication that The Guardian says it received accidentally from the Bank of England, officials outlined details of the plan known as “Operation Bookend.”


Michael Brelo weeps as he hears the verdict in his trial Saturday, in Cleveland. Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted.

Cleveland Officer Acquitted In 2012 Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Suspects

Michael Brelo was one of 13 officers involved in the incident that included 137 shots and killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a high-speed car chase.


Vehicles burn, that authorities say caught fire during a gunbattle, in a warehouse at Rancho del Sol, near Ecuanduero, in western Mexico, on Friday. At least 43 people died Friday in what authorities described as a fierce, three-hour gunbattle between federal forces and suspected drug gang gunmen.

Dozens Dead In Mexican Shootout Between Gangs, Police

At least 43 people were killed in what is being described as the worst gun battle with drug gangs in recent memory.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments