Trump: Let Our Police Armor up Like Soldiers

by | Sep 6, 2017

Trump: Let Our Police Armor up Like Soldiers

by | Sep 6, 2017

Apparently believing it will bolster his pro-police image, the Trump Administration has announced that it is reversing President Obama’s 2015 restrictions on the provision of certain U.S. military equipment to local American police forces.

Announcing the move on Monday to the Fraternal Order of Police convention in Nashville, Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused the former president of putting “superficial concerns above public safety” and cheered Trump’s decision, telling police that allowing cops to have military gear will send a message that “we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become the new normal.”

Far from superficial, the concerns surrounding local police forces being given weapons of war had longstanding and serious implications for American society. This was true particularly after the Global War on Terror fueled an increase in military spending that left even more surplus military goods to be doled out to the police.

Providing local police with bayonets and amphibious tanks has concerned civil rights groups since the program began back in 1997. This is primarily because to the extent police were ever asked to justify these acquisitions at all, they tended to present them as riot control gear to contend with civil unrest. With America in a state of constant warfare since 2001, this was not some idle excuse, but rather reflective of a broad change in mentality.

By 2014, the militarization of the American police force was less a fear than an accomplished fact in many cities. So when protests against police excesses broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, police dressed like, armed like, and acting like soldiers came out in force, aiming to end the protests by military means.

Read the rest at The American Conservative.

About Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is the News Editor for Antiwar.com, your best source for antiwar news, viewpoints and activities. He has 10 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times and the Detroit Free Press.

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