Trump administration plans to provide local police departments with extra equipment such as large-caliber weapons and grenade launchers
Back in 2015, President Barack Obama put limits on the program due to several cases of police officers killing black men, inflaming tensions between communities and law enforcement.
In 2014, the shooting that ended the life of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., triggered severe protests and a heavily armed police response that communities saw as unnecessary. The images of police using sniper rifles on top of armored cars or wearing riot gear to watch over protests were the start of a debate regarding whether police departments had completely lost sight of their missions to serve and protect.
“We’ve seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like they’re an occupying force,” Mr. Obama said when announcing restrictions on the program
However, Trump administration does not agree to that. Therefore, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions is to announce the changes to the program on Monday, at a Fraternal Order of Police conference in Nashville. It was definitely not clear why Mr. Sessions would announce changes to a Pentagon program, but he has rolled back a few Obama policing reforms and helped reinforce the Trump administration’s support in terms of law enforcement.
Sadly, Mr. Trump plans to sign an executive order, a “policy shift toward ensuring officers have the tools they need to reduce crime and keep their communities safe.”
To bring arguments to his decision, he cited two academic articles that said the program helped reduce crime and did not lead in any way to an increase in police-involved deaths. More than that, it said that a military-style helmet has saved the life of an officer who responded to the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.