White House Bans Police Use of Some Military Equipment

The White House is banning certain types of military-style equipment

May 18, 2015, 4:43 PM

— -- The White House is banning certain types of military-style equipment for local law enforcement.

The surprise announcement comes after the White House signaled last year that such equipment would remain accessible to local police departments, despite criticisms that the police response to protests over the killing of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri were over-militarized.

But an interagency task force has since concluded that the risk of such military-style equipment being misused and violating community trust outweighs the advantages it offers in maintaining public peace.

The new list of banned equipment includes tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, and large-caliber firearms.

The announcement comes on the same day that the president will travel to Camden, New Jersey -- one of the nation’s poorest and most dangerous cities -- to highlight efforts his administration is making to build trust between communities and local law enforcement.

Some military-style equipment -- including armored vehicles, tactical vehicles, riot gear, and specialized firearms and ammunition – will remain accessible to law enforcement under new strict controls.

The president is also set to release a “blueprint” for effective community policing and an initiative to make more police data regarding use of force available to the public among other things to build trust between communities and law enforcement.

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